19 Affordable Healthy Picks From Fast Food Menus

Navigating the world of fast food might seem like tiptoeing through a nutritional minefield, but fear not! Hidden among the calorie-laden offerings are some surprisingly healthy, wallet-friendly options. From secret menu hacks to vegetarian and vegan delights, let’s uncover where to find these nutritious treasures without emptying your pocket.

1. Subway’s Veggie Delight

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At around $5, Subway’s Veggie Delight on 9-grain wheat bread is a fiber-rich choice. Maximize the health benefits by loading up on the veggies and opting out of cheese and mayo. For an added boost, ask for avocado instead of meat for healthy fats and a creamy texture.

2. Taco Bell’s Power Menu Bowl

Customize the Power Menu Bowl, priced about $5, for a healthy hack. Choose grilled chicken for lean protein, forego the cheese and sour cream to cut down on fat, and load up on veggies and beans for extra fiber. Vegetarians can swap meat for beans to keep it plant-based.

3. Starbucks’ Protein Box

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Starbucks isn’t just about coffee; their Protein Box (around $5-$7) is a nutritious pick. Choose boxes with eggs, cheese, and whole grains for a balanced meal. For a vegan option, look for their plant-based choices featuring nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

4. Chipotle’s Burrito Bowl

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Starting at about $7, Chipotle’s Burrito Bowl can be a healthy feast. Opt for brown rice or lettuce as a base, black beans for fiber, grilled veggies, and a protein choice like chicken or tofu. Skip the sour cream and cheese but say yes to guac for healthy fats.

5. Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad

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Wendy’s offers a surprisingly healthy Apple Pecan Salad for around $7. Opt for the half size if you’re watching calories, and consider asking for the dressing on the side to control how much you use. The pecans add crunch and healthy fats, making it a satisfying meal.

6. McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

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At McDonald’s, the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich (around $5) can be a smart choice. Ask for no mayo and add extra lettuce and tomato for a veggie boost. For a lower-carb option, you can also request it without the bun.

7. KFC’s Grilled Chicken

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KFC might be famous for its fried chicken, but their Grilled Chicken (around $5 for a piece) is a healthier alternative. Pair it with green beans instead of fries for a low-calorie, protein-rich meal.

8. Panera’s Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich

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Panera’s Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich on Tomato Basil bread costs around $7. Ask for it without feta cheese to make it vegan, and enjoy the zesty blend of peppers, cucumbers, and greens for a refreshing meal.

9. Chick-fil-A’s Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap

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Chick-fil-A offers the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap for about $6. It’s packed with grilled chicken, lettuce, and shredded carrots. Ask for no cheese or swap the dressing for a lighter balsamic vinaigrette to keep it lean.

10. Dunkin’ Egg and Cheese Wake-Up Wrap

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Dunkin’s Egg and Cheese Wake-Up Wrap is a steal at around $2. Ask for egg whites and add spinach for an extra health kick without breaking the bank. It’s a quick, protein-rich breakfast option on the go.

11. Burger King’s Veggie Burger

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Burger King’s Veggie Burger, priced around $5, offers a meatless alternative. Skip the mayo to keep it healthier, and add extra lettuce and tomatoes for a veggie boost.

12. Domino’s Thin Crust Veggie Pizza

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Opt for a small Thin Crust Veggie Pizza from Domino’s for around $10. Choose light cheese or skip it to reduce fat, and pile on the veggies for added nutrition and flavor.

13. Jack in the Box’s Chicken Fajita Pita

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At Jack in the Box, the Chicken Fajita Pita (around $5) is a hidden gem. It comes with grilled chicken, lettuce, and tomato wrapped in a pita. Ask for no cheese or sour cream to keep it lean and mean.

14. In-N-Out’s Protein Style Burger

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For about $4, In-N-Out’s Protein Style Burger swaps the bun for lettuce, wrapping around the patty and trimmings. It’s a low-carb option that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Ask for no spread or choose mustard instead for a healthier choice.

15. Del Taco’s Fresca Bowls

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Del Taco’s Fresca Bowls, particularly the Veggie version for around $5, are a great choice. They come with beans, rice, and fresh veggies. Skip the cheese to keep it vegan and savor the fresh flavors.

16. Arby’s Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad

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Arby’s Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad, priced around $6, features roast turkey and fresh veggies. Ask for the dressing on the side to control your calorie intake while enjoying a protein-packed meal.

17. Carl’s Jr.’s Charbroiled Chicken Salad

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For about $6, Carl’s Jr. offers a Charbroiled Chicken Salad. It’s a healthier option with grilled chicken and plenty of greens. Opt for no cheese and ask for a vinaigrette dressing on the side for a lighter meal.

18. Popeyes’ Blackened Chicken Tenders

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Popeyes may be known for its fried chicken, but their Blackened Chicken Tenders (around $6 for 3 pieces) offer a spicy, flavorful alternative without the breading. Pair with a side of green beans instead of fries for a balanced meal.

19. Little Caesars’ Veggie Pizza

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Little Caesars’ Veggie Pizza, with a starting price of around $6, can be a good option if you choose the thin crust and ask for less cheese. Load it up with veggies for a more nutritious slice.

Treat Yourself

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There you have it—19 healthy, affordable options from your favorite fast food chains. With these hacks, you can enjoy the convenience and flavors of fast food without derailing your diet. It’s all about making smart choices, even when you’re on the go. So next time you’re at the drive-thru, remember these tips and treat yourself to something that’s both satisfying and good for you.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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