If you’re on a diet or want to eat something healthy outside, you wouldn’t prefer eating a pizza or hamburger. But, wait! W...
If you’re on a diet or want to eat something healthy outside, you wouldn’t prefer eating a pizza or hamburger. But, wait! What if you could keep a curb your calorie count without upsetting your taste buds? Well, that’s actually possible! From McDonald’s to Starbucks and Papa John’s to many other favorite fast food restaurants of yours, you can find healthy lunch and breakfast options.
But before we jump on to the low-calorie fast food items, you may want to know how fast food becomes healthy! So here’s a quick overview to help you understand that.
We all know that fast food items typically have a considerably high amount of calories and potentially harmful content in high amounts like sugar and sodium. So when we call fast food ‘healthy’ or ‘low-cal’, it has a suitable combination of macronutrients. It’s all about moderation and providing some benefits. Check out the key parameters below.
So here are 10 low-calorie fast food meals you can try at your favorite fast-food restaurant. And the good news is we have included options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians! All of these contain less than 500 calories with enough protein and moderate fat, sugar, and sodium.
BK Veggie burger offered by Burger King is an exciting low-cal choice for vegetarians. The good thing about it is that, unlike many of its burgers that have high sodium and trans fats, this one doesn’t have them. And yes, pairing it with mayonnaise and fried options is a big no-no. But you can surely pair it with a garden salad.
22 g (25 g if you opt for cheese) of protein- a whopping amount to help strengthen your muscles
7 g of fat- moderate
42 g of carbs (7 g fiber)- nearly 14% of recommended daily intake
900 mg of sodium- approx. half of the recommended daily intake (7.1)
Even though you may feel tempted to have delicious pastries or scones at Starbucks, but a low-cal Spinach & Feta Wrap is surely a healthier option. Rich in fiber and protein, this one has low saturated fat content in comparison to other breakfast sandwiches. As far as lunch goes, this wrap has a pretty low-calorie count and tastes great with plain Greek yogurt or fresh fruit.
19 g of protein- a good amount to strengthen your muscles
10 g of fat- moderate
33 g of carbs- quite high, consider replacing sugary or carb-heavy snacks with protein-rich ones
830 mg of sodium- a little less than half of the recommended daily intake (7.2)
Taco Bell’s Fresco menu is all about cutting down calories and healthy offerings. Fresco Chicken Burrito Supreme has calories on the lower side. Heavier sauces are replaced by pico de gallo which is combined with two low-cal ingredients: soft taco and shredded chicken. Pairing it with yogurt or a small salad or some fresh fruit can add to the taste. Fresco Bean Burrito is its vegetarian version with similar nutritional value.
19 g of protein- more than sufficient amount to help strengthen your muscles
8 g of fat- moderate
49 g of carbs- approx. 16% of recommended daily intake
1060 mg of sodium- close to half of the recommended daily intake (7.3)
McDonald’s serves breakfast all day long allowing you to have your healthy low-cal Egg McMuffin for lunch or dinner. Simply avoid American cheese to lower extra calories, sodium, and saturated fat. You can also add apple slices to make it more fruitful. Fruit and yogurt parfait is McDonald’s popular healthy morning offering.
18 g of protein- one-third of the daily recommended value to help strengthen your muscles
12 g of fat- a bit high but that doesn’t make it a deal-breaker
29 g of carbs- on the lower side
730 mg of sodium- a little less than half of recommended daily intake (7.4)
Shack-cago dog is a toothsome veggie-heavy, Chicago-style flat-top dog. Strangely, its standard dog is much healthier than its chicken version because of its lower sodium content.
16 g of protein- a good amount to strengthen your muscles
20 g of fat (10 g sat, 1 g trans)- quite high but that doesn’t make it a deal-breaker
33 g of carbs- on the lower side
1140 mg of sodium- 39% of recommended daily intake (7.5)
Known as the “home of original chicken sandwich”, grilled chicken cool wrap is a healthy and calorie-friendly chicken wrap. They have fairly serving normal sizes so it’s easy to keep calories below 500. But sodium is the major concern as all salads, except 200-calorie Grilled Market Salad, have over 1000 mg sodium. You may like it even better with yogurt, a small salad, or some fresh fruit.
37 g of protein- a whopping amount for strengthening your muscles
14 g of fat(5 g saturated, 0 g trans)- moderate
29 g of carbs (15 g fiber, 3 g sugar)- considerably low
960 mg of sodium- almost half of the recommended daily intake (7.6)
Apple & Cranberry salad is an entree salad available in many tasty flavors and textures. To avoid unnecessary calories, prefer the one with low-fat herb vinaigrette dressing. It is also offered with grilled chicken, but it’s best to go with herb vinaigrette dressing.
10 g of protein- a good amount to strengthen your muscles
36 g of carbs- on the lower side
10 g of fat (6 sat, 0 trans)- moderate
200 mg of sodium- very low (7.7)
Protein-style hamburger becomes a calorie-friendly choice when the bun is replaced with lettuce. It does contain some amount of beef. Better have just water and avoid fries along with it to keep it under 500 calories.
13 g of protein- a decent amount to strengthen your muscles
17 g of fat- a bit on the higher side
370 mg of sodium- nearly 15% of the daily recommended intake
11 g of carbs- substantially low (7.8)
Although Dunkin’ Donuts is a restaurant chain with a forte in the deep-fried dough, it does offer a couple of healthy breakfast choices such as Egg White Flatbread. Blood sugar and energy levels will be more stable as its carb content is on the lower side.
15 g of protein- a pretty good amount to strengthen your muscles
9 g of fat- moderate
33 g of carbs- nearly 11% of recommended daily intake
690 mg of sodium- less than half of recommended daily intake
One of the biggest challenges with pizza chains is high sodium content as research says it is bad for your heart. So if you’re a pizza lover, be careful about your salt intake for the rest of the day. Two medium slices of Garden Fresh Pizza will fulfill roughly half of your daily sodium allowance.
8 g of protein- a decent amount to strengthen your muscles
7 g of fat- moderate
27 g of carbs- pretty high, avoid sugary or carb-heavy snacks, and have protein-rich ones
490 mg of sodium- much less than half of recommended daily intake
PS: Make sure you don’t order something loaded with carbs, fats, sodium alongside any of these such as sugary drinks and fries.
On a concluding note, these are just handpicked low calories fast food choices you may like to try if you’re looking for something healthy.
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