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10 Healthy Fast Food Choices that Satisfy Any Cravings

Next time you're facing down a fast food craving, know which choice is better for your health.

Fan of fast food?

You can make healthy choices. Too many people equate healthy food with pricy organic or specialized ingredients. It’s time to see things more simply: Oven-roasted chicken is yummy, filling, and healthy—and still cheaper and better for you than its fried cousin. We’ve randomly chosen highly popular but not-so-nutritious foods in 10 different categories, and found healthier alternatives for each that cost the same (and often, less) money. Prices may vary based on location and time of year. Even so, these examples illustrate just how easy it is to make smarter decisions without worrying about cost.

Fast-Food Dinner for Three

Craving: KFC 8-piece Bucket, Extra Crispy
breast 510 calories/33 g fat; drumstick 150 calories/10 g fat; thigh 340 calories/24 g fat; wing 190 calories/13 g fat

Healthier Choice: Subway Fresh Fit 6-inch Oven Roasted Chicken, three subs
320 calories, 5 g fat (per sub)

Fast-Food Burger

Craving: Burger King Half-Pound Whopper
670 calories, 40 g fat, 11 g sat fat, 28 g protein

Healthier Choice: Burger King Veggie Burger
410 calories, 16 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 22 g protein

Note: While the Veggie Burger is lower in calories and fat, both of these choices are high in sodium. If you’re concerned about high blood pressure, you may want to order a salad.

From the Grill

Craving: Ball Park Frank
One hot dog with bun, relish, mustard, and ketchup
326 calories, 17 g fat, 5 g sat fat, 40 mg chol, 35 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein

Healthier Choice: Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Try:

Arnold Stone Ground 100% Whole-Wheat Bread, one slice; two reduced-fat 2% Kraft Singles; two tsp Promise margarine spread
283 calories, 12 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 20 mg chol, 28 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 14 g protein

Fast-Food Dessert

Craving: McDonald’s Hot Fudge Sundae
330 calories, 54 g carbs

Healthier Choice: McDonald’s Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait
160 calories, 31 g carbs

Breakfast On-The-Go

Craving: Dunkin’ Donut
Plain Glazed
260 calories, 14 g fat, 6 g sat fat, 31 g carbs, 3 g protein

Healthier Choice: Luna Protein Bar
Chocolate Peanut Butter
190 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 20 g carbs, 12 g protein

Potato Chips

Craving: Lays Classic Chips
10 g fat, 180 mg sodium, 15 chips per serving
10.5 oz. bag

Healthier Choice: Cape Cod Potato Chips
40% Reduced Fat Original Kettle Cooked
6 g fat, 110 mg sodium, 23 chips per serving
8 oz. bag

Ice Cream

Craving: Ben & Jerry’s
(Chocolate Fudge Brownie)
220 calories, 11 g fat, 7 g sat fat
3.6 oz. single cup

Healthier Choice: Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich
(Vanilla/Chocolate Combo Low-Fat Ice Cream Sandwich)
140 calories, 1.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat
24 oz., 6 count package
96¢ per sandwich


Craving: Oreo Cookie

160 calories, 7 g fat, 24 carbs, 14 g sugar per serving

15.5 oz. package

Healthier Choice: Keebler Oatmeal Cookie Country Style
130 calories, 6 g fat, 19 carbs, 8 g sugar per serving

13 oz. package


Craving: Kellogg’s Pop-Tart
(Blueberry, one pastry)
210 calories, 6 g fat, less than 1 g fiber
14.7 oz. box, 8 count
32¢ per pastry

Healthier Choice: whole wheat toast with jam. Try:

Arnold Stone Ground Bread
(100% Whole-Wheat one slice)
Polaner All Fruit with Fiber
Blueberry Spreadable Fruit, one tbsp
100 calories, 1 g fat, 5 g fiber
31¢ per slice


Craving: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes
27 g carbs, 11 g sugar per serving
14 oz. box

Healthier Choice: Wheatena
32 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 5 grams fiber, 5 g protein per serving
20 oz. box

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest