25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (2024)

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25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (1)

ByCarrie Madormo, RN

Taste of Home's Editorial Process

Updated: Jun. 24, 2024

    Just because you're out and about doesn't mean you have to settle for a meal that's not good for you. Next time you hit the drive-thru, look for these tasty and healthy fast-food items.

    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (2)GETTY IMAGES (4)

    There are more healthy fast-food options than ever before. “When it comes to fast food, thankfully, there has been a growing demand for healthier choices and an improved response on the part of fast-food chains,” says board-certified physician Richard Han of JustAnswer.com.

    What is the healthiest fast food? We found crunchy salads, juicy chicken and even burgers that fit your healthy eating plan.


    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (3)

    via Tacobell.com

    Taco Bell: Fresco Crunchy Taco

    Nutrition Facts: 140 calories, 7 grams fat, 260 milligrams sodium

    The fresco crunchy taco features juicy ground beef and crunchy lettuce wrapped in a hard shell. It’s one of the healthiest fast-food items available, not to mention Taco Bell is one of the healthiest fast-food chains. While most tacos fall in the 170-300 calorie range, stay mindful of the sodium content and limit any extra sauces.


    KFC: Chicken Caesar Salad

    Nutrition Facts: 190 calories, 6 grams fat, 740 milligrams sodium

    While a homemade Caesar salad isn’t too bad for you, the fast-food versions don’t usually make the list of healthy choices. But when you hold the croutons and go light on the dressing, it’s a great choice. Bring a side of fresh fruit for a quick lunch.


    Culver’s: Chicken Noodle Soup

    Nutrition Facts: 130 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 1190 milligrams sodium

    Low in calories but high in comfort, this classic is one of the healthy choices at Culver’s.

    If you’re watching your salt intake, this might not be your best bet, as it has a whopping 1,190 milligrams of sodium. For a good soup without all the salt, try making a big batch of chicken noodle soup at home with low-sodium broth. You can freeze it in portions to enjoy whenever you get the craving for the fast-food version.


    Subway: Veggie Delite with Avocado

    Nutrition Facts: 271 calories, 7.6 grams fat, 249 milligrams sodium

    Looking for a light lunch on the go? You can’t go wrong with the 6-inch Veggie Delite sandwich at Subway when you want healthy fast food. Before the cheese and sauces, it has 9.5 grams of protein. Add grilled chicken for more protein to stay full for longer.


    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (7)

    Courtesy Mcdonalds

    McDonald’s: Hamburger

    Nutrition Facts: 250 calories, 9 grams fat, 510 milligrams sodium

    If you thought that McDonald’s salads were the best healthy fast-food on the menu, we have a shock for you. The Southwest Salad is loaded with more sodium than a hamburger! Satisfy your real craving and go for the burger. The apple slices would be a better side than the fries, but because McDonald’s fries are scientifically that good, we’re all for a treat yourself moment.


    Burger King: Whopper Jr.

    Nutrition Facts: 290 calories, 12 grams fat, 500 milligrams sodium

    For a healthy fast-food burger out there, head to Burger King and grab a Whopper Jr. Add a side salad or small order of fries to round out your meal. Just hold the mayo to keep this meal more in line with your healthy lifestyle.


    Arby’s: Classic Roast Beef

    Nutrition Facts: 360 calories, 14 grams fat, 970 milligrams sodium

    When you’re craving roast beef, Arby’s has just the meal. A classic roast beef sandwich is filling and one of the healthiest fast-food items at this restaurant. Note that many menu items at Arby’s are high in both fat and sodium, so if you’re trying to keep your salt intake down, we’d recommend visiting a different fast-food restaurant.


    In-N-Out Burger: Hamburger

    Nutrition Facts: 360 calories, 16 grams fat, 660 milligrams sodium

    If you can’t get enough of In-N-Out, opt for a classic hamburger with onions. Or lighten up your meal by sharing it with a friend. Split a hamburger and an order of fries with a pal and you’ll get the indulgent flavor you’re craving, but with 393 calories and 448 milligrams of sodium.


    Sonic: Junior Burger

    Nutrition Facts: 330 calories, 15 grams fat, 710 milligrams sodium

    No matter where you go, there is probably a Sonic nearby. Swing by the drive-thru! The junior burger is one of the top healthy fast-food burgers out there, and it’s also hands-down one of the best fast-food burgers, according to our taste test.


    Chipotle: Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

    Nutrition Facts: 570 calories, 30 grams fat, 14 grams protein

    With plenty of light options like roasted veggies and hearty brown rice, you can put together a healthy Chipotle order in seconds. The vegetarian burrito bowl has 30 grams of fat, but much of it is healthy fat thanks to the avocado spread. To cut back on the sodium, try recreating your favorite meals with Chipotle copycat recipes.


    Chick-fil-A: Grilled Nuggets

    Nutrition Facts: 130 calories, 3 grams fat, 440 milligrams sodium

    You may not think of chicken nuggets as being on the list of healthy fast food, but maybe that’s because you haven’t tried Chick-fil-A’s juicy grilled nuggets yet. Chicken always makes our list of high-protein foods, and because this grilled version isn’t coated in breading, you can safely choose it for a healthier option.


    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (14)

    Courtesy Starbucks

    Starbucks: Spinach, Feta and Egg White Wrap

    Nutrition Facts: 290 calories, 8 grams fat, 840 milligrams sodium

    For healthy Starbucks food that will keep you going all day, pull into the drive-thru for a spinach, feta and egg white wrap. It’s a wonderful option for a lighter breakfast or lunch that will keep you fuller longer because of the protein content (20 grams). Don’t forget to pair it with one of your go-to healthy Starbucks drinks.


    Pizza Hut: Veggie Lover’s Thin ‘N Crispy Pizza

    Nutrition Facts (1/4 pizza): 200 calories, 6 grams fat, 500 milligrams sodium

    When a pizza craving hits, go to the Hut. Pizza Hut’s thin crust veggie pizza is loaded with fresh vegetables like mushrooms, green bell peppers, onions and tomatoes. Two slices have just 200 calories, and the thin crust contains less dough than other types of pizza—which means all the taste without extra calories and fat.


    Dairy Queen: Dilly Bar

    Nutrition Facts: 220 calories, 12 grams fat, 25 grams carbs

    Dairy Queen may make you think of loaded DQ blizzards full of candy but there are lighter options to satisfy your sweet tooth. A Dilly Bar combines creamy vanilla soft serve with a crunchy chocolate exterior. It’s the perfect grab-and-go option because it comes on a stick.


    Panda Express: Mushroom Chicken

    Nutrition Facts: 170 calories, 9 grams fat, 750 milligrams sodium

    Packed with roasted mushrooms and zucchini, Panda Express’ mushroom chicken dish fills you up with healthy veggies. The chicken is tossed in a light ginger soy sauce for pumped-up flavor without extra calories. Most menu items here are high in sodium so keep an eye on that number if you’re trying to cut back on salt.

    One way to lower the sodium content is to make Panda Express copycat recipes at home.


    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (18)

    Courtesy Wendys

    Wendy’s: Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

    Nutrition Facts: 440 calories, 22 grams fat, 790 milligrams sodium

    Most fast-food salads tend to look healthier than they are, but the Wendy’s apple pecan chicken salad is the real deal. It contains juicy chicken breast, fruit and veggies. Consider ordering the toppings like raspberry vinaigrette dressing, roasted pecans and crumbled blue cheese on the side. This way, you can lighten it up by only adding as much as you’d like.


    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (19)

    Courtesy CKE Restaurants

    Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr: Original Hot Ham ‘N Cheese

    Nutrition Facts: 280 calories, 12 grams fat, 1140 milligrams sodium

    It’s time to think beyond the burgers at Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. The original hot ham ‘n cheese is juicy and delicious for a fraction of the fat and calories. It also packs 19 grams of protein to keep you full and satisfied. Consider requesting less ham if you’d like to lower the sodium a bit more.


    Dunkin’: Wake-Up Wrap

    Nutrition Facts: 180 calories, 10 grams fat, 470 milligrams sodium

    No time for a homemade breakfast? No problem. Swing by Dunkin’ for a wake-up wrap with egg and cheese. It’s a surprisingly healthy Dunkin menu item and gives you 7 grams of protein for the day ahead.


    Panera: Turkey Chili

    Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 10 grams fat, 690 milligrams sodium

    Panera may be known for its sandwiches and salads, but don’t forget the flavorful soups. The turkey chili is filling and low in calories. If you’re craving more variety, try a you-pick-two meal with a cup of turkey chili paired with half of a deli turkey or Mediterranean veggie sandwich. If you’re not feeling the sandwich options, opt for a small green goddess Cobb salad or the Greek salad.

    To keep the sodium and fat lower, try making Panera copycat recipes at home.


    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (22)

    Courtesy dominos

    Domino’s: Thin Crust Veggie Pizza

    Nutrition Facts (1/8 pizza): 135 calories, 2 grams fat, 250 milligrams sodium

    Get all the pizza taste you crave without the extra fat and sodium. The Domino’s veggie thin-crust pizza has a crispy crust topped with fresh spinach, fresh mushroom, diced tomatoes and black olives. It has less cheese than the chain’s other pizzas too.


    Jack in the Box: Chicken Fajita Pita with Salsa

    Nutrition Facts: 330 calories, 9 grams fat, 790 milligrams sodium

    Burgers likely come to mind when you walk into a Jack in the Box, but it may be time to expand your horizons. The chicken fajita pita with salsa packs in flavor from the fajita veggies and fresh salsa. It’s filling with four grams of fiber and just as tasty as the other menu items.


    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (24)

    Courtesy Popeyes

    Popeyes: Blackened Chicken Tenders

    Nutrition Facts: 170 calories, 2 grams fat, 550 milligrams sodium

    Fried chicken is usually high in fat and calories, but the blackened chicken tenders at Popeyes are different. Instead of breading, they’re coated in Cajun seasoning for rich flavor without weighing you down. They also pack 26 grams of protein to keep you full.


    Einstein Bros. Bagels: Turkey Sausage and Cheddar Egg White Sandwich

    Nutrition Facts: 450 calories, 12 grams fat, 1020 milligrams sodium

    Sticking to a healthy eating plan doesn’t mean you have to give up comforting breakfasts like eggs and sausage. Grab a turkey sausage and cheddar egg white sandwich at Einstein’s for a healthy yet satisfying meal. It’s still high in sodium, so if you’re concerned about salt, consider taking off the turkey sausage.


    Qdoba: Fajita Veggie Post-Workout Bowl

    Nutrition Facts: 530 calories, 17 grams fat, 1350 milligrams sodium

    Craving a light lunch after your workout? Head to Qdoba for a fajita veggie post-workout bowl. It boasts 17 grams of protein and contains brown rice, black beans, fresh guacamole, fajita veggies and tangy salsa. It is quite high in sodium so we don’t recommend this option if you’re trying to watch your salt intake.

    Try lightening up your other favorites with Qdoba copycat recipes.


    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (27)

    Chirayu/Getty Images

    Five Guys: Little Hamburger

    Nutrition Facts: 540 calories, 26 grams fat, 380 milligrams sodium

    Five Guys is known for its giant burgers and orders of fries, but it may be time to think smaller. The chain’s little hamburger is rich and juicy without all of the fat and calories. You could go bunless for an even lighter option. Ask the friendly staff to add veggies like mushrooms, onions, jalapenos, lettuce and tomatoes.

    Originally Published: December 27, 2021


    Carrie Madormo, RN

    Carrie is a nurse and health writer who has worked with Taste of Home for six years. As a former health coach, she’s written across a range of health publications and digital outlets and strives to translate the latest health and nutrition research into easy-to-understand information and actionable articles.

    Read More

    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (28)

    25 Healthy Fast-Food Orders for When You're on the Go (2024)


    What is a healthy food to eat on the go? ›

    Snack pack ideas include chopped fruit, granola, rice cakes, smoothie-ready ingredients , frozen fruit, or yogurt. Similar to snack packs, find protein bars that don't have added sugar or try making your own protein bar like this pumpkin apple protein bar found on Diabetes Food Hub®.

    What are 5 healthy ordering suggestions when going to a fast food restaurant? ›

    Healthier fast food burger options
    Chicken “nuggets” or tendersGrilled chicken strips
    Salad with toppings such as bacon, cheese, and ranch dressingGarden salad with grilled chicken and low-fat dressing (ordered on the side)
    MilkshakeYogurt parfait or a small vanilla sundae in a cup (no toppings or cone)
    2 more rows
    May 22, 2024

    What is the healthiest fast food to eat? ›

    • Panda Express String Bean Chicken Breast. Panda Express. ...
    • Chick-fil-A Market Salad. Chick-fil-A. ...
    • Panera Bread Mediterranean Bowl With Chicken. ...
    • Dairy Queen Hamburger Kids' Meal. ...
    • Taco Bell Power Menu Bowl - Veggie. ...
    • Pizza Hut Veggie Lover's Pizza With Thin and Crispy Crust. ...
    • Wendy's Baked Potato and Chili. ...
    • Hardee's & Carl's Jr.
    Feb 14, 2024

    What fast food is easy on the stomach? ›

    However, there are some fast food options that can be easier on your digestion. Grilled chicken or fish, salads with light dressing, and vegetable sides are all good choices. Additionally, opting for water or unsweetened tea instead of sugary drinks can also help with digestion.

    What are 10 go foods? ›

    10 examples of go, glow and grow food
    • GO. Bread. Rice. Pasta. Cereal. Potato. Crackers. Pancake. Grains. Muffins. Corn.
    • GLOW. Spinach. Tomato. Squash. Avocado. Broccoli. Brown Rice. Eggplant. Lemon. Orange. Pepper.
    • GROW. Milk. Meat. Fish. Baked Potatoes. Tofu. Sliced Melons. Shellfish. Lobster. Cheese. Sausage.
    Jul 19, 2018

    What are quick go to healthy snacks? ›

    Satisfying grab-and-go snacks
    • Hummus and pretzel pack. ...
    • Raw vegetables with ranch dressing. ...
    • Hand fruits (apples, bananas, pears). ...
    • Nuts or seeds. ...
    • Whole grain rice cakes. ...
    • Fruit cups. ...
    • Apple sauce. ...
    • Granola bar, particularly Kind or Clif brands.
    Mar 2, 2022

    What is the healthiest food to eat out? ›

    Thumbs Up: Grilled chicken, chicken fajita pitas, turkey sandwiches, baked chips, or frozen yogurt. Thumbs Down: Jumbo burgers, fried fish sandwiches, fried chicken, tacos, French fries, potato chips, milk shakes, cheese, mayonnaise, bacon.

    Is Subway a healthy fast food? ›

    "The nutrient profile at Subway was slightly healthier, but the food still contained three times the amount of salt that the Institute of Medicine recommends," Lesser said. The authors suggested that the higher sodium content of the Subway meals likely came from the restaurant's processed meats.

    Can some fast-food be healthy? ›

    Although not impossible, it is more of a challenge to eat healthy when going to a fast-food restaurant. In general, avoiding items that are deep fried is your best bet. Healthier choices include sandwiches with leaner protein (such as grilled chicken breast) that can be loaded with vegetables.

    What is the healthiest junk food? ›

    Let's explore a few junk foods that, surprisingly, aren't as sinful for your healthy eating habits as you might think.
    • Popcorn: Story continues below Advertisem*nt. ...
    • Chocolate: Related stories. ...
    • Salted nuts: ...
    • Full-fat yoghurt: ...
    • Cheese: ...
    • Tortilla chips and salsa: ...
    • Pizza:
    Jul 12, 2023

    What is the healthiest fast food sandwich you can eat? ›

    Eat This Not That: The Healthiest Fast Food Options
    • Burger King. Eat This: Grilled Chicken Sandwich. ...
    • McDonald's. Eat This: Grilled Chicken Wrap. ...
    • Taco Bell. Eat This: Fresco Soft Taco. ...
    • Subway. Eat This: Turkey Breast Sub. ...
    • KFC. Eat This: Grilled Chicken Breast. ...
    • Starbucks. Eat This: Spinach, Feta & Cage-Free Egg White Wrap.
    Apr 19, 2024

    Which fast food is good for weight loss? ›

    Chipotle Chicken Bowl

    Hands down, the Chicken Burrito Bowl at Chipotle is a great fast-food meal for weight loss, says Sarah Pflugradt, MS, RDN, CSCS. "With chicken, brown rice, beans, lettuce, extra salsa, and corn, you can't beat the protein and fiber.

    Is Chinese food healthy for you? ›

    Well that depends on where you are eating. If you go to a fast-food style, Americanized Chinese restaurant serving “fried everything” with MSG, then no, it's not healthy. However, many ingredients in traditional Chinese dishes are abundant in nutrients, and work to keep your health in good shape.

    What is the healthiest food to eat while traveling? ›

    Bring healthy snacks
    • whole or dried fruit.
    • freeze-dried veggies.
    • nuts in preportioned snack bags.
    • nut butters in travel packs.
    • whole grain pretzels, crackers and breadsticks.
    • trail mix.
    • snack bars (look for ones with whole grains, nuts and fruit and few added sugars)

    What is the healthiest take out to eat? ›

    'Go for grilled dishes over fried; chicken and fish over fattier meats, like lamb; tomato or veggie sauces rather than creamy ones; and steamed rice over fried,' advises Tilt. She also suggests avoiding sides and other add-ons unless they're vegetables, as well as eating mindfully and being aware of portion sizes.

    What is a healthy food to eat while out? ›

    Thumbs Up: Grilled chicken, chicken fajita pitas, turkey sandwiches, baked chips, or frozen yogurt. Thumbs Down: Jumbo burgers, fried fish sandwiches, fried chicken, tacos, French fries, potato chips, milk shakes, cheese, mayonnaise, bacon.

    Which food would be best for eating on a long trip? ›

    During road trips, munching on hydrating, high-fiber foods like fruit may keep your bowel movements regular and help prevent constipation caused by inactivity ( 3 ). Apples, strawberries, and bananas are great paired with high protein nut butters like almond or peanut butter for a filling snack.

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