Special Report

The Healthiest Option at Every Fast Food Restaurant

Source: Courtesy of Burger King

Burger King: Garden Side Salad – w/o dressing or croutons
> Serving size: 99 g
> Calories: 60
> Total amount of sugar: 2.0 g
> Total amount of fat: 4.0 g
> Total amount sodium: 95 mg

As the second largest burger chain in America after McDonald’s, Burger King is of course best-known for its burgers, but an obviously much less caloric choice would be this salad of assorted lettuces with tomatoes and a mix of three cheeses. Be wary, though: the “buttery garlic” croutons that come in a separate packet double the calorie count — and a packet of dressing will add anywhere between 120 to 260 calories to the salad. If you want to eat 240 calories (salad, croutons, and Lite Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette), you could order a regular burger instead.

Source: Courtesy of Carl's Jr.

Carl’s Jr.: Kid’s Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders
> Serving size: 85 g (2 tenders)
> Calories: 180
> Total amount of sugar: 0.0 g
> Total amount of fat: 9.0 g
> Total amount sodium: 520 mg

Carl’s Jr. is under the same corporate ownership as Hardee’s (see above). Carl’s Jr. covers the western half of the country, Hardee’s the eastern, and they chains have an almost identical menu. Unlike Hardee’s, however, Carl’s Jr. doesn’t serve grits. Its healthiest menu option, then, is this duo of buttermilk-dipped, lightly breaded chicken tenders. A small tub of buttermilk ranch dipping sauce will add another 100 calories.

Source: Courtesy of Bojangles

Bojangles: Green Beans
> Serving size: 90 g (1 cup)
> Calories: 40
> Total amount of sugar: 1.0 g
> Total amount of fat: 0.0 g
> Total amount sodium: 740 mg

Bojangles touts its “Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits,” but also offers a number of side dishes, including cole slaw, Cajun pinto beans, grits, mac ‘n cheese — and green beans, cooked with bits of tomato and assorted seasonings.

Source: Courtesy of Einstein Bros. Bagels

Einstein Bros Bagels: Honey Whole Wheat
> Serving size: 102 g (1 bagel)
> Calories: 260
> Total amount of sugar: 7.0 g
> Total amount of fat: 3.0 g
> Total amount sodium: 550 mg

Like other Einstein varieties, this is slightly smaller than some other chain bagels. It’s made with whole wheat flour sweetened with honey and brown sugar. As with any bagel, adding cream cheese adds calories — 110 to 120 per serving in the case of Einstein’s Whipped Reduced Fat Cream Cheese Schmears.

Source: Cculber007 / Wikimedia Commons

Krystal: Side Grits Bowl
> Serving size: 257 g (1 bowl)
> Calories: 210
> Total amount of sugar: 0.0 g
> Total amount of fat: 5.0 g
> Total amount sodium: 520 mg

Established in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1932 and now comprising some 350 locations in 11 Southern states, Krystal serves burgers, hot dogs (or “pups”), and chicken sandwiches and wings, among other items. Its sides include Kryspers (fried hash brown strips), three variations of fries, chili, and — this being a Southern chain — grits, moistened with butter.