Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fast Food Nutrition - Part 1

I've decided to compile a list of fast food places and their healthier "vegetarian" menu options. I'm trying to keep them under 400 calories, with minimal grams of fat and low in sugar. I've listed the nutritional info I always keep in mind: calories, fat, sodium, carbs/sugars. I put bold font on some things to watch for, such as high sugar or fat content. Personally, I try my best to stay away from items that have 15 grams of sugar or above. If they contain more, than I think of it more as a "treat".

I decided to leave in some egg sandwich options, even though I've been trying to stay away from eating eggs as a main part of a meal. There is no "perfect" fast food meal. The best of the bunch here is Starbuck's Perfect Oatmeal, if you hold back a little on the toppings. These are just some meals to keep in mind when you're hungry on-the-go. This took me a lot of time and research, so I'm going to break it up into parts, doing as many chains as I can deal with at a time.

I've hated on Starbucks for quite some time. I still don't like the idea of selling yourself as "your local coffee shop" when it's not, at all. It tries to give the feel of your quirky downtown coffee joint, but has millions of locations worldwide. However, it seems they are finally making a real effort to provide foods with few additives and better ingredients. I love that they have Soy Milk as an option. They are becoming my favorite for to-go foods, I just wish some of their items had less sugar.

Orange Mango Banana Vivanno Smoothie (made with Soy Milk)*:
270 cal, 4g fat, 135mg sodium, 50g carbs, 30g sugar, 17g protein

Strawberry Banana Vivanno Smoothie (made with Soy Milk)*:
280 cal, 2g fat, 115mg sodium, 54g carbs, 39g sugar, 15g protein
*Just a heads up, even though I calculated these smoothies with soy milk, the smoothies contain whey protein so they are not vegan.

Perfect Oatmeal:
140 cal, 2.5g fat, 105mg sodium, 25g carbs, 0g sugar, 5g protein

Oatmeal Toppings:
Brown Sugar: 50 cal, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 13g carbs/sugar, 0g protein
Dried Fruit: 100 cal, 0g fat, 10mg sodium, 24g carbs, 20g sugar, 1g protein
Nut Medley: 100 cal, 9g fat, 0mg sodium, 2g carbs, 1g sugar, 2g protein
(When I got a Perfect Oatmeal recently, I sprinkled on less than a quarter of the brown sugar packet, and the whole packet of dried fruit. It was really good!)

Multigrain Bagel:
320 cal, 4g fat, 220 sodium, 62g carbs, 8g sugar, 12g protein

Dark Cherry Yogurt Parfait:
320 cal, 5g fat, 140 sodium, 58g carbs, 40g sugar, 11g protein

Strawberry Blueberry Yogurt Parfait:
350 cal, 4.5g fat, 100mg sodium, 66g carbs, 35g sugar, 10g protein

Dunkin Donuts
I've always been partial to Dunkin Donuts. A brand started in my home state of Massachusetts, it's the coffee joint for the "Regular Joe". They are trying to promote healthy eating with their DD Smart menu, but at the same time still pandering to America's gluttonous ways with a Waffle Breakfast Sandwich that has a whopping 23g of fat! I looked it up, that's 3 grams MORE fat than a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger! Still if you're on the go, these are easy to find in the Northeast where we have one approximately every 100 feet.

Multi Grain Bagel
400 cal, 9g fat, 600mg sodium, 65g carbs, 2g sugar, 18g protein

Reduced Fat Cream Cheese:
100 cal, 8g fat, 250mg sodium, 5g carbs, 2g sugar, 4g protein
(I usually use half a container or less, but here is the the info for a full one)

Egg White Veggie Flatbread Sandwich
290 cal, 9g fat, 680mg sodium, 39g carbs, 4g sugar, 11g protein

English Muffin:
160 cal, 1.5g fat, 340mg sodium, 31g carbs, 2g sugar, 6g protein

Egg & Cheese on English Muffin:
350 cal, 13g fat, 730mg sodium, 34g carbs, 3g sugar, 14g protein

Relatively small chain compared to the previous two. There are a few in the area, and I enjoy going to them from time to time. I love that they have hummus as an option for bagel/sandwich topping. They have a "build your own salad" option, which is great. Their Mandarin Salad sounds great, but is loaded with fat and sugars.

Multi Grain "Fortified" Bagel:
350 cal, 4g fat, 550mg sodium, 69g carbs, 10g sugar, 13g protein
Add jelly for 50 cal

Garden Veggie Deli Sandwich:
400 cal, 2.5g fat, 620mg sodium, 82g carbs, 14g sugar, 16g protein

Do I even need to go into my qualms with McDonalds? I haven't been to one in over a year. I don't know when the last time I was there was. I think it was 4:30 am in NYC waiting for the next train to New Haven and decided fries were the only thing that could console me after using the hobo bathroom

Premium Caesar Salad (without chicken)*
90 cal, 4g fat, 180mg sodium, 9g carbs, 4g sugar, 7g protein
*I don't think this included dressing, as always, use sparingly.

Snack Size Fruit & Walnut Salad
210 cal, 12g fat, 60mg sodium, 31g carbs, 25g sugar, 4g protein

Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait
160 cal, 2g fat, 85mg sodium, 31g carbs, 21g sugar, 4g protein

Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait without Granola
130 cal, 2g fat, 55mg sodium, 25g carbs, 19g sugar, 4g protein

Egg McMuffin no meat, no cheese
240 cal, 9g fat, 350mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g sugar, 12g protein

English Muffin with Strawberry Preserves
190 cal, 3g fat, 280mg sodium, 36g carbs, 11g sugar, 5g protein


Chris July 13, 2009 at 11:28 AM  

Seeing some of my favorite things on here made me a feel a lot better about myself for how often I'm forced to grab fast food on the way to shows and whatnot.

If you could go ahead and add "Extra Crispy Fried Chicken" and "Brownie Sundae" I'd feel even better about myself.

Krista July 18, 2009 at 10:59 PM  

Isn't your first race this weekend?! If so, HAVE FUN! I can't wait to hear all about it!,  January 12, 2015 at 8:22 AM  


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