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Top 10 Best Tasting 'Healthy' Fast Food When You're On The Run

Updated on August 16, 2015

Why Eat Fast Food At All?

Why eat fast food at all? Well, lots of people would say 'Just don't, ever.' I tend to try to avoid it at all costs because it literally makes me sick- the bloating, the fullness, the gas- urgh. However, sometimes we all get too busy to do much of anything for ourselves with work, kids, extra curricular activities, errands, etc. My guess is that most people stop at fast food places once in awhile for something quick. I know I do occasionally. I wanted to make a list of the places I frequent in case anyone else was looking for some 'good for you food' cheap and fast.

#10 Chick Fil A Grilled Nuggets

Why So Good?

It's funny, I used to ban Chick Fil A from my 'places to visit' because of their anti-gay attitude and affiliation. However, since the CEO apologized and since Chick Fil A has helped out my son's school on numerous occasions providing free meals for our kids, I started to go there occasionally. The service is eerily wonderful (totally not the norm for fast food standards), and the food is extremely good.

One of the things that they have what other places don't have (that I've seen) is grilled chicken nuggets. You can get them with any kind of dip, but they are marinated with a delicious mix of seasons and they really do melt in your mouth. You can get them in 8 piece or 12 piece servings and they cost from $4-6, depending on what part of the country you're in and depending if you get a value meal. If I ever get a value meal, I order a side salad instead of fries.

Nutrition is Listed Below for 8 nuggets

140Calories 3gFat 0gFiber 1gSugars 23gProtein

Ingredients (taken from

Grilled chicken (whole breast filet, seasoning [water, apple cider vinegar, soybean oil, yeast extract, salt, modified corn starch, palm oil, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, corn maltodextrin, sea salt, flavor, sugar, chicken stock, cane molasses, chicken fat, spice, natural flavor {including smoke}, dextrose, lemon peel, citric acid, red bell pepper, orange juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate, natural flavor, paprika, vinegar, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid, and spices]).

#9 Wendy's Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad

To Die For! Sooo Good!

Wendy's always has an array of good salads which they switch every once in awhile. My parents will go to Wendy's and order a salad and split it for dinner- or they will order a couple of salads and serve it as a dish at a family meal. Wendy's burgers are fried and pretty disgusting, but their salads are fresh and wonderful.

The Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad is served with fresh strawberries, blue cheese crumbles (yum!), grilled chicken, an array of fresh greens, sunflower seeds, little pieces of crispy bacon and the most delicious dressing which is an apple vinaigrette. Some will be turned off by the pieces of bacon however, they really do add some zest to the salad and they are small and don't add many calories. The best part about this salad is that they serve it with a warm piece of grilled chicken that's been marinated. It's very flavourful and awesome, especially during the summer.

Calories and Nutrition are listed below:

550 calories 5 grams of fiber and 42 grams of protein

300 calories for the half size

The cost is $5-8 depending on where you are and what size you order.

#8 Arby's Jr. Turkey and Cheese Sandwich

Quick, Low Calorie Sandwich for On The Go

To be honest, there are a lot of great sandwiches at Arby's that I'd rather eat. Their turkey and Swiss sandwiches on thick whole grain bread are about the best thing since.. well.. sliced bread!

If you're watching what you eat like me though, you know those sandwiches stack up a lot of calories- most over 800 per sandwich. Arby's does have a delicious treat though, if you are starving and you need a snack. I wouldn't call this a meal per se. I would call it a good snack that will curb your appetite until you can eat a meal.

The sandwich is just sliced turkey with some cheese on a sesame seed bun- but the turkey is delicious and the sandwich is only 220 calories. It's the perfect thing to tide me over, especially if I am going to be eating a big dinner that night.

For the Vegetarian On The Go

#7 Burger King Veggie Burger

The Burger King Veggie Burger is made with a 'Morning Star Farms Veggie Burger Patty.' I like these patties and they get very good ratings. They are made with the following ingredients (taken from the Morning Star Farms Website.


I find that the veggie burger tastes very good. I like mine with ketchup, mustard, and pickles. They normally come with big sliced tomatoes and lettuce, and the bun is a regular sesame seed bun. It's a great tasting meal and will fill you up, but not great for those watching their sodium.

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#6 Chicken Soft Taco from Taco Bell

Avoid Taco Bell At All Times.. BUT..

Ok, so Taco Bell is probably a place that you want to avoid for the most part. Mostly because the meat is pretty low grade and disgusting. Also, things smothered in nacho cheese sauce are probably not the best things to eat. I am not a fan of meat wrapped in a Dorito either. HOWEVER- if you are in a hurry and there is a Taco Bell close by, I would recommend a chicken soft taco. They are really cheap, around $1.20 each or less.

The chicken soft taco is simply shredded chicken in a light, non spicy sauce with lettuce and shredded cheese on the top, wrapped in a flour tortilla shell. It can be devoured in about 4 bites really (but I recommend not eating it that fast if you have indigestion!)

It tastes great, it will fill you up- and you can go ahead and get two or three of them and make them a meal because they only have 120 calories each! 360 calories for three soft tacos and about $4.00 is my kind of deal meal!

#5 Sonic Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Really? Sonic?

One wouldn't expect something healthy from a fast food joint that serves a sausage wrapped in a fried pancake on a stick. (gross) However, I happen to have a Sonic right down the street from my house and my kids love to go for the half price shakes after 8:00pm. If I am ever hungry and I feel the need to eat something, I always choose the Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

The sandwich itself is 100% grilled chicken breast. It has the mandatory tomatoes as well as lettuce, and a light mayonnaise spread. It's served on the most delicious whole grain bun. The sandwich really fills you up and it tastes absolutely divine. It contains 450 calories and of those 450 calories, 150 are fat calories. If you want to save on the fat, simply order it without the light mayonnaise and you're looking at a 300 calorie fat free sandwich!

#4 Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teryaki

One of the Best Sandwiches In The World!

If you haven't tried the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sub from Subway, you are definitely missing out! Imagine a fresh baked whole wheat bun with some cool lettuce and tomatoes, smothered in hot chicken pieces that have been marinated in teriyaki sauce. Then go through the subway toppings and choose your own. If you are not an onion fan, you can order it without onions.

I always put feta cheese on the sandwich because it makes it taste oh so much more delicious!

This beauty of a sandwich is all the better when on the go and the Subway you are ordering it at has a drive through. I am trying to include only fast food restaurants that have drive through windows, and many Subways do.

The sandwich weighs in at 370 calories with 4.5 grams of fat. It definitely can be used for a full meal, it's very filling and I can't stress how great it tastes! I love this sandwich- and it's only $6.00!

SERVING SIZE (g)266 CALORIES 370Calories from Fat40 TOTAL FAT (g) 4.5Saturated Fat (g) 1Trans Fat* (g) 0 CHOLESTEROL (mg) 50 SODIUM (mg) 770 CARBOHYDRATES (G) 57Dietary Fiber (g) 5Sugars (g)16 PROTEIN (G)25 VITAMIN A % DV10 VITAMIN C % DV25 CALCIUM % DV35 IRON % DV20 (Taken from Subway's WebSite)

#3 Kentucky Fried Chicken Grilled Chicken

Sort of an Oxymoron, but Delicious!

Did you know that one drumstick from a bucket of Kentucky Grilled Chicken has only 90 calories, and if you take the skin off- little or no fat? A chicken breast and a side of green beans is a perfect, delicious meal which is healthy, nutritious, filling- and can be bought without having to get out of your car. Of course, you need to be sure to have lots of napkins, especially if you're going to eat some in your car!

The invention of grilled chicken has saved KFC in my opinion. I would never bite into the fried skin of KFC because it totally grossed me out. Now, I love their chicken. My husband and I order it about twice a year and we always get the grilled- and sometimes on my lunch I'll go through the drive through and get 'the meal' of two pieces of grilled chicken and a side of whichever vegetable I want. Calories listed below- meals are about $6-7.

Kentucky Grilled Chicken® Breast 220

Kentucky Grilled Chicken® Drumstick 90

Kentucky Grilled Chicken® Thigh 170

Kentucky Grilled Chicken® Whole Wing 80

Burger King Grilled Chicken Cranberry Apple Salad

Second Best Salad in Town!

The Burger King Cranberry Apple and Chicken salad is one of the most delicious salads I've ever had. I could go to a four star restaurant and I am willing to bet that this salad could compete with anything I could order. It is full of fresh apple slices and real cranberries, blue cheese crumbles, and grilled chicken.

One of the best tasting things about the salad is the apple vinaigrette dressing that goes with it. I wish I could buy it in the stores. It's to die for. This salad is a great meal for lunch or dinner. In fact, I had it for supper last night after work.

It also comes with croutons, but I don't use them. They are extremely hard and they have a strong garlic flavour. My dog Hannah sure enjoys crunching on them though!

This salad is delicious- perfect for healthy people on the go!

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#1 - By Far the Best! McDonald's Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken

Definitely My Number One!

This salad by McDonald's is one of the most delicious salads I've ever tasted, and I am not kidding. It's full of greens, orange slices, thin almond slices, grilled chicken and a huge helping of edamame- and the Sesame Ginger Dressing is just about as good as it gets. It is a little bit spicy for those who aren't fond of spicy things- but oh so worth it for the taste. To be honest, I get this salad for lunch at work at least twice per week.

And while we're on the subject of McDonald's- they've made fantastic strides in offering people alternative choices. Instead of deep fried nuggets and greasy Big Macs, you can now get things like apple slices, carrot sticks, grilled chicken snack wraps, low calorie fruit smoothies and various fruity yogurts.

I think my favourite part of the salad above is the copious amounts of edamame mixed with the orange slices! If you haven't tried it- you should! I really wish they would keep this year round, but it's probably only a summer menu item.

Nutritional Info - McDonald's Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken (356g)
Calories - 270 (from Fat - 80)

Fat - 9g (Saturated Fat - 1g)

Sodium - 640mg

Carbs - 21g (Sugar - 13g)

Protein - 29g

Nutritional Info - Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing (1.5 fl oz)
Calories - 90 (from Fat - 25)

Fat - 2.5g (Saturated Fat - 0g)

Sodium - 410mg

Carbs - 15g (Sugar - 9g)

Protein - 1g

Fast Food Poll

What fast food chain do you rely on for fast, nutritious and low calorie food?

See results

Video from France About McDonald's Healthier Choices


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    • lyoness913 profile image

      Wendi Pembridge Skilling 2 years ago from Overland Park, KS

      Rawspirit I really try to avoid it as well- but with a husband who travels more than half of the year, two teen boys and a full time job where I work about 70 hours per week (not to mention a dog, LOL), sometimes I have to break down and get something on the run :) Thanks for the comment!


    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      I don't eat fast food, but if I did, I would come back to your hub to help me make the healthiest choice. Thanks for this informative hub. Well written and researched.

    • lyoness913 profile image

      Wendi Pembridge Skilling 2 years ago from Overland Park, KS

      Hey P Mills- I should have put that some of these choices are limited in many smaller towns. I am in a big city so I have my choice of them all and more! ;)


    • profile image

      Pat Mills 2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      Some of the food choices aren't available by me, but I like the choices that are, like Subway and KFC.

    • lyoness913 profile image

      Wendi Pembridge Skilling 2 years ago from Overland Park, KS

      Thanks Pam! Thanks drbj! I am glad you like them too!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for this great list. The Chick Fil-A grilled chicken nuggets are my #1 favorite and the second is the McDonald's Asian salad. Both are filling and delicious.

    • Pam Morris profile image

      Pam Morris 2 years ago from Atlanta Georgia

      Great Article!