Better Choices at Fast Food Restaurants


While fast food isn’t exactly healthy for you in any context, there are better choices you can make when you need to hit the drive through.

This article will compare different foods from several popular fast food restaurants to help you make smarter choices when it comes to eating on the run.


McDonald’s has long been the poster child for calorie-laden, fattening fast food choices, but with a little thought you can have a halfway decent meal at this popular fast food establishment.

  • Salads

Instead of choosing the Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken, go for the healthier choice and opt for the salad without the bird. You may miss out on some protein, but you’ll be saving a whopping 290 calories, 15 and a half grams of fat, and 770 mg of sodium! When you look at numbers like that, it’s hard not to choose the better-for-you option.

  • Sandwiches

When choosing a burger at McDonald’s, you can be hard pressed to find an option that comes close to “healthy.” However, there are smarter choices you can indulge in every now and then.

Instead of a Big Mac, choose a Big N’ Tasty, which will save you 80 calories, 5 grams of fat, and a whopping 320 mg of sodium. Your waistline will thank you!

Carl’s Jr

  • Sandwiches

If you’re hankering for a juicy burger from Carl’s Jr, make a smarter choice. Instead of chowing down on a Famous Star with Cheese, opt for the Big Hamburger instead. While you’re still overloading on sodium (1,090 mg!) you’re saving 210 mg versus the Famous Star. Plus, you’re getting 200 fewer calories and 22 fewer grams of fat.

  • Chicken

Bypass the Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Carl’s Jr and opt for the 3-piece chicken strips instead. The strips contain only 370 calories compared to the chicken sandwich and will save you 310 mg of sodium. If three chicken strips doesn’t fill you up, add a side salad to your meal, which will only add 50 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 55 mg of sodium.

Jack In The Box

  • Drinks

Most people guzzle down soft drinks from a fast food place without realizing how many calories and sugar they’re putting into their bodies. Take, for example, a large Coca-Cola Classic. If you get this, you’re slurping down nearly 500 calories and 137 grams of sugar! Opt for a Peach Iced Tea instead, which has only 82 calories and 19 grams of sugar and is just as refreshing.

  • Sandwiches

A Jumbo Jack may sound appetizing, but it’s loaded with fat, calories, and sodium. If you’re really craving a burger, opt for the Hamburger Deluxe instead. You’ll shave off 234 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 368 mg of sodium. That’s a huge difference!

If you plan on adding a side to your meal, skip the french fries. Even a small fry can add more salt and calories than you might expect. Go with a side salad or a fruit cup instead, which has a mere 54 calories and 12 grams of sugar.

While many “healthier” fast food options would still not be considered healthy overall, they are definitely smarter to indulge in than other menu items. With this handy comparison chart, you can learn to begin making smarter and better choices at fast food restaurants without ruining your waistline or your health.

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