Let’s face it. No matter how healthful we try to eat, everyone ends up at a fast-food restaurant at some point, wondering what to order.
Is there such a thing as a healthy fast-food option? We asked two registered dietitians to consider the choices at 10 restaurants:
Ximena Jimenez, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association who works for Weston, Fla.-based MyRDtoGo Inc., a nutritional consulting company
Cindi Creighton-Reis, of Boca Raton, Fla., Community Hospital Diabetes & Nutrition Center
Here’s what they had to say. Oh, and just so you know, both dietitians admit to occasionally eating fast food.
The 420-calorie Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich is the best choice. Skip the mayonnaise and you reduce fat intake from 10 grams to 5 grams. But even with the mayo, it’s not a bad choice.
Finish your meal with a Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait, for calcium. It has 4 grams of protein and 130 calories without granola.
The Toasted Wrap with Original Recipe Chicken Strip without sauce has 270 calories and 11 grams of fat. Add a side order of 50-calorie green beans for fiber and Vitamin A.
The Pork TropiChop Combo is a one-bowl meal that includes yellow rice, vegetables (usually broccoli and carrots) and protein. It has 480 calories and 21 grams of fat. You can add a side of black beans for 7 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein.
STEAK ‘N SHAKE
Order the 337-calorie, double Marinated Grilled Chicken Sandwich. The difference between the single and double sandwich is minimal.
Add apples and grapes (an unusual fast-food choice) for fiber.
The Mandarin Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken Fillet is the best choice, with 540 calories and almost 25 grams of fat.
Using just half of the dressing saves you from about 10 grams of fat and 80 calories.
Have a fresh fruit bowl with yogurt or low-fat yogurt and you’ll get some calcium and potassium.
Stick with original menu items such as the Regular Roast Beef Sandwich, which has 320 calories, 13 grams of fat and about 950 milligrams of sodium. Newer sandwiches, such as the crispy Chicken Cordon Bleu, are nearly double in calories, fat and salt.
Add a salad for balance.
Best bets include the high-fiber, original, Regular bean burrito and a Fresco crunchy taco.
The burrito has 350 calories and 9 grams of fat. The taco has 150 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 8 grams of fat.
Always add extra tomato, lettuce, onion and salsa to your dishes.
Order the regular Flame-Broiled Hamburger. Just say no to the mayo to save 80 calories.
Ask for extra lettuce and tomato. And you’re allowed a small order of fries, provided you only eat half or share it with someone else.
This meal has about 500 calories and 8 grams of saturated fat vs. as much as 30 grams of saturated fat in other Burger King burgers.
Order a Double Whopper with Cheese and you’re consuming 990 calories and 24 grams of saturated fat.
The 6-inch, oven-roasted chicken breast sub on a whole wheat roll has 310 calories.
When it comes time to add vegetables, ask for lots.
You, of course, want to skip the mayo, but add a little oil, vinegar, pepper and oregano or mustard.
The Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich has just 270 calories and 3 grams of fat without any mayonnaise. The restaurant offers light mayo; a packet adds just 40 calories and 4 grams of fat.