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Here's what to reach for the next time you're at one of the country's five biggest fast food chains: McDonald's, Subway, Starbucks, Wendy's, and Burger King.

We recently picked on the country’s biggest fast food restaurants for serving up some of the country’s fattiest foods. Like Burger King’s Triple Whopper sandwich – which has more fat than you should consume in an entire day.

But fast food isn’t all bad news. We scoured the nutritional facts of the five biggest chains for healthier alternatives so you’d know what to reach for, not just what not to reach for.

Here’s what we looked for…

  • Under 500 calories (the recommended daily intake for the average person is 2,000)
  • Under 16 grams of total fat (recommended daily intake is 65 grams)
  • Under 5 grams of saturated fat (recommended daily intake is 20 grams)
  • No trans fat (many health experts agree that no amount of trans fat is safe to consume)
  • Under 75mg of cholesterol (recommended daily intake is 300mg)
  • Under 600mg of sodium (recommended daily intake is 2,400mg)
  • Some semblance of fiber (recommended daily intake is 25 grams)
  • Under 8 grams of sugar (recommended daily intake of added sugar is 30 grams for women, 45 for men)

And here’s what we found…


Subway‘s Black Forest ham, egg white, and cheese muffin melt

  • Calories: 170
  • Total fat: 4g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 610mg
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 1g

Subway’s egg white and cheese muffin melt

  • Calories: 150
  • Total fat: 3.5g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Sodium: 480mg
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 1g

Subway’s egg white, cheese, and avocado muffin melt*

  • Calories: 190
  • Total fat: 7g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Sodium: 490mg
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 1g

*While this option appears to have more calories from fat than we’d like, we’ve included it on this list because the extra fat in this muffin melt is all from the avocado, which is a source of good fat: As we’ve told you before, avocados have more omega-3’s than any other fruit.

Starbucks‘ perfect oatmeal

  • Calories: 140
  • Total fat: 2.5g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 105mg
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 0g

Burger King‘s original Quaker oatmeal

  • Calories: 140
  • Total fat: 3.5g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Sodium: 100mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g

Lunch or dinner

McDonald’s honey mustard grilled snack wrap

  • Calories: 250
  • Total fat: 8g
  • Saturated fat: 3.5g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 45mg
  • Sodium: 650mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 4g

Subway‘s 6-inch roasted chicken*

  • Calories: 320
  • Total fat: 5g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 40mg
  • Sodium: 640mg
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 8g

*Note: Subway calculates the nutritional info for all its sandwiches as if they were served on their nine-grain wheat bread and topped with only lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and cucumber.

Starbucks’ chicken and hummus box

  • Calories: 260
  • Total fat: 7g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 40mg
  • Sodium: 590mg
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 2g

Wendy‘s grilled chicken go wrap

  • Calories: 260
  • Total fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 3.5g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 55mg
  • Sodium: 630mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 3g

Karla Bowsher worked in health care for 10 years before going into journalism. She covers health, consumer, and retail issues. If you have a comment, suggestion, or question, leave a comment or contact her at [sm mailto=”” txt=””].

Stacy Johnson

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