Healthy Fast Food Options? They Exist. Kind Of.

  • by Grayson Wayne
  • 2 Months ago
  • Nutrition
  • 325 Views

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I think by now, we all are pretty aware of how bad fast food is for our health. Fast food stormed our city streets in the 80s, starting with the infamous McDonalds takeover, and allowed us an easy, quick and convenient way to get a meal. At the time, it was exciting, reasonable and logical.

And then we all got fat and our hearts conked out.

Fast food, it seemed, was merely a fast track to degenerative diseases and obesity. Since the 80s, people have become more and more unhealthy, as have our subsequent children. Now, it would be inaccurate to blame solely fast food establishments. The “low fat diet” craze, which resulted in monster portions of sugar intake amongst the herd, had a lot to do with things as well. But fast food was pushing sugar just as well. Fast food became brilliantly adaptive to marketing trends. Low fat versions of meals and artificially infused sugar products kept them on the financially blissful path.

The thing is, sometimes we are in a pinch and we need to eat and fast food is the only realistic option. It isn’t as if we can pull over on the side of the road and start our own fire and grill shrimp we netted in the ocean. We may not have time to sit in a nicer restaurant.

So what can a man or woman in a pinch do? Well, there are “better” options that exist. And some “good” options, depending on what your diet goals might be. Let’s have a look at some of them.

Chipotle

 

Chipotle allows you to get “bowls” as meals. If you’ve never been to a Chipotle, well, you can really design a pretty healthy, fast meal. By choosing a bowl with (choice of meat or soy), along side avocado, brown rice, vegetables, and beans, you can make out pretty darn healthy.

The negatives (because there are always negatives)…. The avocado is expensive. Use caution when asking for the additional avocado (everything else is included). The other thing is, Chipotle is fast food, but not super fast food. I’ve never been in a Chipotle that didn’t have an annoying line. People are super obsessed over Chipotle and don’t mind waiting. Additionally, people choosing everything they want (the part that can make it healthy) also slows down the service. But fear not, just get the app and pre-order, you mighty hipster.

Burger Places – In & Out

 

I don’t trust the meat at places such as McDonalds and Burger King. In & Out, however, has a little more street cred. In & Out, additionally, allows for you to order an “no bun” version to your burger. Losing the bun cuts down on carbs and calories in a major way. The bun is one of the most pervasive health problems with burgers. They will put on a nice, crispy lettuce wrap. You’d be damn surprised by how good this taste! Now, you can choose to put all types of extras on it and crap on the health advances you made, but, lacking the bun is a bold move to a newfound healthy lifestyle. This is how I eat all of my burgers.

Yes, I’ve been booted out of a few of my friend’s barbeques, but I take the good with the bad when it comes to being bunless.

Chick-fil-A

 

There is nothing better than a crispy spicy chicken sandwhich. Oh, not having a heart attack at 40, that’s better. In light of such a revelation, it should be noted that Chick-fil-A has some healthy options.


One of those options is their Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap. If you are trying to avoid wheat, this wouldn’t be for you as the wrap is a whole wheat wrap. But if you are just trying to dodge some fast food bullets, the wheat wrap might be the least of your concerns, particularly when you consider the other options of fried meats and big fluffy bready buns (crap, now I’m hungry for something terrible!). This wrap has grilled chicken and lettuce and weighs in at only 340 calories. Not bad for a little lunch option.

McDonalds

 

I felt the need to include the king of all fast food in this article. The fact is, McDonalds is a vast pit of artery clogging, blood sugar corrupting, grease and bread and loosely termed meat. But life happens. And one day your boss may want to take you to the golden arches to discuss your next big raise and you might have to step up and make sure you don’t make him feel bad about his Big Mac addiction. As a side note, I was once addicted to Big Macs. I’m serious. I can’t explain why, but damn those things are good.

All the same, in a pinch, McDonalds offers that Artisan Grilled Chicken number. At 360 calories and lacking the fried aspect, its not a horrible choice. Be bold and remove the bun and you are actually not doing so bad. Though, you boss may not think much of you for removing the bun.

Taco Bell

 

No. I’m Kidding.

Panera Bread

 

Bread has carbs. Lots of carbs. And gluten, for those of you wishing to avoid such ingredients. Quitting bread was the best thing I ever did do. It helps me manage my weight. So it would stand to reason that a place with “bread” in the name might be a more difficult option for a fast meal

But maybe not. Honestly, they aren’t running massive fryers back there. You can grab a smoked turkey breast sandwhich that even with the bread weighs in at 430 calories. Life goes on. And its damn good. The carbs, of course, will torch you but maybe just call it your carb loading day (those aren’t bad, you know, pending you commonly eat low carb).

Papa Johns

 

Your doomed. Try a salad, but that just means you are eating lettuce while watching others enjoy bad ass pizza.

Burger King

 

The whopper and I go way back. I grew up eating whoppers. I really thought of them the same as eating backyard grilled burgers. I fell for the whole gig. And since we included McDonalds and Burger King is very omnipresent in our society, its best we include them. I’m a fair and unbiased journalist.

They have a BK Veggie burger, that without the mayo, is 310 calories. That said, you are eating a veggie burger without mayo. You must understand what you are getting into. I would maybe consider eating the paper napkins before I’d order a veggie burger from Burger King, but hey, do what you gotta do, my friends.

Hopefully this helped everyone gain some new options that won’t kill you (or will kill you just a little slower). Its best to cook your own meals. But we know that’s not always a reasonable option.

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An experienced health writer who also watches a lot of Netflix and Reality TV.