25 of the Healthiest Fast Food Menu Items, Ranked
Hunger strikes. Only fast-food restaurants are nearby. As a conscientious eater who adheres to the motto, “you are what you eat,” do you dare to order from ubiquitous menus usually associated with empty calories?
Don’t panic. It is possible to find low-calorie, fast-food items, and we’re here to help make your decision-making process more informed. We singled out healthier entrees from 25 common fast-food chains by selecting foods with 600 calories or less that included fish or poultry instead of beef and ingredients that were grilled instead of fried. We also favored entrees with fruits and/or vegetables rather than plates devoid of color.
Fast-food salads were often the healthiest choice, but to offer a balance of entrees, we also included sandwiches, wraps and bowls. So, what’s the healthiest, and where do they rank? Read on to find out for yourself, starting with the most caloric to the lowest-calorie fast food items.
24. Chili’s: Caribbean Salad With Seared Shrimp (tie)
We’re actually starting this list of 25 menu items with a tie for the 24th spot between Chili's Caribbean Salad and Jersey Mike's Tuna Fish Mini Sub. Since 1975, Chili’s has offered southwestern cuisine mainly focusing on burgers, ribs and fajitas. Patrons in 32 different countries continue to support this restaurant with an expanded menu, including a Guiltless Grill menu with five items that include one protein (salmon, sirloin or chicken) and have less than 650 calories.
Instead, we chose a shrimp salad from the salad category. This colorful plate is enhanced with both vegetables and fruit. But individuals needing to restrict their sugar intake should consider selecting an item from the Guiltless Grill.
Caribbean Salad Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 26 grams of total fat, 1,120 mg of sodium, 80 grams of carbs, 66 grams of sugar, 16 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Shrimp, pineapple, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, red bell peppers, green onions and cilantro with honey-lime dressing
Potential Allergens: Eggs, shellfish, soy
* We found all of these dietary facts from the restaurants’ websites. To find foods with the highest nutritional value, take a quick look at the total fat content, sodium, carbohydrates, sugar and protein levels and check to see if the values are balanced or include outliers. Remember that consuming too much saturated fat and sodium is associated with cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, while eating too much added sugar can cause weight gain, high blood sugar and an increased risk of heart disease.
24. Jersey Mike’s Subs: No. 10 Tuna Fish Mini Sub on Wheat Bread (tie)
Starting in the 1950s as a mom-and-pop business in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, the founder’s concept of the newly introduced submarine sandwich expanded over the decades to include more than 2,000 locations. The turning point came in the 1970s when a high school senior, Peter Cancro, arranged financing to purchase the restaurant. After slowly expanding his business in the local market, Cancro eventually offered franchises in the 1980s and changed the name to Jersey Mike’s Subs.
Many followers of the brand are hooked on Mike’s Way (lettuce, onions, tomatoes, oil, vinegar and spices) and the daily homemade bread, including gluten-free options.
Tuna Fish Mini Sub Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 39 grams of total fat, 874 mg of sodium 45 grams of carbs, 6 grams of sugar, 20 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Homemade albacore tuna salad with chopped celery made with mayonnaise, and topped with onions, tomatoes, lettuce, red vinegar and olive oil blend on wheat bread
Potential Allergens: Egg, fish, soy, wheat
23. Au Bon Pain: Veggie and Hummus Wrap
Au Bon Pain’s commitment to making breads, pastries and croissants is rooted in the translation of the brand’s name, “from good bread.” Bread lovers supporting the goals of its founder have enabled this restaurant brand to appear in more than 250 locations throughout the world.
Finding a vegetarian option that is not a salad can be challenging in a fast-food setting. While this veggie wrap has a hefty calorie level, the sandwich packs a powerful nutrient punch with its array of vegetables. If total fat is a concern, eliminate the feta cheese.
Veggie and Hummus Wrap Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 27 grams of total fat, 940 mg of sodium, 67 grams of carbs, 6 grams of sugar, 21 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: A whole wheat wrap stuffed with hummus, cucumbers, tomato basil bruschetta, carrots, chickpeas, romaine lettuce, field greens, feta and balsamic vinaigrette
Potential Allergens: Milk, soy, wheat, sesame
21. IHOP: Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity Strawberry Pancakes (tie)
Breakfast items are served throughout the day at this restaurant chain operating throughout the U.S and a handful of locations abroad. High caloric items hovering around 1,000 or more calories are definitely the norm. It is possible to create a vegetarian omelet filled with fresh tomatoes, green peppers, onions, mushrooms and avocado without cheese. But each additional item is an extra charge. An omelet loaded with vegetables can become a bit pricey.
The Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity Strawberry Pancakes make a viable option for an entree under $10. It tied for the 21st spot with Jimmy John's No. 3 Totally Tuna.
Strawberry Pancakes Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 15 grams of total fat, 1,860 mg of sodium, 88 grams of carbs, 28 grams of sugar, 16 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: 4 buttermilk pancakes with glazed strawberries
Potential Allergens: Milk, eggs, wheat, soy
21. Jimmy John’s: No. 3 Totally Tuna (tie)
With a mediocre high school transcript and no desire to follow the family tradition to enlist in the military, Jimmy John Liautaud borrowed $25,000 from his father and opened a sandwich shop in an Illinois college town. Thirty-five years later, sub lovers can choose from more than 2,800 locations where bread is baked daily, produce is purchased locally and homemade tuna is a signature item.
Looking to lower carb consumption, try the Unwich Option, which features less carbs by substituting fresh lettuce for bread.
Totally Tuna Nutritional Information
Calories: 550 (French bread), 260 (Unwich)
Nutritional Facts: 21 grams of total fat, 700 mg of sodium, 7 grams of carbs, 4 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein (Unwich)
Key Ingredients: Tuna salad, cucumber, lettuce and tomato on a French bread roll (or in a lettuce wrap for the Unwich variation)
Potential Allergens: Soy, wheat, eggs, fish
19. Panera Bread: Mediterranean Veggie Whole Sandwich (tie)
Starting with a small cookie shop, founder Ron Shaich entered the restaurant business. Partnering with the late Louis Kane, the owner of Au Bon Pain, and later acquiring the St. Louis Bread Company, Shaich recognized the potential for a bakery-cafe business boom.
In the 1990s, the Panera brand was launched to fill the niche of reasonably priced food in a relaxed casual setting. Healthy craft food options were added over time. Eat Well, Your Way attracts foodies who want more veggies packed with protein or are looking for a well-balanced entree. This sandwich ties with Sonic's grilled chicken sandwich in the 19th spot on the list.
Mediterranean Veggie Whole Sandwich Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 13 grams of total fat, 1,150 mg of sodium, 68 grams of carbs, 8 grams of sugar, 18 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Zesty sweet Peppadew piquant peppers, feta, cucumbers, emerald greens, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, hummus, and salt and pepper on tomato basil bread
Potential Allergens: Milk, wheat
19. Sonic Drive-In: Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich (tie)
Within a few years of opening the Top Hat Drive-In in Shawnee, Oklahoma, the brand was franchised under the Sonic Drive-In name. Since the Top Hat name was already copyrighted, a new name had to be selected. The replacement name — Sonic — fit perfectly with the restaurant’s slogan, "Service with the Speed of Sound."
More than six decades later, it is the largest chain of drive-in franchises in America. With a menu saturated with burgers, hot dogs, snack foods and real ice cream, healthier options are limited. But its Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich satisfies that need.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 22 grams of total fat, 1,340 mg of sodium, 39 grams of carbs, 10 grams of sugar, 30 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Grilled chicken breast with lettuce, ripe tomatoes and light mayonnaise on a brioche bun
Potential Allergens: Soy, wheat
18. Wendy’s: Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
Even though Dave Thomas dropped out of school when he was 15, he was able to accomplish his childhood dream of owning a restaurant in 1969. It’s important to note, however, that he completed his GED at an old age since he felt that his biggest mistake in life was not completing high school.
More than 50 years after Thomas opened his first Ohio restaurant, his view that “quality is our recipe” is still embraced by Wendy’s management. A selection of four out of the seven freshly made salads come with chicken, and most of these salads are available in two sizes.
Apple Pecan Chicken Salad Nutritional Information
Calories: 460 (entree size) + 120 calories for two dressing packets
Nutrition Facts: 24 grams of total fat, 1,150 mg of sodium, 51 grams of carbs, 42 grams of sugar, 39 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Lettuce blend (iceberg lettuce, spring mix, romaine lettuce), red and green apples, dried cranberries, roasted pecans, crumbled blue cheese and grilled chicken breast topped with Marzetti Simply Dressed Pomegranate vinaigrette
Potential Allergens: Milk, soy, tree nuts
17. Chick-Fil-A: Spicy Southwest Salad
If you are looking for a quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the U.S., Chick-Fil-A is your top choice with more than 2,000 locations in 46 states and Washington, D.C. From the restaurant’s inception, its founder, S. Truett Cathy, chose to close on Sundays. Six days a week, chicken lovers can order a multitude of entrees under 600 calories. After all, Cathy endorsed the belief that “Food is essential to life, therefore make it good.”
For a healthy dish, consider adding slices of grilled chicken to a salad for a gluten-free option with high protein.
Spicy Southwest Salad Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 19 grams of total fat, 930 mg of sodium, 39 grams of carbs, 9 grams of sugar, 33 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Mixed green salad with slices of grilled spicy skinless chicken topped with grape tomatoes, a blend of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, poblano chilies, red bell peppers, roasted corn, black beans, seasoned tortilla strips and chili lime pepitas. Customers can choose from a creamy salsa dressing or packets of the lower fat Jalapeno salsa.
Potential Allergens: Dairy, tree nuts
16. Burger King: Garden Chicken Salad With Crispy Chicken
Since the 1950s, this fast-food entity has been synonymous with its motto, “Home of the Whopper.” Ranked as the second-largest, fast-food hamburger chain in the world, it’s no wonder that burgers top the menu’s list. With a commitment to quality, servers prepare fresh foods in real time.
All of Burger King’s chicken options are made with lightly breaded white meat chicken. To add fiber and nutrients, we chose to partner the crispy chicken with a garden salad. To lower the fat levels, consider passing on the cheese.
Garden Chicken Salad Nutritional Information
Calories: 440 (without dressing)
Nutrition Facts: 25 grams of total fat, 930 mg of sodium, 31 grams of carbs, 4 grams of sugar, 25 grams of protein (without dressing)
Key Ingredients: A combination of fresh green romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce and radicchio lettuce with chicken, juicy-ripened tomatoes, buttery garlic croutons and shredded cheddar cheese
Potential Allergens: Egg, milk, wheat
15. Taco Bell: Power Menu Bowl – Veggie
In the 1940s and 1950s, Glen Bell started numerous quick serve restaurant businesses in California that he ultimately sold to others. Within two years of the opening of Taco Bell, he began franchising. Two categories — Power Menu and Vegetarian — on Taco Bell’s Mexican and Tex-Mex menu are a source for healthy dining options.
The Power Menu options have more than 20 grams of protein and fewer than 510 calories while only one vegetarian entree has more than 510 calories.
Veggie Power Menu Bowl Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 18 grams of total fat, 850 mg of sodium, 57 grams of carbs, 2 grams of sugar, 12 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Bowl of seasoned rice, lettuce, cheese, beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, a dollop of reduced fat sour cream and topped with avocado ranch sauce
Potential Allergens: Soy, milk, eggs
14. Starbucks: Chicken & Quinoa Protein Bowl With Black Beans and Greens
The idea for Starbucks began in a single cafe serving coffee made from fresh-roasted whole bean coffees in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. With the growth of the brand came a selection of premium teas, baked pastries, sandwiches, salads, bowls and breakfast selections along with the commitment to offer a daily gathering place for friends, neighbors and business associates.
Many of the more than 30,000 locations cater to the on-the-go crowd who prefer the drive-thru option. Those wanting more than coffee or tea can try the hearty Chicken & Quinoa Protein Bowl with Black Beans and Greens.
Chicken & Quinoa Protein Bowl Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 17 grams of total fat, 1,030 mg of sodium, 11 grams of sugar and 27 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Grilled chicken atop fresh greens (chard, spinach, tatsoi, leaf lettuce, lolla rossa, romaine, radicchio, red oak), tomatoes, roasted corn, black beans, jicama, smoked paprika and cotija cheese that are all tossed with a mild chile vinaigrette
Potential Allergens: Milk (other information not available)
12. Quiznos: Veggie Guacamole 4-inch Sub on Wheat (tie)
Quiznos’ concept of a toasted sub sandwich started in Denver and expanded to approximately 800 locations. To consume a healthy-fat sandwich filled with an assortment of vegetables, consider the Veggie Guacamole sub, which tied with Einstein Bros. Bagels' veggie sandwich for the No. 12 spot.
Also worth noting: Since 2017, Quiznos has partnered with The Humane Society of the United States to maintain its commitment to animal welfare best practices.
Veggie Guacamole 4-inch Sub Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 22 grams of total fat, 810 mg of sodium, 41 grams of carbs, 5 grams of sugar, 14 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Wheat baguette filled with cheddar, provolone, black olives, cucumbers, mushrooms, green peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and red vinaigrette
Potential Allergens: Wheat, milk
12. Einstein Bros. Bagels: Hummus Veg Out on Ancient Grain (tie)
In 1995, Einstein Bros. Bagels was formed in Denver. After consolidating a few bagel companies in different parts of the U.S, the concept of a neighborhood bagel shop was gradually expanded to 40 states plus Washington, D.C. Bagel bakers start making oven-baked bagels before sunrise and continue making fresh bagels throughout the day.
While the menu includes many favorites like lox and bagels, visitors seeking a vegetarian option can consider the Hummus Veg Out on Ancient Grain.
Hummus Veg Out Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 14 grams of total fat, 750 grams of sodium, 59 grams of total carbs, 10 grams of sugar, 17 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: 9-grain whole wheat flour bagel, cucumber, hummus, garden vegetable cream cheese, arugula, spinach, red onion, rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, wheat bran and sunflower seeds
Potential Allergens: Milk, soy, wheat
11. Pizza Hut: Veggie Lover’s Pizza With Thin ‘N Crispy Crust
Known as the “pizza company that lives life unboxed,” Pizza Hut is operating in more than 16,000 restaurants spread across approximately 100 countries. In 1958, two brothers from Wichita, Kansas, turned to local farmers for their pizza ingredients.
While the volume of pizza orders has skyrocketed, the desire to use fresh food has remained. From Leprino Food Company cheese to vine-ripened tomatoes cooked in a proprietary sauce, care is taken to select fresh ingredients. Higher calorie pan pizzas are the signature dish while Thin ‘N Crispy Crust pizzas cut carbs.
Veggie Lover’s Pizza Nutritional Information
Calories: 360 (two slices of medium pizza)
Nutrition Facts: 12 grams of total fat, 840 mg of sodium, 48 grams of carbs, 8 grams of sugar, 16 grams of protein (two slices of medium pizza)
Key Ingredients: Classic marinara, cheese, diced Roma tomatoes, fresh green bell peppers, fresh mushrooms, fresh red onions and Mediterranean black olives
Potential Allergens: Soy, milk, wheat
10. McDonald’s: Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad
Ray Kroc’s dream of creating a chain of restaurants offering a small menu with consistent quality became a reality in record time. After being in business for approximately three years, McDonald’s had served its 100 millionth hamburger.
McDonald’s can be found in more than 118 countries and serves guests in more than 34,000 restaurants. The Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad is one of the flavorful salads that the fast-food chain offers with the least calories. This salad can vary in calorie content with its variety of dressing options. We included nutritional information using least-caloric, low-fat balsamic vinaigrette. (That's also why we chose it as No. 10 above the No. 9 option with similar calories.)
Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 15 grams of total fat, 1,580 mg of sodium, 11 grams of carbs, 39 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: A salad blend that includes chopped romaine, baby spinach, baby kale, red leaf lettuce, ribbon cut carrots, grape tomatoes, bacon, cheeses and a white meat chicken filet, topped with Newman's Own low-fat balsamic vinaigrette.
Potential Allergens: Milk
9. Jack in the Box: Chicken Fajita Pita Made With Whole Grain
With an emphasis on convenience, Jack in the Box has been a leader in drive-thru dining in the hamburger chain industry. Jack in the Box was the first in the fast-food industry to introduce a two-way intercom system that offered the opportunity to take multiple orders simultaneously.
In 21 primarily western states and Guam, fast-food junkies can order their favorite entrees with the flexibility of customizing their meals. With dozens of available choices, only five items fall within the brand’s “Better for You” category.
Chicken Fajita Pita Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 9 grams of total fat, 790 mg of sodium, 35 grams of carbs, 4 grams of sugar and 27 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Whole grain pita filled with flame-grilled chicken, shredded cheese, iceberg lettuce, grilled onions and tomatoes with a side of fire-roasted salsa
Potential Allergens: Soy, milk, wheat
8. Dunkin’ Donuts: Veggie Egg White Sandwich
With more than 50 varieties of donuts on its roster, Dunkin’ Donuts is acknowledged as the world’s leading baked goods and coffee chain with more than 11,300 restaurants around the world. Even the well intentioned may be tempted to sneak an occasional treat.
The DDSMART logo singles out the more nutritious foods. These items are reduced in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar or sodium by 25 percent compared to a base product and/or contain an ingredient that is nutritionally beneficial. While the current selection is limited to seven items, the Veggie Egg White Sandwich is the only one with vegetables.
Veggie Egg White Sandwich Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 13 grams of total fat, 550 mg of sodium, 27 grams of total carbs, 4 grams of sugar, 17 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Egg white sandwich with spinach, red and green bell peppers, onions and olive oil on a multigrain bun
Potential Allergens: Milk, eggs, wheat, soy
7. Dairy Queen: Chicken BLT Salad – Grilled
Residents in Joliet, Illinois, were the first to taste Dairy Queen (DQ) treats in 1940. Today, the DQ system has more than 6,000 locations operating throughout the United States, Canada and 20 other countries. Most people associate this brand with soft-serve ice cream, dipped cones and Blizzard treats. American dairy farmers are intrinsically linked to this brand.
Surprisingly, though, its menu does list many food items, including salads. The chicken BLT salad can be ordered with crispy or grilled chicken. We selected the healthier grilled option.
Chicken BLT Salad Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 11 grams of total fat, 980 mg of sodium,12 grams of carbs, 5 grams of sugar, 34 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Slices of grilled boneless skinless chicken breast with rib meat alongside tomatoes, carrots, red cabbage, bacon bits and shredded mild cheddar
Potential Allergens: Milk, soy, wheat
6. Five Guys: Veggie Sandwich
The Murrel family founded a carryout burger joint in Arlington, Virginia. After expanding its brand in the 1980s and 1990s, the family began offering franchise opportunities in 2003. Approximately 1,500 worldwide locations now sell their freshly ground beef hamburgers with French fries cooked in peanut oil.
Even though their passion is burgers, a handful of non-meat sandwiches and hot dogs round out the menu. Like the burger options, customers can customize their sandwich using a long list of free toppings and sauces. We chose a few ingredients to provide one veggie option.
Veggie Sandwich Nutritional Information
Nutritional Facts: 15 grams of total fat, 60 grams of carbs, 1,040 mg of sodium (other data not available)
Key Ingredients: Freshly grilled onions, mushrooms, and green peppers, layered with lettuce and tomatoes on a toasted bun. (But customers have the option to build their own.)
Potential Allergens: Wheat, soy, milk, eggs
5. Subway: 6-Inch Veggie Delite Sandwich
More than a half century ago, a nuclear physicist and one of his college students opened an Italian sandwich shop to help pay for the student’s tuition. From this simple beginning, the world’s largest submarine sandwich chain grew to more than 40,000 worldwide locations. Citing a commitment to the consumer, an entire website page is devoted to listing all of the artificial ingredients eliminated from their recipes.
Subway offers guests eight, six-inch subway sandwiches for a healthier meal with its Fresh Fit menu options. All are prepared on nine-grain wheat bread and are loaded with a colorful array of vegetables.
Veggie Delite Sandwich Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 7 grams of total fat, 440 mg of sodium, 40 grams of carbs, 6 grams of sugar, 9 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: 9-grain wheat bread filled with cucumbers, green peppers, lettuce, red onions, spinach and tomatoes drizzled with balsamic sub sauce
Potential Allergens: Soy, wheat
4. Arby’s: Chopped Farmhouse Salad – Roast Turkey
Yes, it is possible to find non-meat entrees in a restaurant advocating the art of what it dubs, “Meatcraft.” While Arby’s has catered to its meat-lover audience since its opening in 1964, the brand added salads and sandwiches with less than 300 calories to the menu in 1991 and debuted its first Market Fresh sandwiches in 2001.
Drive through deals are advertised on the website and sent to subscribers. While vegetarians may be inclined to step away, turkey lovers will gravitate to a rare fast-food item, a salad with roasted turkey.
Chopped Farmhouse Salad Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 13 grams of total fat, 940 mg of sodium, 9 grams of total carbs, 5 grams of sugar, 23 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Sliced roast turkey, diced pepper bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, mixed lettuce greens and shredded iceberg lettuce
Potential Food Allergen: Milk
3. Hardee’s: Trim It – Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Driving through the southeastern United States or the Midwest, you are bound to see the burger chain Hardee’s. During the short span of its first 15 years of operation, the chain grew to 1,000 locations. Early on, homemade biscuits were one of its signature items. The brand expanded in the 1980s with the purchase of hundreds of Burger Chef restaurants. Thickburgers made with 100 percent black angus beef remain a major draw. The Original Beyond Thickburger, a 100 percent plant-based patty surprisingly tops out at almost 800 calories.
Today, Hardee’s shares branding with its parent company, Carl’s Jr. Only a couple of U.S. states include both restaurants. Better for You Options — Low Carb It, Trim It, Veg It and Gluten Sensitive — cater to people who are seeking healthier food choices.
BBQ Chicken Sandwich Nutritional Information
Calories: 190 (with bun)
Nutrition Facts: 3.5 grams of total fat, 910 mg of sodium, 24 grams of carbs, 11 grams of sugar, 18 grams of protein (with bun)
Key Ingredients: Grilled chicken breast with lettuce and tomato. This item can be ordered with a lettuce wrap or with a bun.
Potential Allergens: Soy, wheat
2. Applebee’s Grill: Grilled Chicken Breast
With almost 2,000 locations in the U.S. and around the world, it isn’t hard to find an Applebee’s Grill & Bar in a neighborhood setting. Using 100 years of combined cooking experience, the culinary team creates regional specialties as well as American classics.
A diverse menu filled with steaks, ribs, chicken, seafood, pasta, salads and sandwiches offers many tempting options. Surprisingly, their salad options had between 800 and 1,590 calories. The Grilled Chicken Breast is the only chicken entree currently offered that does not have fixed sides.
Grilled Chicken Breast Nutritional Information
Chicken Breast Calories: 160
Nutrition Facts: 3 grams total fat, 860 mg of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 40 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: The chicken breast is grilled over an open flame and served with two sides. Healthier sides include steamed broccoli (100 calories, 7 grams of total fat, 280 mg of sodium, 2 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein); signature coleslaw (130 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 190 mg of sodium, 12 grams of sugar, <1 gram of protein); and garlicky green beans (180 calories, 13 grams of total fat, 320 mg of sodium, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein).
Potential Allergens: None
1. Panda Express: Firecracker Shrimp
From coast to coast and abroad, Mandarin- and Sichuan-inspired cuisine is consumed at more than 2,000 Panda Express restaurants, America’s largest family-owned Chinese restaurants. Founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng are extraordinary examples of the modern Chinese immigrant success story.
Panda Express’ fresh casual dining experience was expanded in 2009 with the Wok Smart concept, showcasing entrees with 300 calories and at least 8 grams of protein. Today, the Wok Smart dishes amount to half of the menu and tend to be more nutritious than their American fare fast-food competitors.
Firecracker Shrimp Nutritional Information
Nutrition Facts: 3.5 grams of total fat, 630 mg of sodium, 7 grams of carbs, 4 grams of sugar, 11 grams of protein
Key Ingredients: Large shrimp, hand-chopped red and yellow bell peppers, onions, string beans and whole dried chilis are all wok tossed in a savory bean sauce.
Potential Allergens: Wheat, soy, shellfish