Top 5 Healthiest Fast Food Items – By Restaurant

What you’re about to read is a master list of the top 5 food items from major fast food chains — listed in order of most protein for the least amount of calories.

You see, one of the main philosophies here is flexibility — no, I’m not talking about your ability to flex — but rather being able to adapt to real-world, everyday scenarios.

Contents

Make Nutrition Work for Your Life

The idea is to make nutrition revolve around our lives, not make our lives revolve around nutrition.

Let’s face it: sometimes, life just gets in the way. It’s just a lot more convenient to grab something from the nearest fast food joint instead of making a meal from scratch.

But you know what? It’s totally okay. Just because it’s fast food doesn’t mean that your diet has to end… As long as you make smart choices.

And so to help you do just that, here it is:

The ultimate list of low calorie + high protein meals from major fast food restaurants

I took the time to create this because I know how much it sucks to have to look up nutrition information every time you’re deciding what to order. But if there’s one thing I learned from compiling this list, it’s that you have a surprising amount of options to choose from that can easily fit your diet.

These are all official data from the restaurants official websites themselves (which honestly can be a huge pain in the ass to sift through), so it’s pretty much as accurate as a list like this can get.

These meals were chosen based on their calories to protein ratio

The less calories per gram of protein, the “better” it is. Sometimes I excluded certain meals because it’s already too similar to something that’s already on the list (i.e. grilled chicken vs. crispy chicken sandwich) so I would add the next best option for variety instead.

Do keep in mind that this will probably forever be a work-in-progress. Food items come and go, and restaurants take things out of the menu to add new ones. I’ll try to stay on top of it as much as I can. Oh, and if you have any suggestions for other fast food places I can add just hit me up on this page and I’d be happy to add it to the list.

Let’s get on with it!

**NOTE: All items don’t include dressing or sauces unless otherwise mentioned.

The Healthiest Option at Arby’s

Chopped Farmhouse Salad (Roast Turkey)

Calories: 230
Protein: 23 g
Carbs: 8 g
Fat: 13 g

(10 cals / 1g protein)

 

Prime Cut Chicken Tenders (3 pcs)

Calories: 350
Protein: 25 g
Carbs: 25 g
Fat: 17 g

(14 cals / 1g protein)

 

Roast Beef Classic Sandwich

Calories: 360
Protein: 23 g
Carbs: 35 g
Fat: 14 g

(15 cals / 1g protein)

 

Junior Roast Beef Sandwich

Calories: 210
Protein: 13 g
Carbs: 22 g
Fat: 13 g

(16 cals / 1g protein)

 

Junior Ham & Cheddar Melt Sandwich

Calories: 230
Protein: 13 g
Carbs: 28 g
Fat: 8 g

(17 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Arby’s official nutritional information
(Last updated: February 2016)

The Healthiest Option at A&W

 

HAND-BREADED CHICKEN TENDERS (3 PCS)

Calories: 260
Protein: 40 g
Carbs: 5 g
Fat: 9 g

(6.5 cals / 1g protein)

 

GRILLED CHICKEN SANDWICH

Calories: 401
Protein: 30 g
Carbs: 40 g
Fat: 15 g

(13.4 cals / 1g protein)

 

Pastrami Sandwich*

Calories: 379
Protein: 43 g
Carbs: 22 g
Fat: 16 g

(8.8 cals / 1g protein)

 

Grilled Chicken Salad*

Calories: 437
Protein: 35 g
Carbs: 20 g
Fat: 25 g

(12.5 cals / 1g protein)

 

Grilled Chicken Club*

Calories: 490
Protein: 35 g
Carbs: 40 g
Fat: 22 g

(14 cals / 1g protein)

*Regional items — may not be available in your area

Source: A&W official nutritional information

The Healthiest Option at Burger King

 

Garden Grilled Chicken Salad with Tendergrill (no dressing)

Calories: 320
Protein: 36 g
Carbs: 16 g
Fat: 14 g

(8.8 cals / 1g protein)

 

Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich (w/o mayonnaise)

Calories: 350
Protein: 26 g
Carbs: 40 g
Fat: 9 g

(13.4 cals / 1g protein)

MORNINGSTAR VEGGIE BURGER (w/o mayonnaise)

Calories: 320
Protein: 21 g
Carbs: 44 g
Fat: 8 g

(15 cals / 1g protein)

 

Whopper Jr. Sandwich (w/o mayonnaise)

Calories: 240
Protein: 10 g
Carbs: 27 g
Fat: 10 g

(24 cals / 1g protein)

 

Flame Broiled Hamburger

Calories: 230
Protein: 9 g
Carbs: 26 g
Fat: 9 g

(25 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Burger King official nutritional information
(Last updated: February 2016)

The Healthiest Option at Chick-fil-A

 

Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap

Calories: 340
Protein: 36 g
Carbs: 30 g
Fat: 13 g

(9.4 cals / 1g protein)

 

Chicken Nuggets (8 count) (No sauce)

Calories: 270
Protein: 28 g
Carbs: 10 g
Fat: 13 g

(9.6 cals / 1g protein)

 

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Calories: 320
Protein: 30 g
Carbs: 40 g
Fat: 5 g

(10.6 cals / 1g protein)

 

Asian Salad

Calories: 330
Protein: 29 g
Carbs: 24 g
Fat: 14 g

(11.3 cals / 1g protein)

 

Grilled Market Salad

Calories: 320
Protein: 26 g
Carbs: 26 g
Fat: 14 g

(12.3 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Chick-fil-A official nutritional information

The Healthiest Option at Culver’s

 

CRANBERRY BACON BLEU SALAD WITH GRILLED CHICKEN

Calories: 360
Protein: 46 g
Carbs: 16 g
Fat: 13 g

(7.8 cals / 1g protein)

 

GARDEN FRESCO WITH GRILLED CHICKEN

Calories: 360
Protein: 44 g
Carbs: 18 g
Fat: 13 g

(8.2 cals / 1g protein)

 

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Calories: 390
Protein: 41 g
Carbs: 40 g
Fat: 7 g

(9.5 cals / 1g protein)

 

CHICKEN CASHEW WITH GRILLED CHICKEN

Calories: 460
Protein: 46 g
Carbs: 16 g
Fat: 24 g

(10 cals / 1g protein)

 

BUFFALO CHICKEN TENDERS – 4 PIECE (No sauce)

Calories: 460
Protein: 34 g
Carbs: 32 g
Fat: 22 g

(13.5 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Culver’s nutrition grid
(Last updated: April 2014)

The Healthiest Option at Dairy Queen

 

Grilled Chicken Garden Greens Salad

Calories: 160
Protein: 26 g
Carbs: 10 g
Fat: 2 g

(6.1 cals / 1g protein)

 

Grilled Chicken BLT Salad

Calories: 270
Protein: 35 g
Carbs: 10 g
Fat: 11 g

(7.7 cals / 1g protein)

 

Kid’s Grilled Chicken Wrap

Calories: 250
Protein: 18 g
Carbs: 22 g
Fat: 10 g

(13.9 cals / 1g protein)

 

Chicken Bacon Ranch

Calories: 500
Protein: 33 g
Carbs: 45 g
Fat: 20 g

(15.2 cals / 1g protein)

 

Chicken Quesadilla Snack Melt

Calories: 270
Protein: 17 g
Carbs: 22 g
Fat: 13 g

(15.9 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Dairy Queen nutrition facts
(Last updated: January 2016)

The Healthiest Option at Hardee’s

 

Low Carb Charbroiled Chicken Club Sandwich (no mayo)

Calories: 210
Protein: 24 g
Carbs: 13 g
Fat: 7 g

(8.8 cals / 1g protein)

 

Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Calories: 340
Protein: 32 g
Carbs: 42 g
Fat: 4 g

(10.6 cals / 1g protein)

 

5 Piece Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™ (No sauce)

Calories: 440
Protein: 41 g
Carbs: 21 g
Fat: 21 g

(10.7 cals / 1g protein)

 

CHICKEN SOFT TACO

Calories: 230
Protein: 20 g
Carbs: 18 g
Fat: 9 g

(11.5 cals / 1g protein)

 

LOW CARB 1/3 LB. THICKBURGER (no mayo)

Calories: 310
Protein: 25 g
Carbs: 9 g
Fat: 20 g

(12.4 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Hardee’s nutritional calculator
(Last updated: August 2015)

The Healthiest Option at In-N-Out

 

Double-Double (Protein Style)

Calories: 520
Protein: 33 g
Carbs: 11 g
Fat: 39 g

(15.8 cals / 1g protein)

 

Cheeseburger (w/ ketchup & mustard)

Calories: 400
Protein: 22 g
Carbs: 41 g
Fat: 18 g

(18.2 cals / 1g protein)

 

Cheeseburger (Protein Style)

Calories: 330
Protein: 18 g
Carbs: 11 g
Fat: 25 g

(18.3 cals / 1g protein)

 

Hamburger (Protein Style)

Calories: 240
Protein: 13 g
Carbs: 11 g
Fat: 17 g

(18.4 cals / 1g protein)

 

Hamburger (w/ ketchup & mustard)

Calories: 310
Protein: 16 g
Carbs: 41 g
Fat: 10 g

(19.4 cals / 1g protein)

Source: In-N-Out Burger Nutritional Facts

The Healthiest Option at Jack In The Box

 

Grilled Chicken Salad (No Dressing)

Calories: 250
Protein: 30 g
Carbs: 13 g
Fat: 9 g

(8.3 cals / 1g protein)

 

Chicken Club Salad with Grilled Chicken (No Dressing)

Calories: 370
Protein: 39 g
Carbs: 11 g
Fat: 20 g

(9.5 cals / 1g protein)

 

Southwest Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken (No Dressing)

Calories: 350
Protein: 35 g
Carbs: 27 g
Fat: 15 g

(10 cals / 1g protein)

 

Chicken Fajita Pita made with Whole Grain

Calories: 350
Protein: 24 g
Carbs: 36 g
Fat: 12 g

(14.6 cals / 1g protein)

 

Sourdough Grilled Chicken Club

Calories: 580
Protein: 39 g
Carbs: 38 g
Fat: 30 g

(14.9 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Jack In The Box Nutritional Facts
(Last updated: May 2015)

The Healthiest Option at Jimmy John’s

 

Country Club W/ Extra Smoked Ham & Turkey Breast (“Unwich” Style)

Calories: 540
Protein: 56 g
Carbs: 9 g
Fat: 31 g

(9.6 cals / 1g protein)

 

Bootlegger Club With Extra Roast Beef (“Unwich” Style)

Calories: 410
Protein: 42 g
Carbs: 3 g
Fat: 24.5 g

(9.8 cals / 1g protein)

 

The Gargantuan W/ Extra Roast Beef, Smoked Ham & Turkey (“Unwich” Style)

Calories: 964
Protein: 95.4 g
Carbs: 13.1 g
Fat: 57.8 g

(10.1 cals / 1g protein)

 

Billy Club W/ Extra Roast Beef & Smoked Ham (“Unwich” Style)

Calories: 610
Protein: 56 g
Carbs: 7 g
Fat: 35 g

(10.9 cals / 1g protein)

 

Hunter’s Club W/ Extra Roast Beef (“Unwich” Style)

Calories: 550
Protein: 50 g
Carbs: 3 g
Fat: 36 g

(11 cals / 1g protein)

 

Source: Jimmy John’s Menu

The Healthiest Option at KFC

 

Kentucky Grilled Chicken® Breast

Calories: 180
Protein: 31 g
Carbs: 0 g
Fat: 6 g

(5.8 cals / 1g protein)

 

Original Recipe® Chicken Breast

Calories: 320
Protein: 33 g
Carbs: 9 g
Fat: 16 g

(9.7 cals / 1g protein)

 

Extra Crispy™ Chicken Breast

Calories: 390
Protein: 34 g
Carbs: 10 g
Fat: 23 g

(11.5 cals / 1g protein)

 

Crispy Chicken BLT Salad

Calories: 370
Protein: 28 g
Carbs: 23 g
Fat: 19 g

(13.2 cals / 1g protein)

 

Extra Crispy Tenders (per tender)

Calories: 140
Protein: 10 g
Carbs: 8 g
Fat: 7 g

(14 cals / 1g protein)

Source: KFC Full Nutrition Guide
(Last updated: February 2016)

The Healthiest Option at McDonald’s

 

Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken

Calories: 310
Protein: 38 g
Carbs: 9 g
Fat: 14 g

(8.2 cals / 1g protein)

 

Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken

Calories: 330
Protein: 33 g
Carbs: 26 g
Fat: 11 g

(10 cals / 1g protein)

 

Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Calories: 360
Protein: 33 g
Carbs: 43 g
Fat: 6 g

(10.9 cals / 1g protein)

 

Quarter Pounder with Cheese

Calories: 540
Protein: 31 g
Carbs: 42 g
Fat: 28 g

(17.4 cals / 1g protein)

 

Egg McMuffin

Calories: 300
Protein: 17 g
Carbs: 29 g
Fat: 12 g

(17.6 cals / 1g protein)

Source: McDonald’s Nutrition Guide
(Last updated: May 2014)

The Healthiest Option at Panda Express

 

Grilled Teriyaki or Asian Chicken

Calories: 300
Protein: 33 g
Carbs: 8 g
Fat: 13 g

(8.3 cals / 1g protein)

 

String Bean Chicken Breast

Calories: 190
Protein: 14 g
Carbs: 13 g
Fat: 9 g

(13.5 cals / 1g protein)

 

Shanghai Angus Steak

Calories: 310
Protein: 22 g
Carbs: 16 g
Fat: 19 g

(14.1 cals / 1g protein)

 

Mushroom Chicken

Calories: 170
Protein: 12 g
Carbs: 11 g
Fat: 9 g

(14.2 cals / 1g protein)

 

Broccoli Beef

Calories: 150
Protein: 9 g
Carbs: 13 g
Fat: 7 g

(16.7 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Panda Express Nutrition Guide

The Healthiest Option at Popeyes

 

BLACKENED TENDERS (3 PCS)

Calories: 170
Protein: 26 g
Carbs: 2 g
Fat: 2 g

(6.5 cals / 1g protein)

 

SPICY TENDERS (3 PCS)

Calories: 310
Protein: 28 g
Carbs: 16 g
Fat: 15 g

(11.1 cals / 1g protein)

 

BONAFIDE MILD LEG

Calories: 160
Protein: 14 g
Carbs: 5 g
Fat: 9 g

(11.4 cals / 1g protein)

 

BONAFIDE SPICY BREAST

Calories: 420
Protein: 33 g
Carbs: 13 g
Fat: 27 g

(12.7 cals / 1g protein)

 

BLACKENED BBQ CHICKEN PO’ BOY

Calories: 340
Protein: 24 g
Carbs: 49 g
Fat: 7 g

(14.2 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Popeyes Nutrition Guide
(Last updated: January 2012)

The Healthiest Option at Quiznos

 

Black Angus Steak

Calories: 390
Protein: 26 g
Carbs: 39 g
Fat: 15 g

(15 cals / 1g protein)

 

Steak Bacon and Swiss

Calories: 420
Protein: 28 g
Carbs: 32 g
Fat: 20 g

(15 cals / 1g protein)

 

Mequite Chicken

Calories: 430
Protein: 28 g
Carbs: 32 g
Fat: 21 g

(15.3 cals / 1g protein)

 

Pesto Caesar

Calories: 370
Protein: 24 g
Carbs: 31 g
Fat: 17 g

(15.4 cals / 1g protein)

 

Ultimate Turkey Club

Calories: 410
Protein: 26 g
Carbs: 32 g
Fat: 20 g

(15.7 cals / 1g protein)

NOTE: The numbers listed above are for 4″ subs, but larger sizes follow a similar ratio. I also didn’t include any salads because most of the dressings make it extremely high calorie, and who wants to eat salad with no dressing…

Source: Quiznos nutrition information
(Last updated: February 2016)

The Healthiest Option at Subway

 

6″ Rotisserie-Style Chicken (no cheese)

Calories: 350
Protein: 29 g
Carbs: 44 g
Fat: 6 g

(12.1 cals / 1g protein)

 

6″ Roast Beef (no cheese)

Calories: 320
Protein: 24 g
Carbs: 45 g
Fat: 5 g

(13.4 cals / 1g protein)

 

6″ Subway Club (no cheese)

Calories: 310
Protein: 23 g
Carbs: 46 g
Fat: 4.5 g

(13.5 cals / 1g protein)

 

6″ Oven Roasted Chicken (no cheese)

Calories: 320
Protein: 23 g
Carbs: 46 g
Fat: 5 g

(13.9 cals / 1g protein)

 

6″ Steak and Cheese

Calories: 380
Protein: 26 g
Carbs: 48 g
Fat: 10 g

(14.6 cals / 1g protein)

NOTE: Subway has a selection of salads that are extremely high protein and low calorie. They’re simple salad versions of the sandwiches, so I won’t bother listing them anymore. I also didn’t bother listing any regional or limited time offer subs.

Source: Subway nutrition information
(Last updated: September 2015)

The Healthiest Option at Taco Bell

 

Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco w/ extra fire grilled chicken

Calories: 200
Protein: 20 g
Carbs: 14 g
Fat: 7 g

(10 cals / 1g protein)

 

Soft Taco – Chicken

Calories: 160
Protein: 12 g
Carbs: 17 g
Fat: 9 g

(13.3 cals / 1g protein)

 

Gordita Supreme® – Chicken

Calories: 260
Protein: 17 g
Carbs: 30 g
Fat: 9 g

(15.3 cals / 1g protein)

 

Cantina Power Burrito – Chicken or Steak

Calories: 450
Protein: 28 g
Carbs: 43 g
Fat: 19 g

(16.1 cals / 1g protein)

 

Cantina Power Bowl – Chicken or Steak

Calories: 490
Protein: 29 g
Carbs: 49 g
Fat: 19 g

(16.9 cals / 1g protein)

NOTE: You can make almost anything Fresco-style, which reduces fat content by at least 25%. Taco Bell has a very handy nutrition calculator if you want to customize your order.

Source: Taco Bell Nutrition

The Healthiest Option at Wendy’s

 

Asian Cashew Chicken Salad Full Size

Calories: 380
Protein: 36 g
Carbs: 32 g
Fat: 14 g

(10.5 cals / 1g protein)

 

Ultimate Chicken Grill

Calories: 340
Protein: 32 g
Carbs: 34 g
Fat: 8 g

(10.6 cals / 1g protein)

 

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Calories: 350
Protein: 33 g
Carbs: 35 g
Fat: 9 g

(10.6 cals / 1g protein)

 

Large Rich & Meaty Chili

Calories: 250
Protein: 23 g
Carbs: 23 g
Fat: 7 g

(10.9 cals / 1g protein)

 

Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Calories: 430
Protein: 39 g
Carbs: 38 g
Fat: 14 g

(11 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Wendy’s nutrition information
(Last updated: December 2014)

The Healthiest Option at Whataburger

 

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Calories: 430
Protein: 35 g
Carbs: 49 g
Fat: 13 g

(12.3 cals / 1g protein)

 

Chicken Fajita Taco

Calories: 340
Protein: 28 g
Carbs: 29 g
Fat: 12 g

(12.1 cals / 1g protein)

 

Grilled Chicken Melt

Calories: 390
Protein: 32 g
Carbs: 37 g
Fat: 12 g

(12.2 cals / 1g protein)

 

Whatachick’n® Bites 9 pcs

Calories: 540
Protein: 33 g
Carbs: 43 g
Fat: 27 g

(16.4 cals / 1g protein)

 

Double Meat Whataburger Jr.®

Calories: 420
Protein: 23 g
Carbs: 37 g
Fat: 20 g

(18.3 cals / 1g protein)

Source: Whataburger nutrition information

Enjoy Your Meal!

So there you have it: the ultimate list of the top 5 food items from major fast food chains in order of most protein for the least amount of calories per restaurant. No more stressing out on how to make a fast food meal fit your calorie count for the day — just choose wisely, and you’ll do just fine.

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