The best and worst fast food items to order

By the time you finish reading this, you’ll be amazed at the calorie, fat, and sodium content of popular fast food items you can order. You’ll also learn the best fast food items to order if you stop in for fast food.

People’s hectic lives force even the healthiest of eaters to eat out from time to time. When you eat fast food, how good or bad are the things you order? Do you know how many calories, sodium, or grams of fat are in your favorite fast food? Do you wonder where the extra kilos come from? Your fast food options may be contributing.

With the nation’s growing obesity epidemic and as much as people work to get in shape or watch what they eat, it’s important to know the nutrition facts for your fast food.

You may be surprised at the calories, fat, and sodium in some items that appear to be a relatively “healthy” fast food option.

Fast Food Chain Item Calories Fat Grams Sodium (mg)

TACO BELL

smart options

Crispy Fresh Style Taco (no cheese, no sauce) 150 7 360

Crunchy Taco 170 10 560

Fresh Style Ranch Chicken Soft Taco 170 4,710*

Grilled Steak Soft Taco Fresh Style 170 5 560

Gordita Baja Fresh Style Steak 230 7 570

Watch out!

1/2 lb Combo Beef Burrito 470 19 1620

1/2 lb Beef and Potato Burrito 540 25 1660

Grilled Stuffed Burrito Beed 720 32 2140

Big Nachos Bell 750 36 1400

Fiesta Taco Salad 860 46 1800

Fiesta Taco Salad without Shell 490 25 1530

Mexican Pizzeria 540 31 1040

McDonald’s

smart options

Hamburger 260 9,530

Chicken nuggets 4 pieces 170 10 450

Chicken nuggets 6 pieces 250 15 670

Fruit and yogurt parfait 160 2 85

Egg McMuffin 300 12,860*

Salad 20 0 10

California Cobb with Grilled Chicken 280 11 1120*

California Cobb without chicken 160 9 410

French fries 250 13 140

Newman’s Own Low Fat Basalmic Vinaigrette 40 3,730**

Watch out!

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese 730 40 1330

Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich 680 29 1830

Large fries 570 30 330

Select Premium chicken breast strips 3 pieces 380 20 930

Select Premium chicken breast strips 5 pieces 630 33 1550

Creamy ranch sauce 200 21 300

Great Breakfast 730 46 1470

Deluxe Hot Cinnamon Roll 590 24 660

Large Thick Triple Chocolate Milkshake 1160 27 510

When ordering, you can simply change the salad dressing to save calories and fat. Low-fat dressing has 160 calories and 18 grams of fat per serving less than ranch dressing.

ARBY’S

smart options

Fruit Cup 34 0 0

Junior Roast Beef Sandwich 273 10,740*

Ham and Fresh Cheese Sandwich Mini Market 228 5,916*

Mini Market Fresh Turkey and Cheese Sandwich 235 5,798*

Ham and Cheese Croissant 274 12,842*

Watch out!

Roast Meat Sub 722 41 2211

Turkey, ranch and bacon sandwich 834 37 2258

Large Roast Beef Sandwich 547 28 1869

Crispy Chipolte Chicken Sandwich 680 37 1228

Philly Beef & Swiss Sub 669 35 1943

Chicken Strips 5 Pieces 630 31 1977

Buffalo Sauce 20 1 1600

Ham, Egg and Cheese Sourdough 678 35 2105

KFC

smart options

Grilled Caesar salad without croutons or dressing 220 9,850*

Grilled BLT salad without croutons or dressing 210 7,900*

Hidden Valley Fat Free Ranch 35 0 410

Honey BBQ KFC Snacker 220 3.5 490

KFC BBQ Honey Sandwich 300 6,920*

Chicken Breast without Skin or Breaded 140 3 410

Watch out!

Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing 200 20 470

Triple Crunch Sandwich 650 34 1640

Extra Crispy Chicken Breast 460 28 1230

Large popcorn chicken 560 31 1790

Crunchy twister 670 38 1650

*Denotes a high-sodium item listed in the Smart Choice selection.

Most of the big chains have a nutrition facts page on their website. You can look and see what the nutritional information is for the things you commonly order and also choose the items that would be smarter choices for your diet and health.

Switching up your normal fast food order could save you hundreds, or even thousands, of calories per meal and help you shed or fend off extra pounds. Eat healthy and live happily.

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