The Fast Food Facts

From burgers to chicken, salads to tacos, sandwiches to pizza, we'll be comparing the most popular foods from fast food eateries. We’ve get some good (and suprising) tips on how to eat when in a fast food restaurant and not derail your healthy diet.

Fast food gets a bad rap from us nutritionists—and with good reason. Many (but not all!) choices are loaded with fat, calories, and salt, usually in giant portions. But, "fast food" doesn't have to mean "fat food". With some healthier add-ins, smart deletions, and portion control, you can enjoy the convenience and fun of fast foods without expanding your waistline, raising your blood pressure, or clogging your arteries.

Which is worse? French fries or onion rings?

  • French fries: 360 calories, 20g fat
  • Onion rings: 300 caloriess, 15g fat

What is the best drink to get at a fast food restaurant?

  • Small milkshake: 420 calories
  • Large regular soda: 310 calories

When it comes to fat grams, here’s the ranking from the healthier option to the most fattening:

  1. Large chili and crackers: 9g fat
  2. Kids meal hamburger/fries: 22g fat
  3. Small meatball sub: 24g fat
  4. Extra crispy chicken breast: 28g fat

Here’s the ranking of 4 items with calories in mind, from the best to the worst:

  1. Grilled steak taco: 260 calories
  2. Asian chicken salad: 380 calories
  3. Turkey sub: 560 calories
  4. Mini cheese pizza: 620 calories

So what is the best option out there when it comes to fast food? Here are some tips:

  • When in doubt, avoid anything fried
  • Go for thin crust pizza light on cheese and toppings
  • Grilled chicken is a better choice, skip sauces
  • Skip desserts
  • Drinks—go for diet soda or water
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