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Healthy Fast Food Lunch Picks

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What to order -- and what to avoid -- when you're grabbing lunch on the go

Au Bon Pain

In an ideal world, you'd steer clear of greasy, high-fat takeout and pack yourself a perfectly balanced lunch to bring to work every day of the week. In the real world, brown bagging can be an extra hassle that you can't always handle. Here's your guide to the healthiest sandwiches, soups, and salads at your favorite grab-and-go lunch spots.

Au Bon Pain

Best Salad: Steak Salad with Cranberries and Mandarin Oranges, Fat-Free Raspberry Vinaigrette
370 calories
7 g fat, 4 g saturated fat
590 mg sodium
7 g fiber
20 g protein

Best Sandwich: Fields and Feta Wrap
551 calories
16 g fat, 4 g saturated fat
880 mg sodium
14 g fiber
20 g protein

Best Soup: Jamaican Black Bean (Reduced Sodium, Low-Fat)
120 calories
1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat
310 mg sodium
17 g fiber
11 g protein

Worst Overall: Chicken Caesar Salad, Caesar Dressing
920 calories
60 g fat, 16 g saturated fat
1,640 mg sodium
4 g fiber
44 g protein

Takeout Tip: Although the Thai Chicken Salad sounds healthiest (just 140 calories and 2.5 g fat, half a gram of which is saturated), ordering the Thai Peanut Dressing to match more than doubles the calories, almost quadruples the fat, and doubles the saturated fat. Sodium also skyrockets from 470 mg to 1,650 mg total. Stick with "lite" or fat-free dressings.

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connie375 wrote:

Info & Place Options limited, but enough info to figure it out. Would be helpful if "how" to choose short-cut included. Diabetics are a whole different animal. They need their own section.

4/26/2011 09:57:52 AM Report Abuse
Debbie_Hall wrote:

Carbs are the absolute most important thing to know for a diabetic. It's too bad that the carbs are rarely mentioned by fitness magazine. Most of the recipes and food articles look good, but they are just shy of enough information for me to use. What a shame.

3/24/2011 10:52:35 AM Report Abuse
lumib wrote:

Great! I have 3 of these places close by. Will definitely use these options when I go to lunch. Thank you for that!

7/22/2010 10:36:45 AM Report Abuse
rschallert wrote:

Thanks, this feature will be helpful, when I need to eat lunch out.

7/8/2010 10:12:58 AM Report Abuse
marlum wrote:

They are not saying to only eat 140 calories for lunch...they are just giving low cal options. And as for two not being available in the west coast... only one is available where I live...but I'm not complaining, I appreciate all the information I am given. Buck up and do a little research on your own if its that big of a deal. Not everything should be handed to you on a silver platter. I lost 35 pounds by watching what I eat and looking at nutritional values of food...even fast food. 5'7'' 135

6/24/2010 10:57:31 AM Report Abuse

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