Smart Choices at Fast Food Restaurants

by Joanna

Going though the fast food drive-thru is something that most everyone does at one point or another.  Whether it’s because you are in a hurry to get to Grandma’s house and the kids need to be fed, or because it’s been a long day at work and you don’t have the energy to cook, it’s quick, convenient and (most of the time) fast.  But can you go through the drive-thru without driving your good eating habits into the ground?

Keep in mind the word moderation.  That’s pretty tough to do when the menu is full of pre-set meals that seems like such a good deal compared to choosing items individually.  But don’t compromise your health for a good deal. 

A good solution is to be kid again!  The kids menu has better portion sizes than the adult meals and can come with healthy sides like apples or other fruit - you could even get milk instead of a soda.  Keep in mind that some kid’s meals are better than others, but it helps keep portion sizes a little more under control. 

Fast food salads have come a long way, too.  You no longer have to choose between a chef salad or a garden salad.  Now there’s chicken caesar, mandarin chicken, tuna, and Santa Fe salads.  If you’re wondering what the calories are in these items, it’s easy to find, thanks to the Internet - two good sites are and

Below are some popular fast food menu items and their nutrition information.  All of the items listed below are under 500 calories each.


  • Martha’s Vineyard Salad (diced grilled chicken, diced apples, tomatoes, cheddar, cranberries, romaine lettuce and 1/2 packet raspberry vinaigrette): 368 calories and 16 grams of fat.
  • Santa Fe Salad with Grilled Chicken (with 1/2 packet raspberry vinaigrette): 374 calories and 16 grams of fat. 


  • Mandarin Chicken Salad (with crispy noodles and 1/2 packet of Oriental Sesame Dressing): 335 calories and 9.5 grams of fat. 
  • Chicken Caesar Salad (with home-style croutons and 1/2 packet of Supreme Caesar Dressing): 310 calories and 13 grams of fat.

Sandwiches and Wraps

  • Chicken Fillet Sandwich, grilled (without mayonnaise): 290 calories and 6 grams of fat. 
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich, grilled (without mayonnaise): 371 calories and 8 grams of fat.


  • Honey Mustard Snack Wrap (grilled) OR Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap (grilled): 260 calories and 9 grams of fat.
  • Premium Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich (without mayo dressing): 470 calories, 12 grams of fat.
  • Premium Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich (includes ranch sauce): 470 calories and 12 grams of fat.
  • Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich (without mayo): 370 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. 


  • Grilled Chicken Go Wrap: 260 calories and 11 grams of fat.
  • Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich: 320 calories and 7 grams of fat. 

Burger King:

  • BK Veggie Burger (without mayonnaise): 340 calories and 8 grams of fat.
  • Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich (without mayonnaise): 400 calories and 7 grams of fat.

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