Quick Eats

On the Road Again!

Fast food is never going away nor does it have to! Since it's here to stay, understanding what menu options are more nutrient dense to the consumer is important to keep on track with your goals whether they are strict or more lenient. Before we dive into the menu options let's break down what nutrient dense means and why to avoid using categories such as “healthy vs. unhealthy.”


Nutrient dense is a food item with a good source of protein, generally low calorie, and has a good source of vitamins and minerals. The public generally labels the fast food industry as “unhealthy,” however, if you have a good understanding of nutrition then items just become more or less nutrient dense for the consumer and the negative connotation of “unhealthy” goes away. We will focus mainly on lower calorie and high protein options from McDonald’s, Burger King, & Starbucks!


Below are the top 3 options from each large food chain that can be utilized as a quick meal and are on the more filling side! These are not the end all, be all options and they contain meat. However, if you choose to eat vegan/vegetarian, you can replace any of these meats with an Impossible or Beyond Patty (Read our article “Plant-Based Meats”)! Starbuck’s does carry the Impossible brand as well!

McDonald’s

Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich

  • Calories: 370

  • Protein: 27g (29% of Total Calories)

Premium Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich

  • Calories: 380

  • Protein: 31g (33% of Total Calories)

Ranch Snack Wrap

  • Calories: 270

  • Protein: 18g (27% of Total Calories)


Burger King

Garden Side Salad topped w/ Impossible Burger (no dressing)

  • Calories: 300

  • Protein: 23g (31% of Total Calories)

Cheeseburger

  • Calories: 388

  • Protein: 15g (15% of Total Calories)

WHOPPER Jr. Sandwich

  • Calories: 310

  • Protein: 13g (17% of Total Calories)


Starbucks

Spinach & Feta Wrap

  • Calories: 290

  • Protein: 20g (28% of Total Calories)

Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon & Cage Free Egg White Sandwich

  • Calories: 230

  • Protein: 17g (30% of Total Calories)

Grilled Chicken & Hummus Protein Box

  • Calories: 300

  • Protein: 22g (29% of Total Calories)


Try some of these more nutrient dense options next time you're at a drive through and in need of a filling meal! Nutrition doesn’t have to be black and white, don’t feel the need to give up when you find yourself in a bind for a quick meal on the go! Follow this article with Nutrition on the Go!



References


McDonald’s. (2011, June 3). McDonald’s USA Nutrition Facts for Popular Menu Items. McDonald’s Co. http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/nutrition1/nutritionfacts.pdf

Starbuck’s Coffee Company. (2020). Starbuck’s Menu. https://www.starbucks.com/menu

(2020, April). BURGER KING® USA Nutritionals: Core, Regional and Limited Time Offerings APRIL 2020. Burger King Co. https://company.bk.com/pdfs/nutrition.pdf

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