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Healthy Living: Healthy Fast Food Restaurant, Fine Dining and Take Out Food Options

Updated on April 9, 2017


-- The foods listed below are merely a dining guide to aid in maintaining your diet when you are out and about. Please use discretion with consumption as even at lower calories, many fast food and fine dining meals are high in sodium and bad carbohydrates. Think before you eat! --

Healthy Eating

In this on the go, fast paced world it is hard to avoid the temptations to pick up some Chinese take out for dinner, or hit a local coffee shop for a high sodium soup and bagel. It is easy to fall into the trap after a long day at work, when we are short on time, or something as simple as we just don't feel like cooking.

With all the delicious looking treats out there it is hard to know what is healthy, and even harder when everyone around you is eating greasy burgers and portion sizes that are 5 times what they were 40 years ago.

So many creative, delicious donuts!  Diet busters!
So many creative, delicious donuts! Diet busters! | Source

There's Hope!

You can even find smart choices at the most popular fast food chains without succumbing to the temptations of high calorie, high sodium and big regret.

Even the most unhealthy restaurant has at least one item that you can opt for when your family or friends want to dine there, and if it's not enough?

Split your meal in half and put one portion in a doggy bag for later; you cut your calories in half this way and can enjoy the treat another day at an appropriate portion size.

Let's face it, 9 out of 10 restaurants provide unrealistic portion sizes for a healthy society - how else do you explain the obesity epidemic that is an ever growing threat to the Western world?

Do your body a favor and make better choices with just a few of the options below, but don't overdo it - even healthy foods can be bad in high volumes.

McNuggets | Source

McDonald's Chicken McNuggets with Sweet 'N Sour Sauce

-|- 4 pieces of chicken nuggets
-|- 1 packet of sweet and sour sauce.

Calories: 190
Fat: 12g
Saturated Fat: 2g

It's all about portion size!

4 nuggets isn't that much to get you through so add things that are healthier with it to balance the meal out.

Skip the fries and have a 20 calorie side salad topped with Newman's Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette for 35 calories paired with a 150 calorie fruit 'n yogurt parfait.

The two combined nets you only 395 calories for a tasty lunch!

Taco Bell
Taco Bell | Source

Taco Bell Gordita Nacho Cheese -- Chicken

Calories: 270
Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 2.5g

Cheese lovers rejoice! Smothered in cheese and mouth watering, this Taco Bell gordita is delicious and tummy friendly!

If cheese isn't your thing? Try Fresco items from the menu and you won't go wrong - so long as you stick to moderation!


Wendy's Ultimate Chicken Grill

Calories: 360
Fat: 7g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g

Grilled instead of fried and topped with honey mustard sauce rather than mayonnaise, this sandwich from Wendy's is a hit for those watching their waistline.

Who wouldn't love something half the fat of all the other non-burger options available?

Pizza hut marketing balloon.
Pizza hut marketing balloon. | Source

Pizza Hut 12" Fit 'N Delicious Pizza with Diced Chicken, Red Onion, and Green Pepper

-|- 2 slices

Calories: 340
Fat: 9g
Saturated Fat: 4g

This pizza contains half the cheese of the regular Thin 'n Crispy Pizza!

Taking a bite of this awesome pizza covered in yummy vegetables and lean chicken piled on a thin crust will make your body thank you and your tummy happy!


KFC Honey BBQ Sandwich

Calories: 300
Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g

I bet you didn't think you could have a sandwich smothered in sauce, did you? KFC has a very thick and sweet sauce, but it is not a diet buster!

Let your taste buds celebrate - this sweet barbecue sandwich is actually the lowest calorie, full size sandwich on the KFC menu according to Fitness Magazine.

How to Make Healthy Choices at Fast Food Restaurants

What is YOUR restaurant behavior?

Do you alter meals you order in restaurants to make them healthier? (Example: No cheese, light sauce, etc)

See results

Fine Dining Options

  • Ruby Tuesday - Barbeque Grilled Chicken with White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Green Beans
    • Calories: 504-679
    • Fat: 16g
    • Saturated Fat: 2g

    Who would have thought you could have cheesy mashed potatoes and some delicious barbeque chicken and it be healthy?

  • Olive Garden - Seafood Brodetto
    • Calories: 480
    • Fat: 16g
    • Saturated Fat: 3g

  • Longhorn Steakhouse - Red Rock Shrimp with Asparagus and Side Salad
    • Calories: 320
    • Fat: 10.5g
    • Saturated Fat: 3.5g

  • Red Lobster - Garlic Grilled Jumbo Shrimp
    • Calories: 370
    • Fat: 9g
    • Saturated Fat: 2g

  • Red Lobster - Grilled Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops
    • Calories: 500
    • Fat: 11g
    • Saturated Fat: 3g


Tips on Eating Healthy At Restaurants

Fruity delight!
Fruity delight! | Source
Yummy strawberries!
Yummy strawberries! | Source


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    • JasonLicerioPH profile image

      Jason Licerio 4 years ago from Philippines

      Nice hub for those who can't get healthy food. Fast foods don't really offer that much but with this hub, you can eat smart!

    • Neinahpets profile image

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      jaydawg808: Thank you for your comment, but I feel your comments are misplaced and you do not understand the intent of the article. I mean this with the utmost respect as you are not wrong in what you say.. it is just that this article is not designed to address those points.

      It is not a dieting guide, but an assisted dining guide for dieters who find themselves in situations where they need a healthier alternative.

      I am not entirely certain on the sodium of every item I have named and therefore have not listed it - I would be happy to provide this information if you wanted to send it to me. Some items have higher sodium but still fit within a balanced diet as recommended by the FDA in a balanced 2000 calorie diet.

      Yes, you do need to view the meal as a whole for carbohydrates, sugars, sodium and everything. This is a basic guide for those who are out with others and are looking for an alternative to eating nothing at all.

      Eating in fast food restaurants is not exactly healthy, and I never said it was, but you can find options that are healthier than others and this guide was solely meant to point those out. Also there are fast food restaurants that are not that bad - Subway being one.

      Yes, fat is sometimes good. I never said otherwise. In fact, I go into detail on another article about the fats found in fish that are good for the body and what they do. This article was not meant to explain fats or the nutritional facts and their meanings - you can find this in other articles. This is a dining guide, as stated before.

      However, high calories are not good if it jeopardizes your calories in vs. calories out ratio because 3500 calories is a pound of fat no matter how you slice it.

      Respectfully, the guide delivers what it was written for and was in no way telling others that dining out was a healthy diet, but rather providing alternatives when you are in the situation to keep you from destroying your diet.

      Nothing replaces a home cooked meal of lean meats and vegetables, but it is nice to know you can be safer when the situation calls for it.

      I just feel others should know that just because they are out with friends doesn't mean they have only two options: starve or eat like they are preparing for a long winter.

      It is meant to give hope as this is a common cause for concern among dieters.

      Again, thank you for your comment, but please understand what the content was meant to do and see my other articles to understand I am aware of calories, fats (good and bad), and other nutritional facts.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • jaydawg808 profile image

      jaydawg808 4 years ago

      You mention sodium, yet you don't mention it in the stats of the foods you're promoting. So, just by looking at calories, fat and saturated fat got you covered? No. You need to take a look at the entire meal as a whole instead of looking at just calories, fat and saturated fat. Just because a meal is high in calories does not mean it's bad. And having fat is sometimes good (if it's "good" fat). It should be clearly apparent that eating at fast food restaurants is not healthy at all.