10 Healthy Fast Food Choices that Satisfy Any Cravings

Next time you're facing down a fast food craving, know which choice is better for your health.

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    Fan of fast food?

    You can make healthy choices. Too many people equate healthy food with pricy organic or specialized ingredients. It’s time to see things more simply: Oven-roasted chicken is yummy, filling, and healthy—and still cheaper and better for you than its fried cousin. We’ve randomly chosen highly popular but not-so-nutritious foods in 10 different categories, and found healthier alternatives for each that cost the same (and often, less) money. Prices may vary based on location and time of year. Even so, these examples illustrate just how easy it is to make smarter decisions without worrying about cost.

    Fast-Food Dinner for Three

    Craving: KFC 8-piece Bucket, Extra Crispy
    breast 510 calories/33 g fat; drumstick 150 calories/10 g fat; thigh 340 calories/24 g fat; wing 190 calories/13 g fat
    $11.96

    Healthier Choice: Subway Fresh Fit 6-inch Oven Roasted Chicken, three subs
    320 calories, 5 g fat (per sub)
    $10.50
     

    Fast-Food Burger

    Craving: Burger King Half-Pound Whopper
    670 calories, 40 g fat, 11 g sat fat, 28 g protein
    $2.39

    Healthier Choice: Burger King Veggie Burger
    410 calories, 16 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 22 g protein
    $2.29

    Note: While the Veggie Burger is lower in calories and fat, both of these choices are high in sodium. If you're concerned about high blood pressure, you may want to order a salad.

    From the Grill

    Craving: Ball Park Frank
    One hot dog with bun, relish, mustard, and ketchup
    326 calories, 17 g fat, 5 g sat fat, 40 mg chol, 35 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein
    88¢

    Healthier Choice: Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Try:

    Arnold Stone Ground 100% Whole-Wheat Bread
    , one slice; two reduced-fat 2% Kraft Singles; two tsp Promise margarine spread
    283 calories, 12 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 20 mg chol, 28 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 14 g protein
    82¢

    Fast-Food Dessert

    Craving: McDonald's Hot Fudge Sundae
    330 calories, 54 g carbs
    $1

    Healthier Choice: McDonald's Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait
    160 calories, 31 g carbs
    $1
     

    Breakfast On-The-Go

    Craving: Dunkin' Donut
    Plain Glazed
    260 calories, 14 g fat, 6 g sat fat, 31 g carbs, 3 g protein
    99¢

    Healthier Choice: Luna Protein Bar
    Chocolate Peanut Butter
    190 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 20 g carbs, 12 g protein
    99¢
     

    Potato Chips

    Craving: Lays Classic Chips
    10 g fat, 180 mg sodium, 15 chips per serving
    10.5 oz. bag
    $3

    Healthier Choice: Cape Cod Potato Chips
    40% Reduced Fat Original Kettle Cooked
    6 g fat, 110 mg sodium, 23 chips per serving
    8 oz. bag
    $2.99
     

    Ice Cream

    Craving: Ben & Jerry's
    (Chocolate Fudge Brownie)
    220 calories, 11 g fat, 7 g sat fat
    3.6 oz. single cup
    $1.25

    Healthier Choice: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich
    (Vanilla/Chocolate Combo Low-Fat Ice Cream Sandwich)
    140 calories, 1.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat
    24 oz., 6 count package
    96¢ per sandwich
     

    Cookies

    Craving: Oreo Cookie
    160 calories, 7 g fat, 24 carbs, 14 g sugar per serving
    15.5 oz. package
    $3

    Healthier Choice: Keebler Oatmeal Cookie Country Style
    130 calories, 6 g fat, 19 carbs, 8 g sugar per serving
    13 oz. package
    $2.50

    Pastry

    Craving: Kellogg's Pop-Tart
    (Blueberry, one pastry)
    210 calories, 6 g fat, less than 1 g fiber
    14.7 oz. box, 8 count
    32¢ per pastry

    Healthier Choice: whole wheat toast with jam. Try:

    Arnold Stone Ground Bread
    (100% Whole-Wheat one slice)
    Polaner All Fruit with Fiber
    Blueberry Spreadable Fruit, one tbsp
    100 calories, 1 g fat, 5 g fiber
    31¢ per slice
     

    Cereal

    Craving: Kellogg's Frosted Flakes
    27 g carbs, 11 g sugar per serving
    14 oz. box
    $3.69

    Healthier Choice: Wheatena
    32 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 5 grams fiber, 5 g protein per serving
    20 oz. box
    $2.79
     

    Your Comments

    • Brucekanderson

      Why aren’t you including SODIUM in your nutritional analysis?  That will be a “deal breaker”  for most of your suggestions Bruce K
      Anderson, San Jose, CA