A lot of adults today can remember just how greasy you can feel and smell like after stepping out of a fast food joint. It was a common thing to experience since most of these eateries only offer deep-fried dishes. People loved and patronized them since they taste good, affordable, and can quickly feed the hungry.
Because of this, a lot of people chose to stop dining out frequently altogether in an effort to eat better. Since only the expensive restaurants offer the best ingredients for quite some time, eating at home became a more attractive option for the health conscious.
Things have certainly changed for the better in the past few years, though. People are now better informed of what can happen to their health if they continue eating food without any nutritional value.
This consciousness has certainly reached the corporate headquarters of the different food industry brands. It has been very noticeable how a lot of older chains are now offering healthier menu items. Healthy fast food chains are now also being opened left and right giving you more affordable and nutritious options when you want to dine out.
Not too sure where you can go for some healthy chow? Here are a few healthy fast food and fast-casual chains that can be good for your diet:
Established in 2005, this Canadian fast food chain is also possibly one of the most popular healthy fast food chains in the US. Their menu consists of plant-based items with a variety of wraps, bowls, and salads. Most of them are also below 700 calories and are just around $7 so you can be sure to eat something healthy and affordable from this chain.
This chain might only have six branches as of writing, but LYFE Kitchen definitely fits the bill of a healthy fast-casual chain even if they don’t necessarily brand themselves as such. Their menu items only contain around 600 calories so they’re good for those on a diet. They also don’t have butter, cream, MSG, preservatives, trans fats, and high-fructose corn syrup so you can be sure that you won’t consume awful ingredients when eating out.
The bread may still be packed with carbohydrates but with the wide variety of menu items Panera Bread offers, there’s a good chance that everyone will get their healthy fill here. They have a very extensive menu that will give you enough options for every meal. They even have a nice and healthy kids’ menu so it can certainly be a great place to dine out healthily with the whole family.
A visit to a Vitality Bowls branch will introduce you to the marvelous world of superfoods. So if you really want to try something different but still healthy, this might be a great place to head to. Just note, however, that they’re a bit pricier than your regular fast food chain mostly due to the nature of their ingredients.
Jason’s Deli may only have around 200 locations in the USA but this newcomer is a very promising one. Aside from offering organic ingredients, their menu items are also scalable so you can exercise total portion control on your meals.
Au Bon Pain
This chain is also one of the pioneers of the healthy fast food trend so it will be a shame not to include Au Bon Pain in this list. Aside from offering salads, soups, and sandwiches, their entrees also attract health-conscious diners because they’re made of whole grain, hormone-free chicken, and lots of vegetables.
With their fresh and locally sourced produce, hormone and antibiotic-free meats, and a commitment to organic farming, Chipotle is certainly in the running for being one of the healthiest fast food chains there is. However, it’s very easy to go to the dark side in this eatery as they offer a generous amount of cheese and sour cream. It’s also a matter of knowing which items to order.
Einstein Bros Bagels
Before you protest that bagels and spreads are packed with carbs, it’s important to note that Einstein Bros Bagels also offer a wonderful range of healthy alternatives. Their reduced-fat shmears, hummus, peanut butter, and Good Grains bagel are all noteworthy for offering a healthier option to diners.
If you want to go all out, the Veggie Grill is a vegan chain that you should definitely check out. They offer meatless burgers that feature patties made from pea protein as well as sandwiches and salads as one would expect from a vegan eatery. The best part? Their menu items are all low-calorie dishes so they can definitely help you watch your weight.
With their affordable and healthy menus, these restaurants might just give you good reasons to eat at fast food and fast-casual chains again.