Eating on-the-go and on-the-road is tough. You’re at the mercy of all those convenient and not-so-healthy fast food joints. When the hunger hits, you want something fast and filling, and “healthy” will only get it brownie points. Plus, finding healthy items on a fast food menu is like a treasure hunt: Most items contain way too many calories, saturated fat and sodium.
While we don’t recommend you eat fast food regularly, we want to provide you a few options in case you find yourself in a bind! Below are 15 healthier fast food choices that contain a reasonable amount of nutrients for one meal. As always, don’t be afraid to ask them to replace or remove ingredients that’ll improve the health of your meal. Most fast food items are heavy in meat, cheese and refined carbohydrates. To balance this out, we recommend you pack a few pieces of fruit when you travel.
Lean grilled chicken breast is your best bet for a portable lunch. Burger King’s grilled chicken sandwich comes with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and a potato bun. We recommend you sneak in more vegetables by asking for extra lettuce and tomatoes. Bonus points if you ask them to hold the mayo and use mustard instead! Cutting a packet of mayo will save you 70 calories and 7 grams of fat.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 470 calories, 19 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 39 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 37 g protein, 840 mg sodium
Grilled chicken is served with a base of chopped romaine, green leaf lettuce and radicchio tossed with tomatoes, garlic croutons and cheddar cheese. Nutrition info doesn’t include salad dressing. We recommend a vinaigrette dressing rather than ranch or another cream-based dressing.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 340 calories, 15 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 16 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 39 g protein, 770 mg sodium
Start your morning with a light breakfast sandwich made with egg and cheese. Compared to the other breakfast choices on Burger King’s menu, the croissan’wich has less saturated fat and sodium. You can supplement with a piece of fruit or two.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 300 calories, 15 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 30 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 11 g protein, 580 mg sodium
A bakery-style bun topped with grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato and mayo. At just 350 calories, this chicken sandwich would be a light lunch. We recommend you pair it with McDonald’s side salad drizzled with low-fat balsamic vinaigrette to get even more vegetables. Nutrition info doesn’t include the side salad.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 350 calories, 9 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 42 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 28 g protein, 820 mg sodium
This lunch wrap fits neatly in the palm of your hand. Chopped breaded chicken is rolled into a flour tortilla along with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. It’s flavored with ranch sauce, but you can ask to hold the sauce and still get plenty of flavor. Nutrition info includes ranch.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 450 calories, 18 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 42 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 30 g protein, 1170 mg sodium
For those days when you need an energizing breakfast, hotcakes and sausage will do the trick. Be wary of how much syrup you use to sweeten this 500-calorie breakfast. Instead of using syrup we recommend you bring your own fruit! Sliced bananas would be a great pairing.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 520 calories, 24 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 61 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 15 g protein, 930 mg sodium
Need a zesty lunch? Try the southwest salad featuring lean grilled tossed with greens, black beans, tomatoes, corn, poblano peppers, cheese and tortilla strips. The salad contains a whopping 1070 mg of sodium, so if salt is your concern we recommend you cut out the tortilla strips and cheese as well as use dressing sparingly.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 350 calories, 11 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 27 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 37 g protein, 1070 mg sodium
This grilled breakfast burrito is made with bacon, eggs and cheese tucked into a flour tortilla. At 350 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat, it’s not the best choice but certainly better than Taco Bell’s breakfast quesadillas and crunchwraps. Get creative by bringing a side of baby carrots to munch along with your burrito.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 350 calories, 17 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 37 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 13 g protein, 910 mg sodium
This satisfying lunch option is vegetarian-friendly. Taco Bell’s veggie bowl is packed with fresh salsa, chopped lettuce, black beans, guacamole and rice. To cut down on empty fats, we recommend you omit the sour cream and ask for more salsa instead. Nutrition info includes sour cream.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 480 calories, 18 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 64 g carbohydrates, 13 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 16 g protein, 980 mg sodium
A handy, vegetarian-friendly panini is a good lunch option if you stop by Starbucks. You get a dose of veggies from the roasted tomatoes and spinach between toasted foccacia. Mozzarella and pesto makes this sandwich savory and creamy.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 420 calories, 18 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 47 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 11 g protein, 620 mg sodium
This lunch box contains all the ingredients you need to assemble a tasty chicken wrap. You get grilled chicken, red peppers, chile-lime veggie slaw and a chile tortilla.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 460 calories, 22 g total fat, 8 g saturated fat, 45 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 20 g protein, 610 mg sodium
Start your morning with a dose of lean protein from this spinach, feta egg white wrap. It’s vegetarian-friendly and packs 6 grams of filling fiber. At under 300 calories, it’s a really light breakfast. We recommend you pack an apple, banana or pear, so you can sneak in a serving of fruit.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 290 calories, 10 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 33 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 19 g protein, 830 mg sodium
Satisfy your breakfast sweet tooth with some blueberry oatmeal sweetened with agave syrup. Unlike the instant that you’re used to, steel-cut oats are nuttier and chewier! Starbucks mixes steel-cut and rolled oats to give you a balance of good texture. To bulk up this meal, add your own fruit.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 220 calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 43 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 5 g protein, 125 mg sodium
Feeling like it’s taco time? Chipotle’s chicken tacos on crunchy, hard shells will surely hit the spot. Top with black beans, fresh salsa, corn and romaine lettuce to sneak in those veggies. Nutrition info below is if you add all the toppings we just recommended. Concerned about sodium? Ask them to hold the black beans or salsa.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 540 calories, 17.5 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 53 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 43 g protein, 1070 mg sodium
Chipotle’s chicken burrito bowl made to order is a hearty lunch. Ask them to make yours with chicken, brown rice, pinto beans, fajita veggies and romaine lettuce. You get your lean protein, vegetables and whole grains all rolled into one meal.
Nutrition Info (per serving): 550 calories, 14.5 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 63 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 45g protein, 860 mg sodium
Do you have a reliable and healthy fast food pick? Share yours in the comments below.