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7 Healthy Low-Calorie Options Hiding in Fast-Food Menus
You might find it difficult to eat healthy when you’re surrounded by so many fast-food options everyday. But if you just tried to look beyond the burger and fries on the menu, you’ll be surprised to find these low-calorie, healthful items. These are not exactly on the secret menu, though they might as well be since most people don't know that they exist.
Do take note that the following list features restaurants that are popular in the Philippines, but some of the international chains do carry the same items in other local franchises. Let everyone know in the comments if you have any more to add!
Pizza Hut Crab Salad Roll
No, the Veggie Lovers Supreme with its double layer of mozzarella cheese and thick crust does not count. Check out the bottom of the menu where you can find Pizza Hut’s crab salad rolls, which are crabsticks, cucumber, tomato and salad greens wrapped in rice paper--they're essentially fresh spring rolls. Just go easy on the soy dip. A platter costs ₱185 and is already quite filling.
Tokyo Tokyo Kani Salad
Avoid eating rice in Tokyo Tokyo by skipping the sushi and bento meals. Just order their kani salad which has crab sticks, mangoes and lettuce leaves topped with Japanese mayo dressing and fish roe. Most of the calories would come from the dressing, so you can scoop a bit of it out before digging into the salad. It costs ₱65 for one serving.
Starbucks Full-Leaf Brewed Tea
Frappes are about 500 calories that could increase depending on the size and your add-ons like syrup and whipped cream. In comparison, tea has the same number of calories as water—none. Just ask your barista to keep the syrup that usually goes with it. Starbucks tea in different flavors costs ₱95 for both the tall and grande sizes. Hot water refills are free. Also, you can add half a shot of milk and a packet of Splenda (both available for free) to make a low-calorie latte. Yes, brewed chai tea and milk makes a more authentic chai tea latte than the one they have on the menu.
Mang Inasal Bangus Inihaw
Forget the chicken, pork BBQ or sisig meals. Instead, ask for PM6 or the inihaw na bangus value meal for ₱108.90 without a drink. Grilled is the most low-calorie way to cook fish. Then, order ginataang kangkong or ensaladang talong as a side dish. And whatever happens, don’t avail of the unli rice option.
Goldilocks Sarap Pinggang Pinoy
Big Goldilocks stores offer meals in addition to cakes and pastries. Their take on a healthy meal option consists of gisadong monggo, daing na bangus, steamed rice, bottled water and fruit gelatin for ₱119.
Chowking Kangkong with Bagoong
Save the Chowking lauriat for when you’re carbo loading. Instead, order the kangkong with bagoong for ₱32 under their side dish menu. For a vegetarian meal, you can pair it up with the plain tofu (also ₱32) from the same list.
McDonald’s Apple Pie and Premium Roast Coffee
Pop into a McDo in the morning for a low-calorie and low-budget breakfast for under ₱50. Although 250 calories is still quite high, the apple pie on McDo’s menu is already one of the lowest calorie options. And short of just drinking water, its McCafé premium roast coffee is only 2 calories without the additional sugar and cream. If you’re more of a Jollibee person, go for their peach mango pie and brewed coffee counterpart.