10 Seriously Healthy Fast-Food Meals

How to eat well when you're short on time and options.

ByABC News
September 6, 2013, 2:58 AM
McDonald's Premium Southwest Salad has only 140 calories.
McDonald's Premium Southwest Salad has only 140 calories.

Sept. 6, 2013— -- intro: Hey, girl, we won't tell, but where do you like to cheat on your diet? Let us guess: steamy sessions with French fries in the car? Furtive licks of a Frosty during your 4 pm crash? It's only human.

Sometimes, you just don't have access to health food, and in the moment, a double-chalupa'ed-McWhopper might not sound like a bad idea. Luckily, help is here.

These 10 delicious (and, believe it or not, nutritious) meals will help keep you honest in the face of deep-fried temptation.

quicklist: 1category: Healthy Fast-Food Mealstitle: Chipotle: Barbacoa And Guacamole Saladurl: text: Here's an awesome little secret: You can eat 100 percent GMO free at Chipotle.

When the company decided to disclose their ingredients online this summer, they went an extra step further and became the first to list foods containing GMOs in its online menu. Unfortunately, most of their corn and soy contains GMOs, which is par for the course since these are the two most common genetically modified crops. But Chipotle makes it easy to choose other options with simple color-coding: anything with a pink square and a "G" is GMO, along with other designations for preservatives, organic, and responsibly raised meats.

Make your own salad with no-hormone-added barbacoa, which doesn't use unnecessary antibiotics (chicken, pictured here, is also a great choice). Add romaine lettuce, guacamole, a little sour cream, and tomatillo-green chili salsa. It's definitely a sodium splurge, but full of MUFAs and quality ingredients.

*Extra bonus for Cali! You can try Chipotle's new Sofritas: shredded organic (and non-GMO) tofu braised with chilies and spices. They're only available in California right now, but fingers crossed they'll expand all over.

Nutrition (per salad): 585 cal, 37 g pro, 40 g carb, 19 g fiber, 31 g fat, 11.5 g sat fat, 1215 mg sodium

These 5 South Beach Salads will fill you up without packing on pounds.

quicklist: 2category: Healthy Fast-Food Mealstitle: Domino's Pizza: Veggie Pizza With Gluten-Free Crusturl: text: Who knew fast-food pizza could be gluten-free-friendly? Domino's is, thanks to its GF crust with—truly!—nothing bad in it.

Load it up with baby spinach, fresh mushrooms, and diced tomatoes, none of which have preservatives. Plus, there's no partially hydrogenated oil (code for trans fat) here, unlike in Pizza Hut's thin crust—code for trans fat. These ingredients are the best you can hope for large-chain pizza.

Nutrition (per 1/6 pizza): 133 cal, 4 g pro, 16 g carb, 2 g fiber, 6 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 327 mg sodium

Discover how to eat right even when eating out with these 400-Calorie Restaurant Meals.

quicklist: 3category: Healthy Fast-Food Mealstitle: Starbucks: Protein Bistro Box And Juiceurl: text: Sweet, meet savory!

Your portable lunch comes equipped with a cage-free hardboiled egg, cheddar cheese, multigrain bread, peanut butter, apple slices, and grapes. After you meet 15% of your daily calcium requirement, sip an Evolution Fresh Sweet Greens and Lemon juice, with no additives and 10 different fruits and veggies.

Nutrition (per protein box)" 380 cal, 13 g pro, 37 g carb, 5 g fiber, 19 g fat, 6 g sat fat, 470 mg sodium; (juice, 8 oz) 40 cal, 2 g pro, 9 g carb, 0 g fiber, 0 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 120 mg sodium

No need to feel guilty about giving into your coffee habit—here are 4 Surprising Coffee Cures.

quicklist: 4category: Healthy Fast-Food Mealstitle: McDonald's: Premium Southwest Saladurl: text: Surprised to see McDonald's on this list? Don't be! It's another Koff-approved pick.

Opt for this hearty, fresh salad, which comes with mixed greens, black beans, corn, cheese, and tortilla strips. To keep it extra-light, hold the chicken and wield the lime wedge instead of dressing.

Nutrition (without chicken): 140 cal, 6 g pro, 20 g carb, 6 g fiber, 4.5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 150 mg sodium

Has your weight loss workout not been, well, working out? Try these 10 Slim-Down Strategies You Can Count On.

quicklist: 5category: Healthy Fast-Food Mealstitle: Pret A Manger: Wild Salmon Saladurl: text: If you live in Boston, New York, DC, or Chicago (or Hong Kong, the UK, or France) you're in luck! Pret A Manger is your no-brainer answer for all quick lunches.

With a fresh and truly healthy menu, you really can't go wrong, but our favorite pick of the moment is the Wild Salmon Salad, featuring cucumbers, tomatoes, greens, tzatziki sauce, and lemon. Pret uses wild salmon, which has way less fat and more zinc than farmed fish (check out the differences between wild salmon vs. farmed salmon). It doesn't get tastier than that.

Nutrition (per salad): 170 cal, 23 g pro, 13 g carb, 3 g fiber, 3 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 820 mg sodium

12 Hunger Fighting Power Salads

quicklist: 6category: Healthy Fast-Food Mealstitle: Wendy's: Sour Cream And Chive Potatourl: text: Blind yourself to the corn syrupy Frosty and beeline for the classic Wendy's side: the fabulous baked potato.

Dressed with reduced-fat sour cream and chives, it's one of the healthiest picks on the menu. Spuds are packed with potassium, folate, and fiber (just remember to eat the fiber-rich skin). And don't play hot potato! Let them cool down first—cool potatoes have much more resistant starch, which gets fermented in your colon and becomes food for your gut.

Nutritional (per serving): 320 cal, 8 g pro, 63 g carb, 7 g fiber, 3.5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 50 mg sodium

Energize your workout with these 14 Snacks That Power Up Weight Loss.

quicklist: 7category: Healthy Fast-Food Mealstitle: Panera Bread: Power Chicken Hummus Bowlurl: text: This member of Panera's hidden menu (just ask) is a favorite of Prevention's RD Ashley Koff. She applauds the antibiotic-free chicken and mix of fibrous veggies. A dollop of hummus later, and the dish packs 33 grams of lean protein—without many calories, thanks to a satisfying squeeze of lemon in lieu of dressing.

Nutrition (per bowl): 330 cal, 33 g pro, 23 g carb, 8 g fiber, 13 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 590 mg sodium

Chicken doesn't have to be boring! Try one of these NEW Slimming Chicken Dinners tonight!

quicklist: 7category: Healthy Fast-Food Mealstitle: Boston Market: Roast Turkey Breasturl: text: When you're craving meat on the road, Boston Market's not a bad place to pull over.

Choose their roasted turkey breast meal, which has a relatively short ingredient list: just good ol' turkey breast, with a solution of water, salt, lemon juice concentrate, and vinegar. Pair it with a side of fresh steamed vegetables, and you've got a guilt-proof pit stop.

Nutrition (5 oz turkey breast plus fresh steamed vegetables): 260 cal, 40 g pro, 8 g carb, 3 g fiber, 8 g fat, 1g sat fat, 780 mg sodium

These 10 Slimming Chicken Dishes are packed with protein and oh-so-easy to prepare.

quicklist: 8category: Healthy Fast-Food Mealstitle: Chick-Fil-A: Side Salad And Fresh Fruiturl: text: While diving into the ingredient lists, we realized why Chick-Fil-A chicken tastes so irresistible: monosodium glutamate is one of the first ingredients. But in terms of fast-food salads, theirs is one of the cleanest around, with Romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, red cabbage, carrots, and a smattering of cheese.

Pair it with a fruit cup of apples, strawberries, and grapes, and you've made a respectable choice on the run.

Nutrition: (side salad plus fruit cup) 140 cal, 5 g pro, 21 g carb, 5 g fiber, 4.5 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 110 mg sodium

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