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Healthy fast food

By: Victoria Pan

Crispy chicken strips from KFC are one of the many healthy foods that you can choose at a fast food restaurant. Photo courtesy of Google Images

The definition of “fast food” is a type of food that is made quickly, but of low nutritional value, similar to junk food. When it comes to fast food, this is usually what we think of: delicious, unhealthy and convenient. However, sometimes cooking seems like an endless and tedious process, and when driving home from either school or work, you have experienced the sporadic groans from your stomach. This probably has led you into the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.  As you examine the menu, the first thing that pops out is the burger and fries combo.  This happens to almost everyone. The supposedly “healthy side” including salads and grilled chicken sandwiches is completely invisible.  Although fast-food restaurants have unhealthy food, they also have a good amount of healthy food.

Chick-fil-A is a good example of a blend of healthy and unhealthy food. You can either choose the oily, 400-calorie chicken nuggets, or instead you can order the Chargrilled Chicken sandwich, which is 280 calories and has a high amount of protein with 25 grams. The Chargrilled Chicken Garden salad is also a hearty choice, with only 180 calories and 23 grams of protein. 

Though McDonald’s is famous for its juicy and mouthwatering Big Mac, many are unaware of its 1070 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of saturated fat, and 85 milligrams of cholesterol. A healthier and appetizing choice is the Premium Southwest Salad (without chicken).  It has 140 calories, six grams of fiber, and zero grams of trans fat. With this, you instead add to your daily intake of vegetables. 

When it comes to being on time for school or work in the morning, making breakfast is a struggle, and Dunkin’ Donuts may just be the place to go. Its reduced fat blueberry muffin has eight grams of protein and the fact that it has blueberries makes it even healthier. For many thousands of years, blueberries have been an important ingredient in medicines and soups. They have a lot of antioxidants, which have been proven to help destroy cancer cells. Another healthy choice from here are the garlic and onion bagels. They both have 12 grams of protein and a fairly low calorie count.

Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC, hasn’t really had a good reputation of being very “healthy.” However, besides their famous Double Down, everything they make has zero trans fat. The chicken breast can be ordered without the skin or breading, and it has only a surprising 150 calories and 31 grams of protein. Also, its crispy chicken strips (3) have a good amount of fiber and protein.

All these fast-food restaurants have food ranging from high calories, cholesterol, and fat to low calories, cholesterol and fat, depending on your will power. However, if your will power happens to be running low and Chick-fil-A’s crispy, hot waffle potato fries are too much to handle, order the small size!

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