Healthy fast food makes Christmas shopping merrier

Jenny Decker RN's picture

While shopping for Christmas, it is easy to stop by for a fast food dinner. It may not all be as unhealthy as one might think. Fast food restaurants have healthy alternatives to those greasy hamburgers, at least when you are out on the town working hard at putting Christmas together. Here are a few suggestions.

The McDonald’s Big N’Tasty has a nice balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates. It is loaded with lettuce, onions, tomatoes and pickles. The total calories equal 460, with 24 grams of fat and 720 mg of sodium. Suppose though that you need more than a hamburger or you need to hurry, so the drive thru would be your best bet at saving time. The next best healthy fast food meal might be a value meal.


The best value meal for nutritious value is the Wendy’s ¼ -pound single with small chili and medium iced tea. By choosing this over a Carl’s Jr. Double Six Dollar burger with medium fries and a coke, over 1900 calories will be saved! This includes 118 grams of fat. According to Men’s Health, this drive thru meal has 620 calories, only 26 g of fat and 1700 mg of sodium.

A little one could be in the back seat, possibly keeping an eye on Santa! They need to stay as healthy as possible, so choose the McDonald’s fast food kids meal with chicken mcnuggets, apple dippers, caramel dip and 1 percent low-fat milk. This has about 396 calories, with 15 g of fat (only 3 and a half of these grams is saturated fat), and 560 mg of sodium. Men’s Health warns that adding in fries and soft drinks adds calories, fat, and sodium.

An alternative to a fast food hamburger is the fast food pizza. These can be loaded with calories and unhealthy ingredients as well. Being choosy will yield the most nutritious results. Go for Pizza Hut’s 12 inch Fit and Delicious, with a diced red tomato, mushrooms, and Jalapeno’s. There are 300 calories, 8 g of fat (3 are saturated), 1220 mg of sodium, and 46 g of carbs in 2 slices. This pizza has a thin crust with light cheese.

Need protein? Subway has just the right lunch option. Choose the Subway 6 inch double roast beef. This has double the protein than a smaller sandwich without the high calories! The total calorie count is 400 with only 2.5 g of saturated fat. This sandwich can also be filled with tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and anything else you can think of. The best part is this is a fresh sandwich!