Healthy Fast Food Meal Choices! Under 500 calories – McDonalds, Subway, & more! – Mind Over Munch

*sigh* I’m running late! I know I need to eat, but there’s no time! Do you have anything…healthy? *laughter* Hey Munchies! I’m Alyssia if you’re new, welcome to the channel! After my recent 3 healthy Chipotle bowls video, where I went into the nutrition facts pretty deeply, I had LOADS of requests for other restaurants, so I decided to compile that into one GRAND video where I share a healthy meal choice at EACH of these 10 FAST FOOD restaurants, that ARE NOT salads, even though there may be a side salad to bulk. Meal qualifications: I tried to keep choices between 300 and 500 calories, which can mean some of these are more of a snack than a meal, but sometimes we just need to get something small at these restaurants to stay on track. We don’t have to be left out of the experience, but we don’t have to over-indulge, either. I also looked for choices that are around 20 grams of fat, at least 15 grams of protein, and under 1000 milligrams of sodium— not to say that you MUST stick to those macronutrient frames at a snack or meal, but I had to have some kind of guidelines and structure here, and that’s a pretty common caloric meal goal. 1000 milligrams of sodium is actually quite a bit for one meal, but sodium is just one of those fairly unavoidable things when eating out that we need to be aware of, and I discuss that more in my Chipotle video. Before we begin, a quick disclaimer for the haters: Let’s get to it! McDonalds: Instead of a regular Egg Mcmuffin, grab an Egg White Delight Mcmuffin to save on fat and calories while keeping protein high. That English muffin is still made with refined flour, but there aren’t any whole-grain options so that’s a sacrifice we’ll have to make. Remember, ONE meal with LESS fuel won’t make you fat, just like ONE healthy meal won’t make you skinny, so don’t beat yourself up too much if you can’t find the perfect meal, just be honest with yourself about your overall diet. I’ve also added apple slices and a mandarin orange for some extra volume and healthy fuel-filled carbohydrates. Total meal: 310 calories, 17 grams of protein, 41 grams of carbs, 8 grams of fat, 750 milligrams of sodium. Burger King: It may be surprising, but a regular cheeseburger could be worse. It’s moderate in sodium, and actually has LESS calories, fat, and carbs than the grilled chicken sandwich, which to many would seem like the healthier choice. I’m adding a side salad for volume and some nutritious fuel, and keeping the fat-free ranch dressing on the side so I can be in control of how much is used. Remember, salad dressings can do a LOT more damage than people realize. Total meal: 370 calories, 17 grams of protein, 41 grams of carbs, 16 grams of fat, 1195 milligrams of sodium. But remember, you likely won’t need that entire dressing packet, which is a sodium bomb. Wendy’s: Wendy’s offers some pretty fancy salads, but most of them are specifically damaging when you account for the dressing. Luckily, they offer items other than classic sandwiches, too, like wraps! This grilled chicken wrap has moderate stats, although it IS on the small side. I’m adding apple slices on the side for volume and nutrition, although notice how little fiber the apples actually add because the serving size is so small. Total meal: 305 calories, 20 grams of protein, 33 grams of carbs, 11 grams of fat, 620 milligrams of sodium. In-N-Out: The west coast chain’s “not-so-secret” menu offers a great option to lighten the load— a protein style burger, which replaces the bun with a lettuce wrap! The only problem: In-N-Out doesn’t offer sides other than fries, which are obviously high in fat. Instead, I opted to get a regular hamburger. Now, as-is, this would be 19 grams of fat, but if you replace the special spread with mustard and ketchup on a burger, you cut 9 grams of fat! Nutso! Total meal: 310 calories, 16 grams of protein, 41 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fat, 730 milligrams of sodium. Taco Bell: I LOVE Taco Bell, but one of the hardest things to deal with nutritionally is that most of my favorite items are SUPER high in sodium! I ended up going with a Gordita Supreme with Chicken. It’s moderate in sodium and fat, and offers protein. Yes, it’s made with refined grains, but that’s pretty unavoidable. The power bowls were something I considered, but that sodium content was just too high. Instead, I added a side of black beans to my dish for added volume, flavor and nutrition, plus look at the nice fiber boost! Total meal: 340 calories, 20 grams of protein, 41 grams of carbs, 10.5 grams of fat, 740 milligrams of sodium. If you’re finding this information useful, don’t forget to subscribe and hit the bell so you’re notified each week of new videos. Chick-Fil-A: Chick-Fil-A is the place to go to eat more chikin! Who knows why the C is missing from the chicken? Admittedly, many of the menu items use FRIED chicken, which is a tough sell when it comes to providing fuel. For that reason, I went with the grilled chicken nuggets, which are made of leaner breast, and they’re obviously grilled instead of fried. It’s NOT a sandwich, meaning I get to skip the refined grains and capitalize on more protein for less calories. I went with the zesty buffalo dipping sauce, because as is the case with the dressings, dipping sauces can be pretty detrimental to the overall meal macronutrients, too. I also added a fruit cup, and a side salad with the light Italian dressing— this was the ONLY dressing I could justify because most just have TOO much added sugar! I wanted to add the superfood side salad because it sounded SO healthy with the kale and broccolini, but it had 18 grams of sugar and that’s mostly added from the dressing. Bummer! Total meal: 340 calories, 30 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbs, 14 grams of fat, 1730 milligrams of sodium. Wowza! But remember, the dressing AND dipping sauce are the sodium bombs and they are on the side, so you don’t NEED to eat the entire packs. If you consume HALF of each, you’d be at less than 1000 milligrams for the meal. Subway: Subway lets you know which sandwiches are from their “FRESH FIT” selection to make healthy choices easier, which is nice because it can be JUST as easy to make a nutritionally damaging choice here, too. I went with the 6” rotisserie style chicken on wheat bread, which is moderate in calories, sodium, and fat, and high in protein. That also includes the basic toppings of lettuce, tomato, onions, green bell peppers, and cucumbers, which is great for a bit of actual fuel. Keep in mind, NONE of the bread loaves at subway (even the 9-grain wheat) are ACTUALLY whole grain. All of them include refined grains, and that’s probably why they taste so good… I also passed on the chips and added apple slices. Total meal: 385 calories, 29 grams of protein, 54 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat, 660 milligrams of sodium. Panda Express: I haven’t eaten much Panda Express in my day, but upon researching I found calories and sodium can add up pretty quickly at this chain. The string bean chicken breast was a moderate choice, but I figured it might not be enough food on it’s own, so I added a side of HALF brown rice, and HALF mixed veggies, offering some extra fuel and volume. Total meal: 440 calories, 20 grams of protein, 64 grams of carbs, 11.5 grams of fat, 870 milligrams of sodium. Starbucks: The “gourmet” feel can fool you into thinking their choices are healthier, but beware! Some of those sandwiches are just the same as other fast food joints. The reduced fat turkey bacon and egg white breakfast sandwich was a decent choice, even though it contains refined grain bread and isn’t a particularly large serving. I added some whole-grain oatmeal to supplement, and I like that Starbucks provides plain oatmeal with toppings on the side so you’re in control. I also got a grande caffé Americano—it IS Starbucks after all— but this drink requires no added sweeteners or sugars. Total meal: 405 calories, 22 grams of protein, 59 grams of carbs, 8.5 grams of fat, 700 milligrams of sodium. Dunkin Donuts: Doughnuts may be refined and packed with sugar, but many are surprised to find the doughnuts at Dunkin Donuts aren’t nearly as bad as some of those breakfast sandwiches! The egg white veggie flatbread is a decent choice, at least. The “multigrain flatbread” contains MULTIPLE GRAINS, which does not mean multiple WHOLE GRAINS, rather it means multiple TYPES of grains, many of which are refined—SO sneaky! I also added a medium coffee with a splash of milk rather than sugar. Total meal: 340 calories, 19 grams of protein, 34 grams of carbs, 14 grams of fat, 580 milligrams of sodium. And there you have it! 10 healthier snack and meal choices for these 10 fast food restaurants. If you have a healthier go-to choice at any of these, feel free to share it in the comments, and remember to get creative and make your OWN meal choices. These are just here as a starting point to get you to start thinking about choosing more FUEL when possible. I obviously did not include Chipotle since there’s already a whole video on that, so be sure to check that out now if you want more info like this! If you found this video helpful please share it, I appreciate you subscribing, commenting and liking. I will see you next week, and remember, especially when it comes to fast food, it’s all a matter of Mind Over Munch!

100 thoughts on “Healthy Fast Food Meal Choices! Under 500 calories – McDonalds, Subway, & more! – Mind Over Munch

  1. If you want to see my new VEGAN FAST FOOD CHOICES video check it out here!

  2. I start vegan/healthy lifestyle and how do i miss McDonald’s but I would laugh too in the drive through healthy options

  3. Subway: good healthy options

    Chik Fil A: like 1 okay healthy option

    McDonald's and BK: just steer clear of these 2 shitty restaurants

    Wendy's: Maybe like 1 healthy option

    Panda Express: pure fucking garbage

    Starbucks: maybe a couple healthy options

  4. low calorie does NOT mean healthy. Americans in the US are raised to believe low calorie=healthy. Stupidity at its finest. FAT is HEALTHY its the crap thats not ment to be in the human body thats not healthy. We have too many fat ppl in the US ruining the concept of what healtht means!

  5. At McDonalds, I order tge grilled artesian chicken sandwich. Not sure of sodium content. However. I replace the fries with a side salad.

  6. This video is shockingky helpful! On a side note- I work at subway and at the start of the year we no longer offer apple slices. Instead we offer apple SAUCE which is really sad to me. I loved our apples 😢😢

  7. Why am I watching this? I don't have any of these fast foods in my country 🤦🏻‍♀️

  8. Very nice video. I’m constantly subjected to these food places as a truck driver that stays on the road for a month at a time. I try to keep healthy food in the truck but space is limited and the fridge is small so I always go for the grilled options or whole wheat and things like that. It can be done at fast food places. As consumers we need to start demanding fast food places to increase their healthy options. It can be just a delicious as the fried crap of done right. I used to eat horrible on the road and I always felt like garbage and tired and I said enough is enough. I limit myself to 2000 calories a day that may seem like a lot to some but I’m 6foot 2 and 28 so it’s really my bare minimum. Also I don’t use mayo or cheese on anything I eat. And absolutely no fried foods

  9. My favorite part about the video s that you actually try to provide sustenance and by choosing as many healthy options as possible rather than one somewhat healthy option. Great video and editing!

  10. I work at Starbucks, and although I usually don't get drinks, our coconut, soy, and almond milks are all fortified, and the almond doesn't have any added sugars (at least I'm 99% sure). The soy is the most fortified, and although it does also have the highest added sugar, if you don't have it that often and the rest of your diet is sound, I think it's a pretty good choice. Maybe like once every 2 weeks, I'll get a grande iced soy latte, which is actually only 8 ounces of soy milk (we put a lot of ice in the drinks), and you still get your 2 shots of espresso. You can also add the mixed nuts to the blueberry oatmeal, and skip on the agave. It's what I usually do, and it still tastes good.

  11. Other than the sodium content, I find that Taco Bell is a pretty good go to if you are calorie and micro counting! One would be surprised!

  12. no offence, but why would you go to in-n-out and then not eat the spread? without the spread, their burgers are pretty plain and better ones are offered at other burger places. just my opinion obviously

  13. I love this! Make this a series please! You could cover more restaurants, have a heart healthy episode, vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, breakfast lunch dinner etc. so many options for videos! Thank you so much! I really appreciate your work

  14. Sweetgreen and Peet’s. Or just pop into Wholefoods, By Chloe etc….vegan and plant based healthy eating is finally being recognized as most nutritious and worthy.

    All the big chains you mentioned are pretty awful in terms of ingredients!!!!

  15. If you're going to McDonalds, Subway, or Taco Bell looking for "healthy options" you are failing at life lol. I'll fast for the day before I go to any one of these cancer producing places.

  16. Why did you not do Burgerkings veggie burger? It isn't listed on the menu but they still have them. My exspirence; when it first came out, it was great! Nowdays I think they are old… freezer burnt. But if enough people would ask for it they may bring them back in it's original goodness.

  17. super helpful thank you. I've googled on this topic before with not so helpful search results, so this is great. I like how you break down the nutrition info. 🙂

  18. I didn't even know you could get a side of black beans at Taco Bell… thumbs up just for that. 🙂

  19. This info is very helpful. I didn't realize the sodium amounts were so high. I have sodium issues. Thanks . 😀

  20. It's tough when you live in a small town and there are literally only 5 restaurants total: a McDonald's, Subway, DQ, Dog N Sudz and a family breakfast diner. Some towns offer even less.

  21. Thank you for being realistic. Even Organic foods are tainted with something. I will be utilizing this next time I go out.

  22. Thank you for making this video creator because I need chociesCan I get a hi how many I get I will shout out a few people on a video I make soon.

  23. What about Burger King grilled chicken sandwich without the sauce/mayo? Plus a small fry is 240 calories.. it’s probably a lot of sodium but it’s still not bad for fast food

  24. Kinda surprised some of these choices didn't feature a double protein recommendation… Skipping extra carbs and maxing out on proteins will cost equal or less $ for those who are eating fast food due to financial strain, and if you want similar calories with a higher protein score, doubling up on meat is a fair option. Not a bad video by any means, though. 🙂

  25. Eating 1 meal a day is enough to lose weight 150%.
    I'm currently 6'0 and 255lbs july 4th 2019.
    Last year in august 2018 I was 318lbs

  26. I am deeply impressed with the burguer king combo… waoh 307 cals! it is excellent for those who are in an hipocaloric diet.

  27. I work at subway! We do salads and wraps as well. I usually do a rotisserie chicken salad with no cheese and just a dash of sweet onion. You can make the salad the way you want and you can choose to have a little or lot of whichever dressing or no dressing. It’s my favorite. But be prepared. They’re a pain to make so the worker might get a little frustrated…

  28. Subway also has wraps… I always get a 6 inch spinach wrap with grilled chicken, spinach, olives, tomatoes and light balsamic dressing. It's really good.

  29. I go to subway and get:
    Italian herbs and cheese six inch with beef slices and cheddar cheese with all the vegetables on the menu except olives, mushrooms and jalapenos.
    I go to pita pit and get wholemeal large pita with feta and cheddar cheese, diced steak , and all the vegetables except jalapenos, mushrooms, and olives.

  30. Sodium is not bad for you. That myth was debunked by science years ago…. You'd think a """health""" channel would have at least done a simple google search before making this video.

  31. Not blaming you, but this didn't help much, because in my country we only have subway and McDonalds😔 and I hate Subway's sandwiches and in McDonalds they don't have the Egg McMuffin😕
    Still a cool video, tho

  32. Subway are you sure about that because that’s the reason while I’m home sick and threw up all over the floor in my advisory class

  33. Not bad. Good smart review. But pushing meat the American tradition as a must have in every meal, which is not necessary as a good thing for a lot of reasons in today's society. Would like to see a new video later given newer trends that don't involve meat but more veggies and real food. 🙂

  34. Just discovered your channel & I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR THESE VIDEOS ! They are helping me change my eating habits, and pay more attention to the details like sodium. Sadly I never paid attention to sodium before watching your videos. I love fast food (who doesn’t) but only like to indulge on special occasions, so it’s nice to see some (healthyish) options for when I didn’t meal prep or forgot my lunch!

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