Heading to McDonald’s for a healthy lunch might not sound like an easy task.But it can be.We checked out the lunch and breakfast fare at dozens of on-the-go restaurants — from Chik-Fil-A to Wendy’s to Starbucks— to give you a simple guide to some of the healthiest items they offer.All of the choices we picked pack less than 500 calories, are fairly low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and include 15 or more grams of protein to keep you feeling full.

 

Chipotle — Chicken Burrito Bowl with brown rice & pinto beans, no cheese or sour cream — 500 calories

Chipotle — Chicken Burrito Bowl with brown rice & pinto beans, no cheese or sour cream — 500 caloriesChipotle has lots of fresh, healthier options. In general, nix the cheese and sour cream (an occasional dollop of guac is fine, since it’s packed with healthy fats), and go for deconstructed alternatives to their burritos, like this one, which has:

500 calories — not too low, not too high

42 g of protein — a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

13.5 g of fat — a little on the high side

57 g of carbs — roughly one-third of your recommended daily allowance

805 mg of sodium — a little less than half your recommended daily allowance

Starbucks — Spinach and Feta Wrap — 290 calories

Starbucks — Spinach and Feta Wrap — 290 caloriesWhile the yummy pastries at Starbucks are sure to catch your eye mid-afternoon, sugary muffins and scones can leave you hangry. Their hot breakfast items, like this wrap, are likely a healthier, more filling anytime meal, with:

290 calories — pretty low as far as lunch goes; pair with a high-protein side like plain Greek yogurt

19 g of protein — a pretty good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

10 g of fat — not too low, not too high

33 g of carbs — pretty high; replace sugary or carb-heavy snacks with protein-rich ones

830 mg of sodium — just under half your daily allowance

In-N-Out — Cheeseburger with onion, ketchup, and mustard, no spread — 480 calories

In-N-Out — Cheeseburger with onion, ketchup, and mustard, no spread — 480 caloriesYou don’t have to turn to the secret menu (we’re lookin’ at you, Protein-Style fans) to get a lighter option at In-N-Out. Swap the special sauce for some ketchup and mustard to slash some fat and calories, and opt for a regular burger instead of a Double-Double.

480 calories — not too high, not too low

22 g of protein — a good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

27 g of fat — on the high side (a little less than half your daily allowance)

41 g of carbs — roughly 14% of your recommended daily allowance

1080 mg of sodium — close to half your recommended daily allowance

Chick-fil-A — Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap — 340 calories

Chick-fil-A — Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap — 340 caloriesThe “home of the original chicken sandwich” spiced up its menu last year, adding a smattering of healthy fare like this, which has:

340 calories — pretty low as far as lunch items go; you might want to pair this with a yogurt, a small salad, or some fresh fruit

36 g of protein — a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

13 g of fat — not too low, not too high

30 g of carbs — on the low side

900 mg of sodium — about half your recommended daily allowance

Wendy’s — Asian Cashew Chicken Salad, full size — 380 calories

Wendy's — Asian Cashew Chicken Salad, full size — 380 caloriesNot all of Wendy’s salads are on the healthier side (the Spicy Caesar Chicken Salad, for example, packs 790 calories and 51 grams of fat), but a couple are winners in most areas, including this cashew chicken salad. Our only caveat with this choice was that it was pretty high in sugar, at 40 grams. Here’s how it stacks up otherwise:

380 calories — on the low side

36 g of protein — a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

14 g of fat — on the higher side, but not a deal-breaker

32 g of carbs — pretty high and largely from sugar; watch your snacks

1070 mg of sodium — roughly half your daily allowance

Shake Shack — Single Hamburger or Chicken Dog — 360 or 300 calories

Shake Shack — Single Hamburger or Chicken Dog — 360 or 300 caloriesWhile they’re known for their towering Shack Stacks and crispy fries, this chain has lighter options too. Notably, their vegetarian ‘Shroom Burger isn’t one of them.

Hamburger:

360 calories — pretty low as far as lunch items go; you might want to pair this with a yogurt, a small salad, or some fresh fruit

26 g of protein — a good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

17 g of fat — on the higher side, but not a deal-breaker

25 g of carbs — pretty low

460 mg of sodium — pretty low

Chicken Dog:

300 calories — pretty low as far as lunch items go

26 g of protein — a good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

11 g of fat —not too high, not too low

32 g of carbs — not too high, not too low

970 mg of sodium — a little under half your daily allowance

McDonald’s — Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich — 360 calories

McDonald's — Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich — 360 caloriesWhile I wasn’t incredibly impressed by taste of the Artisan Grilled Chicken, it’s definitely one of the healthier choices McDonald’s offers. Opt for a sandwich with grilled rather than fried meat, and hold the mayo to curb your fat intake. Here’s how the sandwich stacks up:

360 calories — pretty low as far as lunch items go; you might want to pair this with a yogurt, a small salad, or some fresh fruit

33 g of protein — a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

6 g of fat — not too low, not too high

43 g of carbs — roughly 14% of your daily allowance

960 mg of sodium — a little under half your daily allowance

Taco Bell — Fresco Chicken Burrito Supreme — 340 calories

Taco Bell — Fresco Chicken Burrito Supreme — 340 caloriesNo longer solely the land of Chalupas and Crunchwrap Supremes, Taco Bell has expanded their healthier offerings with its “Fresco” menu, which essentially swaps the sour cream and cheese in popular items for salsa. Here’s how the Fresco Burrito with Chicken shapes up:

340 calories — pretty low as far as lunch items go; you might want to pair this with a yogurt, a small salad, or some fresh fruit

19 g of protein — a pretty good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

8 g of fat — not too low, not too high

49 g of carbs — roughly 16% of your recommended daily allowance

1060 mg of sodium — close to half your recommended daily allowance

Panera — Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich on Country — 430 calories

Panera — Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich on Country — 430 caloriesPanera has loads of yummy nutritious items, at least when it comes to lunch. Order from the “You Pick Two” menu to try a half sandwich and small salad, or a get a full sandwich, which has:

430 calories — not too high, not too low

33 g of protein — a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

3.5 g of fat — pretty low

67 g of carbs — on the higher side; watch your snacks

1790 mg of sodium — higher than any other item on this list

McDonald’s — Egg McMuffin — 300 calories

McDonald's — Egg McMuffin — 300 caloriesThe fruit and yogurt parfait isn’t the only healthy morning item McDonald’s offers. Avoiding the meat is an easy way to lighten up their traditional all-day breakfast fare. An Egg McMuffin has:

300 calories — on the lower side if you’re eating it for lunch

17 g of protein — a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

12 g of fat — on the higher side, but not a deal-breaker

29 g of carbs — pretty low

730 mg of sodium — a little less than half your recommended daily allowance

Dunkin’ Donuts — Egg White Flatbread — 280 calories

Dunkin' Donuts — Egg White Flatbread — 280 caloriesSurprisingly for a restaurant chain that specializes in deep-fried dough, Dunkin’ Donuts has quite a few healthy breakfast options, like their Egg White Flatbread, which has:

280 calories — pretty low as far as lunch goes; pair with a side salad, some fruit, or a yogurt

15 g of protein — a good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

9 g of fat — not too high, not too low

33 g of carbs — roughly 11% of your recommended daily allowance

690 mg of sodium — a little less than half your daily allowance; watch your snacks

Papa John’s — Garden Fresh Pizza, two medium slices — 400 calories

Papa John's — Garden Fresh Pizza, two medium slices — 400 caloriesOne of the least healthy things about most pizza-chain fare is the high sodium content, which research suggests may be bad news for your heart. If you’re a pizza fan, keep an eye your salt intake the rest of the day after you’ve indulged in a few slices.

400 calories — on the lower side

16 g of protein — a pretty good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

14 g of fat — not too low, not too high

54 g of carbs — pretty high; replace sugary or carb-heavy snacks with protein-rich ones

980 mg of sodium — just under half your daily allowance

Pizza Hut — Garden Party Thin Crust Pizza, two medium slices — 460 calories

Pizza Hut — Garden Party Thin Crust Pizza, two medium slices — 460 caloriesAs part of its recent attempt to overhaul its brand, Pizza Hut began offering several options with more fresh veggies and popular toppings like Sriracha. But like other pizza chains, one of the restaurant’s main health drawbacks is the high sodium and carb content of its offerings. The Garden Party pizza has:

460 calories — not too high, not too low

18 g of protein — a pretty good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

18 g of fat — on the higher side, but not a deal-breaker

60 g of carbs — pretty high; watch your snacks

900 mg of sodium — a little under half your daily allowance

Burger King — BK Veggie Burger, no mayo — 310 calories

Burger King — BK Veggie Burger, no mayo — 310 caloriesMy vegetarian friends were ecstatic when Burger King announced its veggie option. Overall at this restaurant, the same rules as those for McDonald’s apply: Avoid mayo and fried options and go for sandwiches instead of meals. Here’s the BK Veggie lowdown:

310 calories — pretty low as far as lunch items go; you might want to pair this with a yogurt, a small salad, or some fresh fruit

22 g of protein — a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

7 g of fat — not too low, not too high

42 g of carbs — roughly 14% of your daily allowance

990 mg of sodium — close to half your daily allowance

Subway — 6-inch Turkey Breast Sub, no cheese, add avocado — 340 calories

Subway — 6-inch Turkey Breast Sub, no cheese, add avocado — 340 calories“Eating fresh” is pretty easy at this chain, where you can get lean meats or just fresh veggies on whole-wheat bread with a variety of low-calorie, low-fat dressings. Turkey and avocado, my personal favorite, has:

340 calories — pretty low as far as lunch items go; you might want to pair this with a yogurt, a small salad, or some fresh fruit

18 g of protein — a pretty good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

9 g of fat — not too low, not too high

49 g of carbs — roughly 16% of your daily allowance

670 mg of sodium — not bad; much lower than competing items at Chipotle or Taco Bell

(Source)

(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)

Comments

comments