Take the guilt out of the equation with these expert choices.

By Kirsten Nunez
December 18, 2020
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Okay, so “healthy fast food” might sound like an oxymoron—but it does exist. Need proof? Check out these dietitian-approved fast foods for your next late-night trip to the drive-thru. While you’re at it, skip the sugary soda (a.k.a. liquid calories), and you’ve got yourself a decent meal to cure the nighttime munchies.

Wendy’s: Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Fried foods can take a while to digest, so go for grilled bites like the Grilled Chicken Sandwich at Wendy’s. “This high protein sandwich is delicious and will keep you feeling full,” shares registered dietitian Emily Danckers, M.S., R.D. As for sides? Order chili (for more filling protein and veggies) or apple slices, she says.

Dunkin’: Veggie Egg White Omelet Sandwich

If you’re lucky enough to find a Dunkin’ with late night hours, try a Veggie Egg White Omelet sandwich, says registered dietitian nutritionist Beth Stark, R.D.N., L.D.N. It’s high in fiber and protein, so “it will please your belly and keep your appetite at bay.” For a complete meal, pair your sammie with fresh fruit or yogurt, she adds.

Drive Thru
Credit: Getty / gabe9000c

Chick-Fil-A: Market Salad

According to Stark, the Market Salad goes beyond your typical fast food salad. Not only does it have “carbs, protein, and fats for the ultimate balance of key macronutrients, [but] it also comes with granola or almonds that you can add as a topping or eat later,” she says. Take that, nighttime cravings.

Arby’s: Creamy Mediterranean Chicken Wrap

Meet the Creamy Mediterranean Chicken Wrap, Stark’s top pick at Arby’s. Here’s why: It offers “protein from roasted chicken, plus fueling carbohydrates from the artisan wrap,” she says. It’s also packed with colorful veggies (tomatoes, red onion, banana peppers), which is always a plus. To trim back the calories, Stark suggests ordering the tzatziki sauce on the side—then using a modest amount for a touch of flavor.

Taco Bell: Power Menu Bowl

Think outside the bun and grab a Power Menu Bowl. It’s full of filling protein from the beans and chicken, along with fiber, vitamins, and minerals from the veggies like lettuce and salsa, notes Danckers. Need to up the fill factor? Add guac for healthy hunger-busting fats.