Fast Food

Fast food restaurants have more healthy options than ever.

There are many side items that feature vegetables and fruits such as salads, apple slices, and carrots. These are some of the obvious healthy foods that you can choose. Order these options as often as possible instead of french fries or onion rings.

Some establishments dedicate a section of their menu to healthier options. For example, Taco Bell offers their Drive-Thru Diet menu and Dunkin Donuts has their DDSMART menu.

Remember, these menu items are usually better choices than what is on the rest of the menu, but you still need to consider portion size, calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium.

What about the sandwiches and other foods? Here are some suggestions when deciding what to order:

  • Order the smallest sandwich on the menu.
  • Ask for the grilled chicken instead of fried chicken in sandwiches, wraps, and salads.
  • Ask for sandwiches without mayonnaise, sauces, and cheese. Opt for low-fat or low-calorie sauces and dressings. Some good condiment options are mustard, fat-free salad dressing, salsa, or barbecue sauce.
  • If you order french fries, split an order with friends. Keep portions small and consider fries a “treat.”
  • Choose sugar-free drinks such as water, unsweetened tea, coffee, or diet fountain drinks.
  • Main course salads are another option at fast food places. Be careful though, sometimes salads with a lot of high-fat meats and cheese actually have more calories than a cheeseburger. Also, dressing packets are often large. When it comes to salad dressing, a little can go a long way so use the smallest amount possible.
  • Choose lean meats for subs or a veggie sub. Try the turkey or grilled chicken breast sub instead of a meatball sub.

Meal Makeover

How many calories can you save and still enjoy a sub lunch?


  • 6-inch meatball sub with cheese (580 calories; 70 grams of carbohydrate)
  • 1-ounce bag of chips (150 calories; 15 grams of carbohydrate)
  • 16-ounce regular soda (280 calories; 78 grams of carbohydrate)

Total: 1,010 calories; 163 grams of carbohydrate


  • 6-inch turkey breast sub with vegetable toppings, cheese, and mustard (290 calories; 47 grams of carbohydrate)
  • Apple slices (35 calories; 9 grams of carbohydrate)
  • 16-ounce diet soda (0 calories; 0 calories grams of carbohydrate)

Total: 325 calories; 58 grams of carbohydrate

You can cut 685 calories and 105 grams of carbohydrate in just one lunch by making a few small changes!

  • Last Reviewed: November 5, 2013
  • Last Edited: April 7, 2014

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