Fast food should never be your go-to for every meal. But let’s face it, life can get busy and, sometimes, while we’re on the road, we have to choose convenience over a home cooked meal. And sometimes it’s just convenient, cheap, and tasty. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t healthier fast food options at those restaurants to keep you on track for your goals.

Over the past decade there has been a shift by fast food chains to provide healthier options and even whole menus geared toward helping you make better choices. That doesn’t always mean that a salad is the healthiest option on the menu either. The trick to ordering is watching your portion sizes, avoid high-fat items, and make sure what you are eating actually has some nutritional value to it including some high-quality protein.

To help guide you through the menu the next time you pull up to the drive through at your favorite spot, opt for one of these healthier fast food options.

Jordan Mazur, M.S., R.D., is the coordinator of nutrition and team sports dietitian for the San Francisco 49ers.

Healthier Fast Food Options


  • Roast Beef Classic – 360 calories, 23g protein, 37g carbs, 14g fat
  • Prime-cut Chicken Tenders (3 ct) – 360 calories, 23g protein, 28g carbs, 17g fat
  • Double Roast Beef Sandwich – 510 calories, 38g protein, 38g carbs, 23g fat

Burger King

  • Whopper Jr. Sandwich without Mayo – 250 calories, 13g protein, 27g carbs, 10g fat
  • Hamburger – 220 calories, 11g protein, 26g carbs, 8g fat
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich without Mayo – 370 calories, 37g protein, 39g carbs, 7g fat
  • Grilled Chicken Salad – 340 calories, 39g protein, 16g carbs, 15g fat


  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich – 310 calories, 29g protein, 36g carbs, 6g fat
  • Grilled Market Salad w/ Grilled Nuggets – 350 calories, 31g protein, 27g carbs, 14g fat
  • Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich – 430 calories, 37g protein, 36g carbs, 16g fat
  • Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap – 360 calories, 40g protein, 30g carbs, 13g fat
  • Egg White Chicken Grill – 300 calories, 25g protein, 31g carbs, 7g fat
  • Hash Brown Scramble Bowl w/ Grilled Fillet – 410 calories, 30g protein, 15g carbs, 26g fat

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Get the bowl (skip the wrap/burrito/tacos)

  • Select ANY meat (you can add cheese)
  • Choose only ONE carbohydrate (eg, rice or beans or ½ scoops of both)
  • Add fajita vegetables (they’re pan-seared and have no additional calories)
  • Choose only ONE fat source (guacamole or sour cream).

Five Guys Burgers & Fries

  • Bunless Little Bacon Cheeseburger – 370 calories, 24g protein, 0g carbs, 24g fat
  • Bunless Little Cheeseburger – 290 calories, 20g protein, 0g carbs, 23g F


  • Original Recipe Chicken Breast – 390 calories, 39g protein, 11g carbs, 21g fat
  • Kentucky Grilled Chicken Thigh – 150 calories, 17g protein, 0g carbs, 9g fat
  • Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast – 210 calories, 38g protein, 0g carbs, 7g fat

In-N-Out Burger

  • Cheeseburger Protein Style – 330 calories, 18g protein, 11g carbs, 25g fat
  • Double-Double Protein Style – 520 calories, 33g protein, 11g carbs, 39g fat

Jimmy John’s

  • Turkey Tom – 510 calories, 25g protein, 56g carbs, 21g fat 
  • Ultimate Porker – 510 calories, 25g protein, 56g carbs, 20g fat
  • Big John – 540 calories, 25g protein, 55g carbs, 23g fat


  • Bacon Ranch Salad w/ Grilled Chicken – 320 calories, 42g protein, 9g carbs, 14g fat
  • Egg White Delight McMuffin – 260 calories, 16g protein, 29g carbs, 8g fat
  • Southwest Salad w/ Grilled Chicken – 350 calories, 37g protein, 27g carbs, 11g fat
  • Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich – 380 calories, 37g protein, 44g carbs, 7g fat


  • Turkey & Havarti Sandwich – 460 calories, 29g protein, 31g carbs, 21g fat
  • Egg & Cheese Protein Box – 460 calories, 23g protein, 40g carbs, 24g fat
  • Spinach, Feta, & Egg White Breakfast Wrap – 290 calories, 19g protein, 33g carbs, 10g fat
  • Smoked Turkey Protein Box – 570 calories, 35g protein, 54g carbs, 23g fat


  • 6” Roast Beef – 320 calories, 25g protein, 45g carbs, 5g fat
  • 6” Oven Roasted Chicken – 320 calories, 23g protein, 45g carbs, 5g fat
  • 6” Turkey Breast – 280 calories, 18g protein, 46g carbs, 3.5g fat
  • 6” Rotisserie Chicken – 350 calories, 29g protein, 45g carbs, 6g fat
  • 6” Steak, Egg White & Cheese – 450 calories, 28g protein, 45g carbs, 28g fat

Taco Bell

  • Fresca Soft Taco – 140 calories, 10g protein, 17g carbs, 4g fat
  • Grilled Steak Soft Taco – 200 calories, 12g protein, 17g carbs, 10g fat
  • Fresca Soft Chicken Taco – 150 calories, 9g protein, 16g carbs, 6g fat
  • Chicken Power Bowl – 470 calories, 26g protein, 50g carbs, 19g fat


  • Apple Pecan Chicken Salad (w/ Dressing) – 520 calories, 35g protein, 28g carbs, 11g fat
  • Large Chili – 250 calories, 23g protein, 23g carbs, 7g fat
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich – 370 calories, 34g protein, 38g carbs, 10g fat
  • Grilled Chicken Wrap – 270 calories, 20g protein, 24g carbs, 10g fat

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