The healthiest fast food options when you're always busy

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Looking for a good healthy meal on-the-go? ABC13's Patricia Lopez has the healthiest drive thru options just for you.

We have the scoop on some of the healthiest, dietitian-approved fast food options.

A half portion of the ancient grain and arugula salad with chicken and the roasted turkey cranberry flatbread from Panera Bread

Panera Bread, a fast food restaurant focused on providing freshly made food to its customers, has a plethora of healthy options. A staple combination is a half portion of the ancient grain and arugula salad with chicken and the roasted turkey cranberry flatbread. The salad provides chicken, healthy fats from pumpkin seeds, fresh grapes and apples, and a combination of farro, wheat, and barley as its grains. It's low in sodium and only contains 1.5 servings of carbohydrates in a half portion. The roasted turkey cranberry flatbread sandwich is one of Panera's least fat-containing sandwiches, with only 12 grams compared to others that contain 15 to 30 grams. These two options together provide fewer than 550 calories and approximately 23 grams of protein.

A protein bistro box from Starbucks
Starbucks is now on every corner and at every rest stop. It can definitely be considered "fast food." My go-to is the protein bistro box, which contains a hard-boiled egg, sliced apples and grapes, peanut butter, cheese and a whole wheat pita. It has the perfect balance of protein, fat, and carbs without all the added sugars and salt of usual fast food options.

A bowl of breakfast oatmeal from McDonald's
McDonald's has delicious breakfast oatmeal with fresh apples, dried fruits, and a hint of cream. You can also order it without the brown sugar. Oats are a great source of fiber, and they digest slower leading to steady energy levels and longer satiety. The dash of low fat cream adds a fancy mouth feel and provides fat and protein to balance the dish.

A power Mediterranean chicken salad from Wendy's
It's better than most other options because it's packed with protein (40 grams per salad) and loaded with tons of heart healthy fats and fiber that will keep you full and satisfied longer. Plus, it's super delicious with tons of great toppings like hummus, quinoa, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, and more that provide a unique blend of textures and flavors.

A rotisserie style chicken sandwich from Subway
Order it on 9-inch grain wheat bread. The secret is to ask them to scoop out the extra bread to remove some calories and carbs. This also leaves more room for vegetables, so top the sandwich with a ton of fresh ones. A simple way to make a fast food sandwich healthier is to ask for half the regular amount of cheese and only a drizzle of dressing. Then you have a protein, fiber, and veggie-packed lunch, usually for less than 400 calories.

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healthfast food restaurantmcdonald'sstarbuckssaladfeel goodu.s. & world
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