10 Nutritionist-Approved Eats at Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, and Chipotle
Yes, you can find good eats at fast food joints. Let our experts steer you toward the most nutritious meals and snacks for when you're on the go.
Dunkin’ Donuts Egg White Veggie Wake-Up Wrap + Munchkin
Registered dietitian Jennifer Bowers, PhD, recommends a complete meal that’s still within your nutrition goals: the Egg White Veggie Wake-up Wrap have protein-packed egg whites for sustained energy and veggies for key vitamins, minerals, and fiber. With this special you can also splurge on an old fashioned or cinnamon munchkin (only 60 calories!). Top it off with an herbal tea (tasty choices such as hibiscus kiss, harmony leaf, cool mint, or bold breakfast black), and you’ll be satisfied with less than 300 total calories and 10 grams of protein. Total win! Here are 10 more healthy items you can order at your favorite fast food restaurant!
Dunkin’ Donuts Veggie Egg White Flatbread
At Dunkin’ Donuts, dietitian Lauren Harris-Pincus always gets the Veggie Egg White Flatbread Sandwich. “It’s a fast food calorie bargain at 330 calories with 18 grams of protein,” she says. “Plus the sodium content is respectable at 570 mg. Pair it with an unsweetened iced green tea flavored with a blueberry or raspberry ‘shot.”
Dunkin’ Donuts Egg & Cheese Wake-up Wrap + Latte
“Dunkin’ Donuts has some good coffee,” says dietitian Danielle Cushing, “so I usually keep my food order small to leave some wiggle room for a latte! The Egg & Cheese Wake-up Wrap is just 180 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 8 grams of protein. I can have my small skim latte for an extra 70 calories and 6 grams of protein without breaking my breakfast budget.” Don’t forget to add a flavor to your coffee—the cinnamon and cocoa powders are unsweetened and sugar free. These are the healthy menu items nutritionists always order at Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, and Panera.
McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich
At McDonald’s, the go-to dinner for dietitian Abbey Sharp is the Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich. “I stick to a mantra of not just looking at calories, but focusing on the balance between calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat and sodium,” she says. “And the Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich satisfies the criteria. When I order this meal, I skip the mayo completely, and maybe ask them to double up on the lettuce and tomato.”
McDonald’s Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad + Ice Cream
Dr. Bowers recommends the Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad, delivering only 350 calories and 12 grams of fat, but a whopping 37 grams of protein. It’s filling, spicy, and satisfying. With that bargain, splurge a little with a kiddie vanilla cone (only 45 calories!). Don’t miss these 33 insider secrets no fast food worker will ever tell you.
McDonald’s Happy Meal
Remember the Happy Meal? Well, act like a kid again and order one for yourself. Combining a hamburger, kid-size fries, apple slices, and 1 percent milk covers multiple food groups and weighs in at only 500 calories and 16 grams of fat, and still serves up 23 grams of protein.
McDonald’s Egg White McMuffin + Cuties
Dr. Bowers’ favorite is the McDonald’s Egg White McMuffin combined with tangerine cuties for a light breakfast on-the-go. For fewer than 300 calories, it delivers an impressive 16 grams of protein. Now that they’re serving breakfast all day long, you can enjoy this combo anytime. Check out this list of 75 mind-blowing facts about McDonald’s you never knew until now!
Chipotle Vegan Bowl
Looking for a vegan option? You’re in luck. Chipotle offers tofu-based sofritas as a protein option in their meals. Building a vegan bowl with brown rice, black beans, fajitas veggies, sofritas, and salsa provides a satisfying 20 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber for only 520 calories.
Chipotle Salad Bowl
For a lighter meal, skip the rice and build your own salad bowl. Crispy romaine lettuce topped with pinto beans, barbacoa beef, fajita vegetables, and salsa weighs in at fewer than 480 calories, with an impressive 54 grams of protein and 16 grams of filling fiber. Splurge on healthy fat-laden guacamole to add another 230 calories and 6 grams of fiber. The guac is so worth it—and it’s amazingly nutritious too! (Chipotle employees share their insider secrets about the popular burrito joint.)
Chipotle BYO Kid’s Meal
Choosing kid-size portions is a great way to get a little of everything without busting your waistline. Consider this: Two corn tortillas with chicken, pinto beans, fajita veggies, salsa, and a fresh orange deliver only 415 calories. Be sure to opt for a calorie-free beverage like water with lemon or iced tea. Now that you know all the dietitian-approved fast foods, here are the menu items nutritionists never order at fast food joints.