4 'healthy' fast foods that aren't

Fast-food restaurants are finally starting to offer healthier options. The only problem? Many aren't healthier.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 10, 2013 4:04PM

This post comes from Amanda Geronikos at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyNearly every fast-food restaurant is in on America's health craze. In the past few weeks alone, several chains have launched new or reinvented products that boast lower calorie content or less fat.

Image: Family eating burgers (© Bananastock/Jupiterimages)Therein lies the problem. Many of the new options aren't all that healthy, or are barely different from their non-healthy counterparts.

Here are four examples of healthy choices that might be choices, but aren't necessarily more healthy:

1. McDonald's Egg White Delight

McDonald's classic breakfast sandwich is getting a healthy counterpart: the Egg White Delight. The yolk-free sandwich includes a whole-grain English muffin, Canadian bacon, and white cheddar cheese, and is just 260 calories, as noted in a CBS report.

But a regular Egg McMuffin contains just 40 more calories, and provides more nutrients (such as protein) in the egg yolk.

2. McDonald's McWraps

Another recent addition to McDonald's menu, McWraps feature crispy or grilled chicken, and come in three variations: Chicken and Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken, and Chicken and Ranch.

Sounds healthy, right? Wrong.

A Chicken and Bacon McWrap with crispy (fried) chicken has 600 calories, and contains 1,420 milligrams of sodium, says McDonald's website. A Big Mac has 550 calories.

Even the Chicken and Bacon McWrap with grilled chicken, which appears to be the healthiest of all the McWraps, is the equivalent of nearly two McDonald's hamburgers.

3. Burger King Turkey Burger

Turkey burgers are big business these days. You'll find them at just about every restaurant, pub and, for a limited time this spring, Burger King. The chain's version of the sandwich weighs in at 530 calories, yet a Whopper Jr. contains just 340 calories, according to Burger King's website.

4. Wendy's Flatbread Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Wendy's is testing a Flatbread Grilled Chicken Sandwich. It comes in two forms: Asiago Ranch and Smoky Honey Mustard. With ingredients like applewood-smoked bacon, Asiago cheese, and creamy Asiago ranch sauce, we know the Asiago Ranch variation can't be all that healthy.

And it's not; it's 530 calories, according to MyFitnessPal. You can have almost the same thing -- an Asiago Ranch Grilled Chicken Sandwich (without bacon) -- for 480 calories (and it's probably more filling too).

The bottom line

You know what you're getting into when you enter most fast-food restaurants. And many of us still opt for a Quarter Pounder or Whopper despite any healthier options offered. So my advice: Enjoy fast food every once in a while, but don't make it a habit.

More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:


Apr 11, 2013 9:26AM
I always love these articles which give an "alternative" to a unhealthy product by substituting a product that is much smaller.  For example, they compare a whopper Jr to a turkey burger.  The difference in size is quite a lot.

Furthermore the way to lower the calories and fat in a turkey burger (or any whopper) is to merely drop the mayo.  That practically cuts the fat  in half.  

So a turkey burger without mayo is probably better than a whopper Jr.

Of course that is too logical.
Apr 11, 2013 8:16AM
no such thing as healthy when it comes to fast food!
Apr 11, 2013 8:41AM
Eat at home if you don't like the calories...they are not weight loss centers!
Apr 11, 2013 9:01AM
Never use the words healthy and fast food in the same sentence.
Apr 11, 2013 1:58AM
I dig the "bottom line."  Almost enough said.
Apr 11, 2013 9:30AM
Furthermore the chicken Chili McWrap in grilled chicken is only 360 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 1030 mg of sodium.  It is actually not that bad for you.

So they pick the worst of the Premium Wraps to compare with.  Typical idiots!
Apr 10, 2013 11:00PM
Fast food and brief lunch times are the most horrible ideas we have ever generated in the US. The preservatives, sugar and salt they put in food that can be ready in minutes is killing us!

Give us longer to have our lunches prepared for us and longer to eat them, and we will be a healthier people. Look at Europe, people!

My fear is that the Europeans are becoming more like us in eating habits, than we are them. Then we'll all get sick and die horrible, expensive deaths.

Get rid of fast food, eat better, healthier, and it will be better for all of us.

If none of us go to fast food chains, they will go away!
Apr 11, 2013 12:19PM
OR I could just fire up some charcoal and make my own burgers for 2-3 bucks.each.  restaurants suck.
Apr 11, 2013 11:08AM
people.  eat pecan pie.  this food from the gods' is not only tasty, but for so good for you.  do not let anyone tell you different.
Apr 11, 2013 3:16PM
Um, why on earth would you expect anything at Wendy's, Burger King or McD's to be healthy??

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