Healthiest Fast-Food Menu Items

by in Dining Out, July 10, 2012

wendy's chicken wrap
Car trips are a fun way to spend time with your family, but with most rest stops fronting fast food joints, healthy eating can seem impossible. If you’re tired of continually saying NO to fast food—ease up, there are healthier choices you can make. Check out our list so you’re prepared on your next trip.

It was refreshing to see several healthy options provided on the Wendy’s website including the Grilled Chicken Go Wrap (pictured above) with a side of small chili (totaling 470 calories for the meal). The problem is, I’m not sure I’d want to be in a car with someone who just had chili! Luckily, you can opt for the baked potato instead or even the wrap with a small side salad (also for 470 calories). Looking to cut calories down? Wendy’s allows you to hold ingredients (like cheese or sour cream) so you tailor the meal to your liking.

Check out more healthy Wendy’s options.

In my neck of the woods, Arby’s seems to be at every rest stop. For a filling meal, opt for the Chopped Farmhouse Roasted Chicken Salad with chopped lettuce, diced tomato, red onion, pepper bacon, shredded cheddar and roasted chicken. The calories without the dressing are 250 calories, 14 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat and 670 milligrams sodium. Add the light Italian dressing for an additional 20 calories.

Do you eat gluten-free? Arby’s also has an extensive gluten-free menu to choose from.

Choose any of the 10 6-inch sandwich options for 6 grams of fat or less and your sandwich will be between 230 to 380 calories. One of my favorites is the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki—my pick for a family car trip. Pair with a water and small bag of Baked Lays for 130 calories more.

Check out more healthy Subway options.

Order Franks RedHot Chicken Sandwich for 340 calories, 16 grams of fat and 8 grams saturated fat, or if you really want a burger, the kids’ burger has 280 calories and 12 grams of fat. Unfortunately, the only veggie on the menu is the fries with a small weighing in at 300 calories—if you really need some, then share.

Taco Bell
You definitely have many calorie-friendly choices at Taco Bell. My basic rule of thumb is no bean dishes in car rides (unless you are driving by yourself). Keeping that in mind, you can order 2 Fresco Chicken Soft Tacos or Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Tacos for 150 calories and about 4 grams of fat each or a chicken or steak Gordita Extreme for 270 calories and between 10-11 grams of fat each.

Find more healthy choices at Taco Bell.

TELL US: How do you choose healthy fast food on the road?


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Comments (125)

  1. 4u2befit says:

    Well one thing you forgot to mention is the quality of the ingredients used . Don't get too attached to those wonderful menu items because you're ingesting so many herbicides pesticides and gmo's that I would still suggest you and your family to pack a lunch

  2. There's almost exclusively fast food near my office, so if I don't manage to pack a lunch for work I'm pretty much stuck with McDonald's/Burger King/Arby's/Wendy's/Subway. By now I have a lot of the calories of my favorite meals memorized, but before I go to any restaurant or try any new dish, I look up the calories first. Most of the time you can find it on the website, but on the road I use a free app called Restaurant Nutrition. Sometimes it's a little outdated, but it gives you a good idea at least.

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  6. San says:

    What is the calorie count of the Chipolte Chicken Wrap at Racetrack..???

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