Unexpected hunger pangs happen to the best of us, and they seem to hit at the most inconvenient of times–like when you’re out running errands or miles from anywhere on a long road trip. Having healthy, travel-friendly snacks on hand can certainly diminish the dazzle of the drive-thru in these situations–but let’s be honest. Eating on the fly is sometimes unavoidable, even for the most prepared.
Thankfully, fast food restaurants are realizing not everyone wants to eat unhealthy while on the go, and today many popular chains offer healthier options for nutrition-conscious consumers. If you’ve ever made the mistake of ordering a 1,000 calorie salad though, you know some of those seemingly healthy choices aren’t actually healthy at all.
To help you navigate your way through the drive-thru, here are 10 healthier meals to consider ordering the next time hunger strikes while you’re on the road:
STARBUCKS’ SPINACH AND FETA BREAKFAST WRAP*
Calories: 290; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 3.5g; Cholesterol: 20mg; Sodium: 830mg; Carbohydrates: 33g; Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g; Protein: 19g
PANERA BREAD’S AVOCADO EGG WHITE & SPINACH BREAKFAST POWER SANDWICH
Calories: 410; Total Fat: 14g; Sodium: 600mg; Carbohydrates: 52g; Fiber: 7g, Protein: 22g
MCDONALD’S FRUIT ‘N YOGURT PARFAIT
Calories: 150; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 5mg; Sodium: 80mg; Carbohydrates: 30g; Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 23g; Protein: 4g
TACO BELL’S MINI SKILLET BOWL
Calories: 180; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 100mg; Sodium: 430mg; Carbohydrates: 16g; Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g; Protein: 5g
LUNCH & DINNER OPTIONS
SUBWAY’S 6″ OVEN ROASTED CHICKEN SUB
Calories: 320; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 45mg; Sodium: 610mg; Carbohydrates: 46g; Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 23g
Ordering Tip: Get it on 9-grain wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers.
CHIPOTLE’S STEAK BURRITO BOWL WITH ROMAINE, FAJITA VEGETABLES, BLACK BEANS AND GREEN TOMATILLO SALSA*
Calories: 310; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 80mg; Sodium: 1,015mg; Carbohydrates: 32g; Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 5g; Protein: 29g
MCDONALD’S ARTISAN GRILLED CHICKEN SANDWICH*
Calories: 380; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 95mg; Sodium: 960mg; Carbohydrates: 44g; Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 11g; Protein: 37g
Ordering Tip: Make it an open-faced sandwich to save 100 calories and cut 165mg sodium and nearly 20g carbs.
QUIZNOS’ 4″ TUNA SUB WITH CHEESE*
Calories: 320; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 40mg; Sodium: 770mg; Carbohydrates: 36g; Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 19g
Ordering Tip: Just ask to hold the dressing.
WENDY’S ASIAN CASHEW CHICKEN SALAD
Calories: 380; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 85mg; Sodium: 850mg; Potassium: 1030, Carbohydrates: 30g; Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 18g; Protein: 37g
Ordering Tip: Ask for just one packet of dressing.
*Nutrition Note: Many fast foods, even the healthier options, contain a lot of sodium. These meals provide more than 35% (805 mg) of the daily recommendation for sodium. Try to select lower-sodium foods at other meals & snacks throughout the day to balance it out.