Pulling up to a fast-food restaurant can seem like a good idea when you’re short on time or aren’t feeling like cooking, but it can really derail your diet if you rely on that crutch too often.
There are some menu items, however, that aren’t too unhealthy and won’t break the bank either. You just have to find them.
In order to help, Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has a look at reasonably healthy items for under $5 at five popular fast-food chains.
Before we get to the list, the first rule of thumb is to not opt for a combo meal. The added fries (at most places) and a potentially sugary drink are typically more calories than the menu item you’re purchasing.
A plain hamburger at McDonalds is 250 calories. Adding a slice of cheese adds 60 more. While we mentioned not to go with the combos, you can actually get a hamburger Happy Meal at McD’s to get a kid-sized fries, apple slices, and drink without adding on too many calories and still staying under $5.
- Burger King
A four-piece chicken nugget package is 192 calories and costs under $2, so you could even get another order and keep it under $5 and 500 calories. Beware of dipping sauce, however, as they can really pile on the calories with each dunk.
Wendy’s still offers a baked potato, and you can get a plain one with a junior hamburger for around $4 and a total of around 500 calories. Wendy’s also offers a four-piece nugget option that would cut your calorie count by 70 if you chose nuggets over a burger.
A five-piece box of grilled nuggets come in a tasty marinade that doesn’t require sauces and are only 80 calories total. Chick-Fil-A Sauce, however, is 140 calories, so be careful if you do choose a dipping sauce! You can also add a Kale Crunch salad to get to around $5 and just 200 calories if you eat your nuggets plain.
- Taco Bell
The keys at Taco Bell are to avoid going with the supreme option and staying away from chips. A basic soft taco is under $2 and 180 calories, and choosing the crunchy shell drops 10 calories. Two tacos will keep you under both $5 and 500 calories.
To learn more about Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit http://fulton-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org.