Thankfully, there is more to fast food than this -- particularly if you don't eat meat like I do and desire something a little less artery-clogging when you order a meal on the fly.
Here, in descending order, are my top five fast food picks:
5. IT'S A TIE: I CAN'T DECIDE!
390 calories; 19 grams of fat
PREMIUM SOUTHWEST SALAD (w/o chicken)
170 calories; 7 grams of fat
Okay, before I begin, please allow me to clarify a few things. First, I eat fish and am technically a pescetarian, which makes this sandwich fair game. Second, the nutrition facts for the Filet-O-Fish above are for one with tartar sauce, and I always order my Filet-O-Fish without it, which shaves a decent amount off both the calorie and fat counts. And, third, if you're thinking Hey, 19 grams of fat doesn't seem all that healthy to me, why did this make your list? Here's my reasoning: Fat is a hell of a lot less dangerous than sugar, which majorly effs with insulin levels, among other things. And secondly, when I order this sandwich -- which, again, is tartar sauce-fee -- that is my entire meal. No fries. No soda. No apple pie. Nada. This is all I'm eating. And I won't eat again for hours. As for the Southwest salad, this thing beats many of the salads I've eaten at sit-down restaurants. And the fresh lime as a garnish? Superb.
4. BURGER KING'S BK VEGGIE BURGER
320 calories; 8 grams of fat
While not as delectable as a homemade bean burger, this definitely works in a pinch. I order mine with cheese, but I pass on the mayo, which is evil. (Do you know about mayo? Google it. You'll see. And don't shoot the messenger, I love the taste of it, too. But I decided to quit it a while ago, and, honestly, I don't really miss it.)
3. TACO BELL'S 7-LAYER BURRIO
430 calories; 16 grams of fat
While there are other vegetarian burritos on Taco Bell's menu that boast less calories and less grams of fat (namely the bean burrito and black bean burrito), the 7-layer burrito remains my top choice, and I'm going to tell you why: It's damn tasty: The end. But, no, seriously, just like when I order the Filet-O-Fish, this constitutes my entire meal, and as such, I feel little if any guilt for eating something a little more substantial. Also, when I eat this burrito -- or the Filet-O-Fish -- for dinner, I make sure that that is all I eat for the evening, no snacks or anything. And if I order this for lunch, I make sure my dinner has less fat; like, say, a salad.
2. TACO BELL'S VEGGIE CANTINA POWER BOWL
460 calories; 19 grams of fat
I cannot put into words how much I love this bowl of goodness. I order both sauces/dressings on the side, which also shaves some numbers off the calorie and fat counts, too.
1. WENDY'S ASIAN CASHEW CHICKEN SALAD -- WITHOUT CHICKEN
260 calories; 5 grams of fat
Coming in at number one is this salad -- my unequivocal fast food choice, bar none. (I couldn't find a photo of this salad sans chicken, but just know that the salad is just as pretty without it.) I order the chicken on the side and give it to my husband Scott, who doesn't eat much meat, save for boneless skinless chicken breast, which remains a staple of his diet. I eat this salad with the Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette it comes with and I also add a dash of light ranch dressing. I. Love. This.
Thank you for reading!