No one plans on eating fast food most days. Sometimes life just puts a super deluxe cheeseburger and curly fries in front of you, and you’re like “welcome, old friends.” Between work, classes, happy hours, weekend trips, road tripping to your parents’ house, and everything in between, you can’t always plan on where you’re going to get dinner. This can be especially daunting if you’re trying to be a better human and eat a little healthier.

Regardless of where you're at, fast food is the most obvious choice for sustenance when you’re away from your tiny kitchen. It's quick, cheap, and simply tastes top notch. But as enticing as fast food is, your body can’t thrive on drive-thru meals. In general, healthy fast food is a bit of an oxymoron, but it’s easy to spot when you know what you’re looking for.

What is "Healthy Fast Food?"

To us, choosing healthy fast food options doesn’t mean skipping the cheese or ordering only salads. When we say “healthy fast food,” we’re talking about options that are lower in calories, fat, and sodium that will still fill you up. Why do these three specific nutrients matter? Fast food meals can easily contain half your daily recommended amount of calories, or more. Eating this many calories in one sitting means your body will have to work harder to digest your meal. You likely won’t feel energized after you’re done eating, which is a big deal when you have a packed schedule and need to stay focused. 

All in all, choosing healthy fast food options doesn’t mean obsessing over calories or focusing on your weight; it means choosing meals that have enough calories to make you feel full and that will fuel your body to kick some serious ass. Plus, the real reason fast food items that are lower in fat are usually better is because healthy sources of fats are hard to come by in fast food options. Like, avocado or coconut oil. The fat in most fast food comes from vegetable oils, which aren’t the best for you in large amounts. And while sodium is good for you in moderation, most fast food options are super salty and aren’t something you want to eat every day.

With that said, even after all the episodes of Grey’s Anatomy we’ve consumed, we're not doctors. So if you have questions about your diet, talk with an actual doctor about your questions. 

Healthy Fast Food Options

We chose these healthier fast food options by scouring countless nutrition guides online and comparing each chain’s menu items. Don’t feel like you have to take notes, though. Many fast food chains like Taco Bell and Burger King now list basic nutrition information on their menus. Consider the following articles your foundation for learning how to make healthier choices IRL.