10 “Fast Food” Restaurants That Serve Healthy Foods

Chef Holding Plate With Chicken and Potatoes“Fast” does not necessarily equal “unhealthy.”

Most fast foods are based on cheap, unhealthy ingredients.

However, many fast food places have now started offering healthy alternatives.

There are even some major chains that focus exclusively on providing healthy fast food.

These can be life-savers when you don’t have the time or energy to cook a healthy meal.

Here are 10 “fast food” restaurants that actually have some healthy options on the menu.

1. Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a restaurant chain that specializes in foods like tacos and burritos.

With the mission statement “food with integrity”, they make great effort to use only organic and local ingredients, and meats from naturally raised animals.

Healthy options: Burritos, tacos and salads, with a variety of meats, veggies, rice, beans and guacamole.

Locations: All over the US. They also have restaurants in Canada, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

You can take a look at their menu here.

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2. Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A is a fast food restaurant that specializes in chicken sandwiches.

They were actually the first fast food restaurant in the US to offer a completely trans fat free menu.

They have also made great efforts to make their dishes more healthy, especially their kid’s menu, which offers fruit cup sides and milk to drink.

Healthy options: Grilled chicken nuggets, chicken salads and multi-grain breakfast oatmeal. Their grilled market salad is excellent.

Locations: They are located all around the US.

You can take a look at their menu here.

3. Wendy’s

Wendy’s is the third largest hamburger fast food chain in the world, following McDonald’s and Burger King.

Although the menu consists mostly of hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and french fries, they also offer some healthier alternatives.

Healthy options: Many delicious chicken salads, as well as grilled chicken wraps. The strawberry fields chicken salad looks absolutely mouthwatering.

Locations: Wendy’s is located in 30 countries worldwide, mostly in the US, Asia, the Caribbean, South America and Canada.

You can take a look at their healthy salads here.

4. McDonald’s

McDonald’s is the world’s biggest fast food chain.

It is well-known for its signature burgers, such as the Big Mac.

Most of the offerings at McDonald’s are highly processed and unhealthy. They have been heavily criticized for their role in facilitating the worldwide epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Fit Woman Fighting Fast Food

However, because of growing criticism and increased health consciousness of people around the world, they have added several healthy alternatives to the menu.

Healthy options: McDonald’s offers several healthy salads, mostly made with chicken, vegetables and fruit.

Locations: McDonald’s is located all over the world, in a total of 119 countries.

You can take a look at their salad menu here.

5. Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday has restaurants in many locations worldwide.

They offer a large menu, ranging from steaks and seafood to pasta and salads.

The healthier options in their menu are marked with the slogan “Fit & Trim”. Those dishes contain less than 700 calories per serving.

Ruby Tuesday offers options based on all sorts of dietary needs, such as people with gluten sensitivity.

Healthy options: A variety of meat, fish and salads, with side dishes such as baked potatoes and fresh vegetables.

Locations: The US, Canada, the United Kingdom and several others.

You can take a look at their menu here.

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6. The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory is known for big portion sizes and high calorie content.

However, due to increased health awareness of their customer base, they now offer a SkinnyLicious menu. It has smaller portion sizes and healthier ingredients.

Healthy options: Steaks, fish, seafood, salads and various appetizers.

Locations: Mostly the US, with several restaurants in the Middle East.

You can take a look at their SkinnyLicious menu here.

7. KFC

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is an international fast food restaurant, known for its signature deep fried chicken.

They serve mainly deep fried pieces of chicken, chicken nuggets and chicken burgers.

However, some of their restaurants have now started selling grilled chicken to serve their more health-conscious customers.

Healthy options: Grilled chicken pieces and a side of green beans or corn cobs.

Locations: They are located all over the world.

You can take a look at their menu here.

8. Subway

Subway is a fast food restaurant that primarily sells sandwiches (subs), and salads.

Healthy options: You can choose whole grain bread and include plenty of vegetables in your sub.

You can also skip the bread altogether and get a salad with chicken breast and plenty of fresh vegetables.

Locations: They have over 44,000 restaurants in 110 countries worldwide.

You can take a look at their menu here.

9. Panera Bread

Panera Bread is a bakery, café and restaurant that serves baked goods, soups, salads and sandwiches.

Healthy options: They offer a variety of healthy soups and salads.

Locations: They are based in the US and Canada.

You can take a look at their menu here.

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10. Almost Every Restaurant

These days, almost every restaurant has at least something healthy on the menu.

If not, then the meals can usually be modified pretty easily to suit your dietary preferences.

It is best to opt for something whole and protein-rich, like steak or fish, then get a side of veggies and perhaps a baked potato.

Just take your time to read through the menu. You will most likely find something that is healthy, or can be made healthy with simple modifications.

Take Home Message

Most of the restaurants above may also offer options for the most common dietary preferences, such as gluten-free meals and vegetarian meals.

Although some of these restaurants are only found in the US, most of them are international chains that are available in many other countries as well.

I recommend that you write down a list of these types of fast food places in your area, and have it with you at all times.

For example, in a text note on your smartphone or on a piece of paper in your wallet.

Next time you find yourself hungry and without time or willpower to cook a healthy meal, having a healthy “fast food” restaurant nearby can quite literally make or break your diet.