I sometimes have people who contact me and ask if it’s permissible or if you’re allowed to eat a carefully chosen fast food salad as your “lean and green” medifast meal. I occasionally do this and I find it to be perfectly acceptable in a pinch. The key though is to select very wisely. Some fast food salads are quite diet friendly and some load you down with as much calories and fat as a hamburger and fries from the same restaurant. I will take a closer look at this (and tell you which offerings I like) in the following article.
Keep In Mind What Medifast’s “Lean And Green” Criteria Is When Choosing Your Fast Food Salad: When making your selection, you’ll want to remember exactly what you’re looking for. The daily “lean and green meal” is made up of 5 ounces of lean protein and three servings of low glycemic vegetables. A salad can accomplish this wonderfully, but only if you choose one that has those three components without any extras. Of course, you want to keep the fat, carbs, and calories down, but many offering stay within these guidelines.
Many fast food offerings load down their salads with fried meats, bacon, croutons, and cheeses. And, you can really get in trouble with their dressings. But, if you look closely, there are several good and viable options. Several companies offer options with grilled lean meat and just your basic diet friendly vegetables.
Some of my favorites include:
1. McDonald’s Premium Caesar Salad With Grilled Chicken: This one has grilled chicken, dark leafy green lettuce, and grape tomatoes. There is some cheese on it but you can either remove it or special order your salad without it. Also, I use my own spray dressing to save a lot of calories and fat.
2. Taco Bell’s Chipotle Steak Taco Salad (From The Fresco Menu): This salad is great, but it has to be modified. You obviously can not eat the shell and you can’t add the tortilla chips and cheese. You should also ask them to hold the rice. But the lean steak, lettuce, tomatoes and salsa are all fine from my experience. I put fat free sour cream on the side and I use the salsa for my dressing. It’s still very tasty.
3. Wendy’s Mandarin Chicken Salad: This one has a nice assortment of greens, carrots, tomatoes and broccoli. I omit the mandarin oranges because the carb and sugar content is too high. But the chicken and toasted almonds stay. Again, I use my own spray salad dressing because these are invaluable for saving fat, carbs, and calories.
4. Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Grilled Chicken BLT Salad: Of course, you will have to omit the bacon on this one. But, the lettuce, tomatoes, and grilled chicken are perfectly fine.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. These just happen to be the ones that I like. However, any offering that has basic low glycemic vegetables and lean protein should work. Just remember to omit the undesired extras like croutons, bacon, cheese, pastas, and the heavy dressings. As I’ve alluded to, those spray dressings are invaluable. They are tasty and just a few sprays really does cover the salad and give you the flavor that you are looking for without the fat of some of the dressings which contain more of the bad stuff than the hamburgers from those same restaurants.