Tag Archives: healthiest menu choices

Healthiest Meal Choices at Sonic

When it comes to most fast-food places I don’t have a problem driving by, but there’s something about Sonic that really tests my willpower. (Mostly it’s the tater tots, Cherry Limeades and the novelty of have someone serve you in your car.) In our ongoing review of what to eat and what to avoid at fast-food restaurants across the country, today we’re putting Sonic’s menu to the test. The below menu options meet the recommendations of our registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield’s healthy guidelines of having less than 500 calories and less than 500 milligrams of sodium, according to the the new daily sodium recommendations.

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Healthiest Menu Choices at Panera

UPDATE 6/23/2011: While specific information isn’t available yet, Panera has reformulated a few of its soups, created a lower-calorie salad and reduced the amount of sauce on its sandwiches after consumers’ reactions to calorie counts were posted directly on menus in New York City and California. By the end of the year, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce new regulations that require any U.S. chain restaurant with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts for every item on its menu.

I am a huge Panera fan. I love their soups and salads and lattes and the like. Over the course of the last five years or so I’ve had my healthy Panera standbys that I knew tasted good and weren’t too high in calories or fat. However, once the new daily sodium recommendations were released, I knew it was time to go back to the Panera nutritionals and see how they stacked up. Below are the results of my research according to the guidance and expertise of registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield, who recommends that all meals should contain less than 500 calories and less than 500 milligrams of sodium.

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Healthiest Menu Choices at Chipotle

I’m a huge fan of Chipotle Mexican Grill. After all, they’re one of the few fast-food chains that serve only freshly prepared and unprocessed food that is sustainably-raised. Although its ingredients are no doubt healthier and more natural than most chains, we recently took a look at the menu to see if its meals met our registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield’s healthy guidelines of having less than 500 calories and less than 500 milligrams of sodium, according to the the new daily sodium recommendations.

Because Chipotle has more customizable serving options, it’s very easy to mix and match your own meal, as long as you pay attention to serving size. Below are our top picks for eating at Chipotle!

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Healthiest Menu Choices at Pizza Hut

When you think of Pizza Hut you probably don’t think “diet” unless it involves the words “going off my” in front of it. But what if you do end up at Pizza Hut, totally ravenous and wanting to eat something that won’t break the calorie or sodium bank? You do the best you can.

We recently trolled the pizza-chain’s menu trying to find meals that had less than 500 calories and less than 500 milligrams of sodium, according to feedback from registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield and the new daily sodium recommendations. The results weren’t plentiful, but when paired with some raw veggies, a piece of fruit or a small salad with no-sodium dressing, you can make a healthy mea!

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Healthiest Menu Choices at SUBWAY

As a sponsor of The Biggest Loser and a creator of its own diet, SUBWAY is known as being one of the most health-conscious of the fast-food chains out there. But does that healthy hype live up to its nutritionals? We recently scoured the chain’s menu trying to find meals that had less than 500 calories and less than 500 milligrams of sodium, according to feedback from registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield and the new daily sodium recommendations. The results? Although there are some good options here, it’s surprisingly limited considering SUBWAY prominently features its low-fat menu options.

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Healthiest Menu Choices at KFC

Of all of the fast-food chains, I would not have picked KFC to be a place that would have multiple options for people looking for a healthy meal on the go. But, to my surprise, KFC does have some healthy choices! Granted, you obviously can’t order the KFC Double Down or any sandwich or bowl from there, for that matter, but you can pair some things together for a meal that has less than 500 calories and less than 500 milligrams of sodium. This healthy criteria is based on feedback from registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield and the new daily sodium recommendations.

To find your perfect healthy KFC meal, pair one chicken option from the list below with one of the sides also listed below. Happy healthy-meal mix-and-matching!

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Healthiest Menu Choices at Taco Bell

Taco Bell is a favorite late-night stop for many youngsters, and today we’re looking at Taco Bell‘s nutritional facts and finding the healthiest options on the menu. Somewhat surprisingly — after all Taco Bell does have a Fresco menu of “healthier” options — there were not a lot of foods to choose from that fell into our criteria.

While many foods met our guideline to have less than 500 calories, most could not meet the new daily sodium recommendation from the U.S. government of less than 500 milligrams of sodium per meal. This criteria was set based on feedback from registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield. So what foods are we OK with calling healthy? Read on for your Taco Bell healthy choices! (Oh, and for the record, fourth meal at 2 a.m. is never a good idea!)

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Healthiest Menu Choices at Burger King

We wanted to see what the best menu items were at a popular fast-food restaurant: Burger King. After some digging, we came up with the below choices that are all selected based on feedback from registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield. All meals have less than 500 calories and about 500 milligrams of sodium, as part of the new daily sodium recommendations from the U.S. government. Because all fast food is generally high in salt, it was really difficult to find meals that fell into these guidelines at Burger King, and what we did find, unfortunately, wasn’t all that exciting.

Healthiest Meals at Burger King

1. Hamburger. With 340 calories and 520 milligrams of sodium, this is the lowest-sodium option for a sandwich. Our recommendation for rounding out this meal? Bring some raw cut-up veggies from home or pick up a piece of fruit to help fill you up and keep you energized.

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Wendy’s Healthiest Menu Choices

Of all of the large fast-food chains, I’ve always thought that Wendy’s seemed to have some of the most health-conscious options, especially when it comes to eating a lower-calorie meal. However, we recently scoured the menu for food options based on feedback from registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield who recommends that all meals have less than 500 calories and about 500 milligrams of sodium, as part of the new daily sodium recommendations from the U.S. government, and found otherwise.

The results? A little surprising. I’ve always loved Wendy’s chili as a good source of filling, yet lower-calorie protein and fiber, but at 800 milligrams of sodium for even a small cup, it didn’t make the cut!

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McDonald’s Healthiest Menu Choices

It’s happened to all of us. You’re on the road, you’re hungry and your only option is fast food. So what do you do? You choose the healthiest option possible! But looks can be deceiving. We did some research on what is the healthiest menu option at the popular fast-food chain McDonald’s and if you’re looking for a meal, there weren’t a lot of choices, but there are some.

We selected the below food options based on feedback from registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield. All meals have less than 500 calories and about 500 milligrams of sodium, as part of the new daily sodium recommendations from the U.S. government.

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