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Fast Food Calories and Carbs

Updated on May 24, 2014
JLPeterson profile image

Jan lives in Arizona, has a fur-baby, and retired from banking after 30 years. She currently is a songwriter and cyber-journalist.

We live in a fast paced world with multiple demands: meetings, parties, kid's baseball practices, school functions. Is it any wonder that we sometimes drive to the corner fast food restaurant to order a quick bite? It's fast, easy, and you don't have to unbuckle and rebuckle the kids in. That bag carries easily to the ball game and there are no dishes afterward.

That quick stop might be necessary, but it doesn't need to be mindless. If cutting back on the calories or carbs is necessary for you, it is possible to make some choices that are better than others.

Following are some popular choices at some of the most popular fast food restaurants. As you'll soon see, just a little thought and you can keep those pounds from creeping up. Each meal choice is followed by (calories/carbs).

A McDonald's Hamburger has 250 Calories!


Eating Fast Food at McDonald's

Most families default to MacDonald's because the kids love it and there is entertainment for the kids in the playroom. Let them play and be happy, but put some thought into the adult orders, because you won't be crawling around on the playset!

McDonald's has a great nutritional calculator on it's site. These meals are based on their data.

  1. Hamburger (250/31), Sm Fries (230/29), Diet Coke (0/0), Apple Dippers (35/8) - Total 520/69
  2. Double Quarter Pounder w//Chs (740/40), Lg Fries 500/63, Lg Coca-Cola Classic (310/86), McFlurry w/Oreo Cookies 12 oz (550/88) - Total 2100/278
  3. Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken (320/30), Newman's Own Low Fat Italian Dressing (60/8), Lg Iced Tea, no sugar (0/0) Total 380/39

I sure know the meal I wouldn't order!

French Fries are Diet Disasters!


Calories at Arby's

Arby's Site also has a full nutritional guide from which these numbers were drawn:

  1. Reg Roast Beef (320/34), Sm Curly Fries (360/42), Diet Coke (0/0), Cherry Turnover (250/35), Total 930/111
  2. Lg Beef & Cheddar (660/46), Lg Curly Fries (600/70), Mandarin Fruit Peach Tea (90/23), Jamocha Swirl Shake (640/107), Total 1990/246
  3. Chopped Southern Chicken (grilled ) Salad (250/10), Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing (190/8), Diet Coke (0/0) Total 440/18

Doesn't Arby's have the best french fries? If you get them, be sure to leave off the desert!

Panda Express Can Be Good For the Diet


Panda Express Calories and Carbs

Lots of veggies and delicious meals! Panda also has a nutritional guide on their website.

  1. Steamed Rice (430/92), Mushroom Chicken (150/9), String Bean Chicken (190/12), 2 Veggie Spring Rolls (160/22) -Total 930/135
  2. Chow Mein (440/66), Orange Chicken (545/46), Beijing Beef (400/35), 1 Chicken Egg Roll (170/17) - Total (1385/164)

There are so many ways to mix up the Panda Express meal that using their guide can help you lower the calorie or carb count to make a meal that won't won't totally kill your diet. Use it before you go!

Worst Fast Foods by Natalie

Fast Food Calories at Samuri Sam's

Teriyaki has never gone out of favor. Samuri Sam's offers brown rice in their bowls, which is a big plus in my book!

  1. Reg Teriyaki Bowl – Chicken/Brown Rice (470/68)
  2. Lg Teriyaki Bowl - Chicken/Brown Rice (580/96)
  3. Reg Teriyaki Bowl – Steak/Brown Rice (490/74)
  4. Lg Teriyaki Bowl - Steak/Brown Rice (690/106)
  5. Oriental Chicken Salad (220/9) Oriental Dressing (70/12)(290/21)

Crunch Calories and Carbs


Taco Bell - Spicy Calories and Carbs!

South of the Border sounds tempting, but you're afraid of being that bad? Sometimes a little bad is good! Just skip the guacamole and sour cream!

Ground Beef Crunchy Taco (170/13), Bean Burrito (350/54) - Total 520/66

Beef Baja Chalupa (410/30), Beef Burrito Supreme (410/35) - Total 820/65

Express Taco Salad with chips (600/56) - Total 600/56

So, when you hit Taco Bell, a salad isn't necessarily better than going for the meat and beans!

Subway Calories and Carbs


Calorie Counting at Subway

Remember how Jaryd did it? Subway has advertised quite a bit about eating healthy and light. For the full picture, go to their website.

Sandwiches (includes wheat bread)

  1. 6” Turkey Breast (480/46)
  2. 6” Cold Cut Combo (410/47)
  3. 6" Meatball Marinara (560/63)

Bread choice makes a difference:

  1. 6” Wheat (200/40)
  2. 6" Italian Herb and Cheese (250/41)
  3. Wrap (310/51)

Soups are a good way to eat light!

  1. Golden Broccoli Soup (100/16)
  2. Roasted Chicken Noodle (80/12)

Surprised about the wrap? I was too!

Where Do You Eat?

What is Your Favorite Fast Food Restaurant?

See results

Next Time Think about the Calories Before You Order!

You can't add hours to your day, so fast food will always be an answer for those crazy, hectic moments. But next time you screech in to your favorite fast food spot, think about how much of a difference your choice makes. Remember that a small tweak in your order today can make a difference on the scale tomorrow!

Comments about Fast Food and Calories or Carbs

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    • cbpoet profile image


      9 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Wonderful hub ... I've been counting calories at fast food spots for years. Your article is a helpful reminder as to what are the best food choices for our bodies. Thanks for sharing.

    • KimberlyAnn26 profile image


      10 years ago

      Great Hub! Every single time I ate a fast food restaurant I always felt SO full and sick. Now I know why! Your Hub was a really eye-opener for me. Thank you!

    • akirlew profile image


      10 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Thanks for the eye opening information; hopefully it makes it into the right hands. There just isn't a way to make fast food seem healthy. No matter what healthy options exists, it seems that people still get sucked into the stuff that kills. For example, someone will say, I will get that healthy taco from Taco Bell and get cheese smothered nachos and a coke with it. Or they might say "Jared ate at Subway" and forget the he didn't have the chips, soda, and cookies (you know, the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies) :) in his meal plan.

      I take a pretty hardcore position on food and I have asked medical professionals who have backed me up on this. That position is that food can either promote life or death; it's either helping you or hurting you. So next time to go to grab a bite to eat; ask your self what the long term outcome will be. I certainly believe in our "heart or hearts" we know right from wrong and good from bad and it's no different with our food.

      And I am not a hypocrite. I have my weaknesses as well. In fact, I hate commercials because they are so alluring, I almost want to go out and buy whatever it is they are showing. Sadly, I have done it :)

    • profile image

      Joy Schantz 

      12 years ago

      Wow: These fast food calories are eye-openers!! Good information.


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