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The Healthiest Fast Food Chains vs The Not So Healthy Options

by Nick

Fast food often evokes mixed feelings, with some people cringing at the idea while others see it as a regular part of life. Despite its reputation, occasional indulgence in fast food can be acceptable as long as it aligns with your nutritional goals and fits into your macros.

Interestingly, tracking macros and calories at fast food joints is often simpler compared to smaller, independent eateries that may not provide detailed nutritional information.

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Healthy Options

1. Panera Bread:
Panera Bread offers a wide variety of lower-calorie choices and an extensive selection of salads. They prioritize healthy ingredients and provide easily accessible calorie and macro information. Additionally, they have received an A grade from Friends of Earth for their commitment to avoiding factory-farmed animals and antibiotic/hormone-tainted meats.

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2. Chipotle:
Chipotle’s customizable menu allows customers to tailor their meals to fit their dietary preferences and requirements. While calorie and macro amounts are available, they can be inconsistent due to varying portion sizes. Chipotle also earns an A grade from Friends of Earth for their dedication to sourcing responsibly-raised ingredients.

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3. Subway:
Subway is known for its healthier fast food options, offering numerous lower-calorie choices and making nutritional information readily available. While they have received a B grade from Friends of Earth for their animal welfare practices, Subway is making strides in improving their sourcing policies.

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4. Chick-Fil-A:
Chick-Fil-A offers a variety of healthier options, including grilled chicken and salads. They provide easily accessible calorie and macro information and have been recognized for their efforts in using responsibly-sourced ingredients.

5. Starbucks:
Starbucks provides a range of healthier beverage options and a decent selection of nutritious food items. Customers can easily access nutritional information, including caffeine content. However, Starbucks has room for improvement in their sourcing policies, as reflected by their D+ grade from Friends of Earth.

Wendy’s:
Wendy’s offers a selection of salads and grilled chicken options, allowing customers to opt for healthier alternatives. They provide clear nutritional information and have a published policy on sourcing practices, although there is room for enhancement in this area.

Not So Healthy Options

Arby’s:
Arby’s has limited healthier options available, and their sourcing policies have earned them an F grade from Friends of Earth. While nutritional information is accessible, healthier choices are scarce.

Taco Bell:
Taco Bell’s menu lacks significant healthy options, with many items high in calories and sodium. They have received an F grade for their sourcing practices but do provide nutritional information online.

KFC:
KFC offers few healthier options, although grilled chicken and green beans are available. Their sourcing policies have earned them an F grade, but they do disclose this information on their website.

Dairy Queen:
Dairy Queen provides some healthier options, but they are limited to certain locations. Their sourcing practices have resulted in an F grade, but they do make their policy available online.

Papa John’s Pizza:
While Papa John’s offers a few lower-calorie pizza options, their overall menu lacks healthy choices. Their sourcing practices have earned them an F grade, despite providing nutritional information online.

Domino’s Pizza:
Domino’s menu has limited healthier options available. They have received an F grade for their sourcing practices, although they disclose their policy online.

Sonic:
Sonic’s menu lacks healthier options, and their sourcing practices have earned them an F grade. However, they do provide nutritional information online.

Little Caesar’s Pizza:
Little Caesar’s menu does not include healthier options, and their sourcing practices have resulted in an F grade. Despite this, they do disclose their policy online.

McDonald’s:
McDonald’s has reduced its healthier options, making it challenging for health-conscious consumers. While they provide standardized nutritional information, their sourcing practices have room for improvement, reflected in their C+ grade.

Burger King:
Burger King’s removal of grilled chicken options and salads limits healthier choices. Despite easily accessible nutritional information, their sourcing policies have earned them a D grade.

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