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Another entry from the big M on our list, the Grilled Chicken Classic is like the more sensible, adult version of the McChicken. What makes it so much healthier than its less refined brother? The fact that it’s not breaded, and is instead just char-grilled. Not to mention, it comes on a much better bun with lettuce AND tomato. The Grilled Chicken Classic also comes with about half of your daily recommended amount of protein, making it an awesome choice for those days when you’re just too busy to make a meal.
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While it may seem like blasphemy to head to the home of the Whopper and skip out on their flagship sandwich, Burger King’s veggie burger is not only a nice and healthy choice – but it’s also surprisingly delicious! While some veggie burgers tend to fall on the bland, dry side of things, Burger King’s vegetarian patty is adequately spiced and moist, with a consistency that’s staggeringly close to the real thing, and similarly sized. With about half the fat and calories of a Whopper, and almost as much protein, this veggie burger is a smart and scrumptious choice when you’re pressed for time.
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Everyone’s familiar with this iconic and quintessential fast-food breakfast sandwich, but what you might not know is that it’s actually a pretty decent way to start your morning. Eggs are extremely high in good fats and proteins, and the yolks contain antioxidants like lutein and vitamins like choline, which help with eye and brain health. Plus, if you skip the bacon and the greasy hash browns, you now have a relatively low-fat, high-protein energy-packed boost for your hectic workday mornings. Clocking in at around 290 calories, it’s also stuffed with about 30% of your daily recommended amount of protein, and only 12 grams of fat. Not too bad for the golden arches.
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While Wendy’s isn’t exactly known for the healthiest food options, it might shock you to know that their rich and meaty chili is actually a great fast-food option to grab. Not only is it one of the more vegetable-heavy options at the fast food chain, but it’s loaded with something a vast amount of fast food lacks: fiber. Along with the protein from the ground beef, the chili’s kidney beans provide another awesome source of protein as well as essential fibers that your normal burger and fries combo isn’t going to provide.
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Got a hankering for some chicken during your lunch break, but don’t want to settle down with a big, greasy bucket? KFC actually offers a grilled chicken option that’s a much more sensible idea than their fat-laden original recipe - or extra crispy, for that matter. Not only does it cut down on the needless fats, but it’s also lower in sodium, cholesterol, and in calories, clocking in at about 180 calories per breast. Not to mention, chicken itself is high in protein, making it one of the best meats to choose anyway. If you’re going to go with the Colonel, this is the way to go.
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Healthy and Taco Bell aren’t necessarily things you hear together in the same sentence very often. However, when you set aside the absurd stoner options like Doritos shell tacos, and the gargantuan Cheesy Gordita Crunch, you’ll be delighted to find that Taco Bell’s Fresco Bean Burrito is a choice you’re probably not going to regret in two or three hours. By making the bean burrito “fresco,” you swap out the cheese and sour cream for pico de gallo, which cuts down on the fat and calories while still maintaining the deliciousness. With the beans providing a ton of protein and fiber, this is a Taco Bell order you can actually feel good about.
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While Chipotle may seem like an indulgence, with their giant burritos and monstrous salads, and tales of secret menu items like the “quesarito,” their Barbacoa Tacos are actually a great tasting and healthy option. Ordering three of the soft-shelled beef tacos means that you’ll have half the fat of one of Chipotle’s burritos, but still retain a good chunk of the protein, and will only be consuming around 500 calories. If you also go with the fresh tomato salsa on those, you’ll be adding some fiber, making it a well-balanced, fresh and delicious meal, although one that’s a bit messy to eat on the move.
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The third entry from McDonald's on our list - who knew that the fast food giant had so many sensible options? The McDonald's Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken cuts the carbs and empty calories you’d get from a burger, and instead replaces it with some greens and some lean grilled chicken. The big trap when ordering a fast food salad however is the dressing, so if you have to get some, be sure and pick a vinegar-based dressing, and not one of the fat and calorie loaded creamy ones. This salad will taste just as good with a balsamic vinaigrette as it would with a bacon ranch. Or at least ask for the dressing on the side, so that you can portion how much of it you use.
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Bet you didn’t see this one coming. While Arby’s may be known for its less healthy options like their gigantic meat and bacon sandwiches smothered in gooey sauces, its flagship roast beef sandwich is an awesome choice for lunch if you’re pressed for time. High in protein, low in fat and just plain delicious, the Roast Beef Jr. from Arby’s is a perfect little lunch all rolled up into a soft and scrumptious sandwich - just skip that cheese sauce. With around 12 grams of protein and only about 6 grams of fat, it’s a mouth-watering option that will keep you energized and won’t make you worry about your waistline.