Fast food is all around us, and it’s tough to resist the convenience of a quick meal. But many of us worry that fast food isn’t healthy, so where do dietitians turn for their meals?
We talked to several dietitians and asked them to share their favorite fast-food chains—and what they like to order. Keep reading for five places dietitians actually eat when time is of the essence.
The first place that came up in our conversations was Chick-fil-A, one of the most popular fast-food chains in the United States. “Chick-fil-A is one of my favorites because they offer several grilled options that are super tasty,” says Rachel Pecoraro, RDN. “I usually order their Grilled Chicken Nuggets with either a side salad or fruit cup and unsweetened iced tea (no sugar).”
Chipotle is another favorite among dietitians. “I often get the Burrito Bowl with brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, salsa, guacamole, and lettuce,” says Jordan Younger, a registered dietician. “It’s one of my go-tos because it’s quick and easy to customize for a balanced meal.”
Yes, even dietitians eat at McDonald’s! “I order their Southwest Salad with grilled chicken, no dressing,” says nutritionist and dietician Heather Howard. “Plus, I get a side of apples for an added boost of fiber and antioxidants.”
Subway’s customizable sandwiches have made it a go-to for dietitians. “I love going to Subway because I can make my own sandwich and tailor the toppings to be healthy,” says Holly Klamer, RDN. “My favorite is the Veggie Delite on wheat bread with black olives, tomatoes, spinach, and mustard.”
Finally, Wendy’s is another favorite fast-food spot for dietitians. “My go-to order is the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with a side of apple slices instead of fries,” advises nutritionist Melissa Eboli. “It packs in lean protein and healthy carbs all in one meal!”
Eating fast food doesn’t have to mean sacrificing healthy eating. With these five options, you can enjoy the convenience of a quick meal without compromising your nutrition goals. When in doubt, ask a dietitian for their opinion on what to order; they’ll be sure to steer you in the right direction.
For those of us who are trying to stay on track with our nutrition goals, it’s important to remember that there are healthy options available. “The key is finding healthier alternatives and being mindful about portion and condiments,” says Pecoraro. “The more you practice this at home and away from home, the easier it will be to make healthier choices.”
Making healthy food choices doesn’t have to be hard, and with the right information you can enjoy fast food without feeling guilty. So the next time you find yourself short on time or in need of a quick meal, keep these five dietitian-approved fast-food chains in mind!