TLS Tip: 10 Healthy Fast Food Meals

By: Amanda Belo

You’re ambitious about your exercise and focused on eating healthy, but the hustle and bustle of everyday life can still get in the way of the best intentions. There seems to be a fast food chain on every corner when you find yourself hungry and on-the-run which can spell disaster if you aren’t careful, but this list of 10 healthy fast food meals is here to save the day!

How to Order

Fast food may check all the boxes when you’re left without a healthy breakfast or lunch, but ingredients like sodium, fat, sugar and cholesterol will leave your body with unhealthy, unnecessary calories. On the positive side, most popular fast food chains have begun to list the nutrition information on either their in-store or online menus which can be an excellent resource for monitoring intake or choosing healthy fast food options! While it’s helpful to have these menus, you do want to know what to look for!  Try and stick with items that offer:

  • No trans fat
  • Significant protein
  • A manageable calorie sum
  • Low sodium
  • Little to no added sugar

Also, keep in mind that sometimes a trade-off may be necessary. Even though a healthy fast food choice exists at your local burger joint, that doesn’t make it completely flawless! That salad, for example, may be loaded with nutritious fiber and protein but also comes with extremely high sodium. Then you take note of the sandwich and realize that, despite the fat and calorie content being on the high side, everything else is prepared in adequate amounts.

Neither option is perfect, so we suggest choosing the option that both fits your own, personal goals and allows for a little wiggle room later in the day! If you go with the sandwich then be sure to keep a close eye on your fat and calorie intake for the remainder of the day. If you opt for the salad, stay away from other high-sodium foods and increase your water for the day.

healthy fast food

What to Order

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is important to be conscious about your choices when deciding to eat out. If fast food appears to be the easier option, play it smart. Here’s a guide on healthy fast food items you can order that won’t completely throw your diet out the window.

One more thing: ixnay on the sodas and sides (e.g. fries, desserts)!


Rise and shine with these suggestions that are sure to get your day started off right:

Dunkin’ Donuts Ham, Egg, And Cheese Wake-Up Wrap

The Dunkin’ Donuts Ham, Egg, and Cheese Wake-Up Wrap is a great healthy fast food option for your morning as it contains nine grams of protein with only 190 calories! It is also a designated DDSMART® healthy choice menu selection. According to, DDSMART® items are “reduced in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar or sodium by at by at least 25% compared to a base product or other appropriate reference product and/or contain an ingredient or nutrient that is nutritionally beneficial.”

The DDSMART® menu also includes Oatmeal, Turkey Sausage on an English Muffin, and Egg White Veggie Flatbread.

For more nutritional information, click here.


Taco Bell Breakfast Soft Taco

The Breakfast Soft Taco from Taco Bell is not just low in calories, but it’s also low on price. Go meatless with the egg and cheese option for a 170 calorie breakfast taco with 7 grams of protein.

For more nutritional information, click here.


McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal

Just say ‘no’ to the brown sugar and cream, then you’ve got a filling and fiber-rich healthy fast food option for breakfast from the Golden Arches. McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, topped with diced apples and a cranberry raisin blend, is only 290 calories and packs in five grams of protein and fiber respectively.

For more nutritional information, click here.

Starbucks Spinach, Feta, + Cage-Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap

Low in calories and big on protein and fiber, this is another great vegetarian option on our breakfast list to start your day. Each whole-wheat wrap is prepared with cage-free egg whites, spinach, feta cheese, and tomatoes, and contains 19 grams of protein and six grams of fiber. Alternatively, make this a lunch option with a healthy side.

For more nutritional information, click here.

Chick-fil-A Egg White Grill

If Chick-fil-A is your go-to in the morning, ditch the chicken biscuit and go for the Egg White Grill. This healthy fast food starter has grilled chicken, egg whites and American cheese served on a multigrain English muffin. You’ll get 25 grams of protein and three grams of fiber from this breakfast sandwich.

For more nutritional information, click here.


Lunch or Dinner

Whether it’s noon or 6 p.m., try these suggestions for a lighter lunch or dinner option. Some places even have special menus devoted to healthier options, so make sure to ask or check online, too!

In-N-Out Protein® Style Burger

On In-N-Out’s “Not-So-Secret Menu” you’ll find the Protein® Style burger. What you get is a burger wrapped in lettuce and no bun to cut down on carbohydrates and calories.

You may also find that other restaurants will make accommodations for going “bunless” since eating burgers sans the bread has been common for years now.

For more nutritional information, click here.

Taco Bell Fresco Style

The Fresco Menu at Taco Bell gives you the option to take favorites that would normally include sour cream and cheese and substitutes them with pico de gallo salsa. All you have to do is ask for the item “fresco style.”

For example, a fresco-style soft taco with chicken or a crunchy taco with beef is 150 calories with no cheese  – 20  calories less than non-fresco style; a Burrito Supreme® with steak is 340 calories without cheese or reduced-fat sour cream – 40 calories less than non-fresco style; and, a Black Bean Burrito is 350 calories with no cheese blend – 40 calories less than non-fresco style.

For more nutritional information, click here.

Burger King MorningStar Farms® Veggie Burger

Burger King not only flame broils their beef burgers, but they’ve also teamed up with popular veggie burger brand MorningStar Farms® for a vegetarian-friendly sandwich at 310 calories (minus the mayonnaise!). It also contains 21 grams of protein and five grams of fiber.

For more nutritional information, click here.

Subway 6-inch Turkey Breast Sub

If Subway is your thing, a six-inch turkey sub only costs you 280 calories on 9-grain wheat bread with cucumbers, green peppers, lettuce, red onions, and tomato.  If you please, go crazy with more veggies – but forget the cheese. Another great option is the Veggie Delight® for vegetarians or a Meatless Monday.

For more nutritional information, click here.

Chipotle Salad with Steak

The calories can add up quickly at Chipotle without you even knowing. Just adding brown rice to a burrito salad bowl is 210 calories! It’s possible to choose ingredients that work for you and still allow you to stay within reasonable nutritional values – like a salad with steak. Add in romaine lettuce, fajita vegetables, black beans and tomatillo chili salsa (green or red), and you’ve got a meal that’s 325 – 340 calories.

For more nutritional information, click here.


There are a multitude of options out there if fast food is your most accessible option.
Just use your resources, use your head and keep your healthy goals in mind!





*Nutritional values accessed directly from restaurant websites.