I don’t know about you, but making a healthy lunch everyday is just not part of my lifestyle. It’s so much easier to eat at a fast food joint. Well, if you’re anything like this joggler, you’ll love this list of healthy options at fast food restaurants compiled by the good folks at Windy City Sports magazine.
Healthiest Fast Food Options
14. Wendy’s Ultimate Chicken Grill (370 cal, 8 fat, 44 carb, 31 protein, 1050 sodium). Highest calories on the list but way below the average fast food fare. Also high in sodium so it might be best for after a long juggling run.
13. Wendy’s Jr. BBQ Cheeseburger (330 cal, 13 fat, 36 carb, 17 protein, 800 sodium). The only cheeseburger that made the list. It’s the highest fat content you’ll find here but it’s a great choice if you’re choosing Wendy’s.
12. KFC Honey BBQ Sandwich (300 cal, 6 fat, 41 carb, 22 protein, 920 sodium). Low fat and high carbs put this tasty sandwich higher on the list. The high sodium level means you should have this one after a long run.
11. Arby’s Santa Fe Salad w/ Grilled Chicken (306 cal, 11 fat, 20 carbs, 30 protein, 621 sodium). This one’s a protein lovers dream, a whopping 30 grams of protein in one sandwich. At 300+ calories it’s pretty high but you get those all-important veggies with a relatively low level of sodium. Only a bland taste keeps this one out of the top 10.
10. Burger King Hamburger (290 cal, 12 fat, 30 carbs, 15 protein, 560 sodium). The flavor of BK hamburgers takes me back to when I was a kid. I loved Burger King. And Julie Mollozo if I remember correctly. But Burger King changed their fries and Julie Mollozo moved away and things were never the same. Still, if you’re going to eat at Burger King, stick with the hamburger.
9. Subway Turkey Breast (280 cal, 4.5 fat, 46 carbs, 18 protein, 1020 sodium). To watch Jarrett’s commercials you’d think that everything at Subway was healthy. Well, it’s not but there some good choices. Take this sandwich for example. Low fat, low cal and packed with carbs. The high sodium level makes this a good choice to eat before a long, 15 mile or more run.
8. Arby’s Ham and Swiss Melt Sandwich (275 cal, 6 fat, 35 carbs, 17 protein, 1117 sodium). This is the tastiest one of the bunch. Excellent flavor, low fat and high carbs. There’s a huge amount of sodium – almost half the daily allowance – but you’re a runner. You need some extra electrolytes.
7. KFC Fish Snacker Sandwich (270 cal, 10 fat, 34 carbs, 13 protein, 640 sodium). This one edges out #8 because it has a much lower sodium level. It’s a better choice to eat after a shorter run like a 5K and on Fridays during Lent for Catholics.
6. McDonalds Hamburger (260 cal, 9 fat, 33 carbs, 13 protein, 530 sodium). Not as tasty as the Burger King burger but it’s lower in fat, calories, and sodium. Putting all those factors together, this one is a great choice if you’re at McDonalds. Add to your meal one of those excellent McDonald’s Ice Cream Cones (150 cals) and you’ve got a meal!
5. Subway 6-in Veggie Delite (230 cals, 3 fat, 44 carbs, 9 protein, 520 sodium). A nice satisfying choice packed with carbs, but low in fat, calories and sodium. You could almost eat 2 of these and still feel good about yourself. Unfortunately, these things lack the flavor of some of the other foods on this list.
4. Taco Bell Gordita Baja-Steak (230 cals, 7 fat, 29 carbs, 13 protein, 570). I love the Gordita! Who knew that is was healthy for you too? And the nice thing about Taco Bell is that you won’t be tempted to buy some great tasting gut buster product like French Fries. They just don’t have them.
3. Burger King Tendergrill Garden Salad (230 cals, 8 fat, 11 carbs, 32 protein, 720 sodium). In the battle of fast food salads, Burger King is a little behind McDonald’s but this one isn’t a bad choice. Low cal, low fat and high in protein, this one makes a great recovery food after a long juggling session.
2. McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (220 cals, 6 fat, 4 carbs, 30 protein, 890 sodium). This salad is a bit more flavorful than the Burger King version and has even less fat to bulk you up. If you have a sensitive stomach after working out, this salad is the way to go. It’ll fill you up, replenish your sodium and settle your stomach. And it goes great with those ice cream cones.
1. Taco Bell Spicy Chicken Soft Taco (180 cal, 7 fat, 21 carbs, 10 protein, 580 sodium). Now this is a great choice provided you can eat only one. Low calories, low fat, low sodium and packed with carbs & protein. It even has veggies like tomatoes and lettuce. The flavor is even pretty good. Definitely a choice that can make all aspiring jogglers happy.
Of course, your best bet is to make your own lunch that is more healthy than the foods listed above. But for most people this is not reality. For the rest of us, stay away from Fries and shakes and make smart choices at the fast food joints. Your body and joggling times will thank you.
Incidentally, if you’re curious click to find about the healthiest candy bars you should eat.