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It’s tough to avoid fast food. With our lives being so on-the-go, it’s not unusual to end up resorting to quicker options rather than home cooked meals or healthier choices at a dine-in restaurant. If you’re worried about eating too much fast food, you’re not alone. A recent study found that approximately 84.8 million US adults eat fast food on any given day; that’s 37% of the population! While we know fast food isn’t the best for us, there are still options that seniors can rely on to beat hunger without the guilt.
- Steak Salad with Brown Rice, Fajita Vegetables, and Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Nutrition: 410 Calories, 12 g Fat
The Mexican fast-casual chain has long been a haven for folks who want a quick, healthy meal without sacrificing flavor. By cooking with fresh ingredients and allowing for complete order customization, Chipotle actually has numerous low-calorie options that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Unlike their burrito options–which often boast more than 1,000 calories and a day’s worth of sodium–the salad bowls allow you to enjoy protein-rich scoops in every bite. Just be sure to avoid ingredients like sour cream and guacamole, which can easily cause the calorie and fat counts to go up.
- Harvest Chicken Salad
- 320 calories, 15 grams fat
- Small Chili
- 160 calories, 5 grams fat
Though they’re known for their monster-sized cheeseburgers and Frostys, Wendy’s is surprisingly a great place to dig into protein. By pairing both the low-calorie chicken salad (which uses grilled chicken instead of breaded) and the hearty chili, you can be sure you’re getting a filling meal without loading up on carbs and fats.
- Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
- 300 calories, 13 grams fat
Who doesn’t love a lunch of Chinese food? Panda Express is no longer just a dining choice for the hungry and weary at the airport, as they have recently opened their 2000th US location. And now, with this chicken option providing a drastically more healthy option than their other menu items, you can munch without feeling guilty.
- Fresco Chicken Taco
- 150 Calories, 3.5 grams fat
Unlike Chipotle, Taco Bell has rarely claimed to be a healthy fast food option. However, a few years ago, Taco Bell released their Fresco Menu, which features options like Bean Burritos and Chicken Tacos without the high calorie count.
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- 370 calories, 7 grams fat
Another fast food stop known for its massive burgers, the self-proclaimed king of the flame grill still features some items that will help you chow down while still making your health a priority. As is the case with many of these other choices, grilled chicken is the star of the show here. For an even healthier option, you might consider ditching the bun, as that drops the calorie count down to 270 and the carbs down to a miniscule 1 gram.
We all want to eat healthier, but there isn’t always time to do so. When stepping into a fast food restaurant, strategically studying the menu’s nutritional information is a great idea, particularly for the health-conscious. While these items are just examples, there are still other items that you can choose from without worrying as much about the content. If you’re ever unsure at a quick-serve restaurant, be sure to look for lean protein, salads, or anything that doesn’t come in a bun.
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