Nutrition Articles

The 22 Healthiest Fast Foods

What to Order at America's Top 10 Fast Food Joints

Try these best picks for your next lunch on the run. Get more nutrition facts at
  • Mandarin Chicken Salad: A variety of lettuces and toppings, like roasted almonds and crispy noodles, make this salad a flavor-packed meal. Most of the fat is unsaturated.
    540 calories, 25g fat, 3g sat. fat, 65mg cholesterol, 1,260mg sodium, 50g carbs, 5g fiber, 31g protein
  • Ultimate Chicken Grill: Order it with lettuce, tomatoes, and honey mustard sauce.
    320 calories, 7g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 950mg sodium, 36g carbs, 2g fiber, 28g protein
Burger King
A salad and veggie burger top the healthy list at Burger King. Their website,, offers more nutrition information.
  • Tendergrill Chicken Garden Salad: Hold the cheese and top with the Light Italian dressing:
    300 calories, 16g fat, 2.5g sat. fat, 70mg cholesterol, 1,050mg sodium, 13g carbs, 5g fiber, 33g protein
  • BK Veggie Burger: Say "no mayo" to enjoy this healthy, cholesterol-free vegetarian delight.
    340 calories, 8g fat, 1g sat. fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1,030mg sodium, 46g carbs, 7g fiber, 23g protein
Taco Bell
When you order it “fresco style”, the regular cheese and sauce are replaced by a flavorful combo of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, all fresh (and much healthier). More nutrition facts are available at
  • Fresco Style Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco:
    170 calories, 4g fat, 1.5g sat. fat, 25mg cholesterol, 730mg sodium, 21g carbs, 3g fiber, 12g protein
  • Fresco Crunchy Taco: This menu item is much lower in sodium but still loaded with flavor.
    150 calories, 8g fat, 2.5g sat. fat, 20mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 13g carbs, 3g fiber, 7g protein. Continued ›
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • Could you add the Canadian favourite -- Tim Horton's? - 5/13/2015 9:21:01 AM
  • I think we need some more common restaurant chains on this that are a little cheaper. McD's, Wendy's, Taco Bell...Of course salads are usually a good choice, but I get tired of salad everyday. - 2/22/2015 11:07:54 AM
    Chipotle can be a GREAT fast meal out. I get the burrito bowl without rice and beans (the tortilla is over 100 calories and the rice is 200, and I just don't care for beans!). I get the fajita veggies, steak, corn salsa, tomato salsa and hot salsa (and sometimes romaine lettuce). 335 calories. Biggest problem, though: the sodium level is high as apparently anything with tomatoes at chipotle gets LOTS of salt. Sometimes I do get the brown rice, but ask for a small amount rather than the huge amount they typically toss into the bowl. - 9/2/2014 9:54:30 AM
  • I eat out once a week with my daughter and I don't feel at all guilty about it. I pretty much eat in one or two of places... Subway and Chick-fil-a. At Subway, I get the Veggie Delight with Oregano, no mayo and no salt/pepper. It tastes great, healthy and fills me up. Chick-Fil-A has a great grilled chicken sandwich which I get with a side salad with fat-free Honey-Mustard Dressing. A bit high in sodium, but only 320 calories for the sandwich. It is a filling meal. I just watch my sodium the rest of the day. My blood pressure is fine, so the salt is not going to hurt me every once in a while. - 4/11/2014 8:18:06 AM
  • "BK Veggie Burger: Say "no mayo" to enjoy this healthy, cholesterol-free vegetarian delight."

    "Vegetarian delight?" Isn't that an oxymoron when it comes to veggie burgers? I've tried a number of veggie burgers and have always been underwhelmed. If you know what the original tastes like, the vegetarian substitute is usually a disappointment. - 4/10/2014 1:12:20 PM
    I really like this article and found it very informative. What we need to remember is that fast food is never the best choice, but if we are away from home and want to stay on track these are the best options. I have high blood pressure and watch my sodium intake and when I have one of these high sodium choices I am just very careful of what I eat for the rest of the day. If the restaurant you are looking for isn't listed just use your phone or computer and go to their website to look at the nutritional information. I really wish people would just appreciate all of the information that is provided for free on SP and stop complaining about everything! - 3/2/2014 9:53:06 AM
    This is a great article reminding us that we can always go the other route and order something with a lot less calories or fat. I find it helps to plan ahead of time and go to a restaurant's website to decide what to get, although sometimes if you are with friends it can become a last minute thing. I'm so glad spark has so many tips when it comes to fast food and dining out. - 1/4/2014 8:49:28 PM
  • I agree HALLELUL - 11/3/2013 2:20:30 PM
    "These are the most popular fast food restaurants? I've never seen a Jack in the Box and never heard of a Carls Jr. Did they choose most popular based on a poll? I would have liked to see some more relevant options, but hopefully these helped other people with their choices"

    She listed KFC,Taco Bell,Subway,Burge
    r King,and McDonalds. What more do you want? Hardee's is the same thing as Carl's Jr. if you have one of those nearby. - 11/3/2013 12:45:43 PM
    To people whining about sodium and saying that these aren't healthy choices; the title says "healthiest fast food". The items aren't healthy compared to grilled chicken,vegetable
    s,etc..,but they are the healthiest choices from those particular restaurants. - 11/3/2013 12:43:44 PM
  • These are the most popular fast food restaurants? I've never seen a Jack in the Box and never heard of a Carls Jr. Did they choose most popular based on a poll? I would have liked to see some more relevant options, but hopefully these helped other people with their choices! - 8/6/2013 9:37:43 AM
  • SJM28411
    None of these are good choices. The sodium levels are off the chart! - 2/25/2013 11:40:50 AM
  • Not many vegetarian options here. I'd love to see the healthiest vegetarian alternatives in fast food! - 1/13/2013 8:18:08 PM
  • Order a child's meal when you want that burger and fries. - 9/25/2012 1:20:43 PM
  • KEV132KWA
    Definitely agree that we should eat less fast food as a country. I think the biggest reason most of us resort to fast food places like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and the likes is that we don't have time to get food anywhere else. There is a solution, though! Food Trucks! Food trucks serve better food, serve MUCH healthier food, at a cheaper price, and are just as quick getting the food to you. For those of you who have negative preconceptions of food trucks, give them a try, I bet you're pleased. Oh, and for fellow New Yorkers, check out Foodtoeat. com, NYC's new online ordering site that allows users to place orders for pick up from food trucks, saving even MORE time and saving you from standing on line! Enjoy, ladies and gentlemen, and stay away from all those nasty "burgers" and "fries." - 7/26/2012 12:32:57 PM

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