Eating healthier, more nutritious meals can be a challenge. Good choices are tough to find without all the meal prep happening at home, but sometimes errands take longer than expected, lunches are forgotten at home, days get too hectic to plan meals, or we'd just like something to eat right now.
Restaurants are getting more on board with the need for more nutritious options, and today's health-conscious consumers have many choices for a quick meal on the go without sacrificing their healthy eating goals.
For a healthier breakfast at McDonald's, customers can choose an oatmeal or a satisfying egg McMuffin. The kid's meal burger with apples instead of fries keeps portions on the smaller side.
For carb-conscious diners, any burger can be ordered without sauce or a bun, served straight, or wrapped in lettuce as a bun substitute for a generous serving of protein.
Lifestyle bowls, burrito bowls, and salads are tasty choices packed with wholesome ingredients at Chipotle. They can be custom-made to fit nearly any healthy eating goal, diet plan, or nutritional need with the customer's choice of options like fiber-rich black beans, plant-based sofritas, fresh leafy greens, lean chicken, steak, flavorful salsas, and more.
With over 15,000 locations in the United States alone, Starbucks is an easy choice to locate when hunger strikes. Their oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit is packed with satisfying, gut-friendly fiber. For something warm, they offer lower-calorie sandwich options, as well as plant-based choices. They also have a variety of tasty protein boxes to choose from.
Whether searching for a snack or a serious hunger-satisfying meal, Taco Bell has a lot of affordable, healthier options. Power menu bowls made with chicken, steak, or vegetarian alternatives are loaded with veggies, protein, and fiber, and can be made lower-calorie by skipping the sour cream and cheese.
All of Taco Bell's tacos or burritos can be ordered fresco-style with chicken or steak instead of beef.
The double cheeseburger and BBQ chicken sandwich at Carl's Jr. are high-protein options that are relatively low in calories, though you'll still want to be mindful of sodium. Lighter eaters will enjoy the charbroiled chicken salad with 33 grams of protein or a kid's meal with minimal calories for a quick snack.
Carl's Jr. also offers all of their hearty burgers and sandwiches lettuce-wrapped instead of on a bun for those on a low-carb diet.
Subway has a long-standing reputation as a healthier fast food choice, despite recent news around some of their products. They have a variety of flavorful, veggie-loaded salads and bread-free bowls made with the same meats and toppings used in their subs.
You can ramp up the nutrition in almost any sub by choosing a lean protein and piling on the veggies. Their kids meals have the same tasty ingredients in smaller portions.
Wendy's has salads in tantalizing flavors like apple pecan, and their grilled chicken sandwich packs 32 grams of protein. Diners can swap deep-fried fries for a baked potato or a side of apple bites to make it a meal. They also have hearty chili or kids' meals with smaller portions.
Panera Bread offers many health-conscious choices including an oatmeal breakfast with strawberries and pecans. Their bowls come in several delicious flavors with or without chicken, and both meat and plant-based sandwich options are great for a lunch on the go. Chili or vegetarian soup are also available.
Sonic Drive-In offers some lower-calorie options if you're looking for something to tide you over until dinner without leaving you over-full. Breakfast burritos are packed with filling protein, and sandwiches offer an alternative to heavy, breaded chicken.
The fast-casual Chinese restaurant Panda Express has several healthier choices, including plenty with protein that will fill you right up. You can swap rice or chow mein for greens, or select a child size for a smaller portion. This kind of food also tends to keep as leftovers better than burgers and fries.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.