13 Protein-Packed Options at Top Fast-Food Chains

Fast food is not as healthy as a home-cooked meal prepared with the freshest ingredients while taking care of the quantity of salt and fats used. However, there are times when fast food is the only option in terms of accessibility and affordability. Many fast food chains in America offer a decent quantity of protein in their meals that helps you get full faster and stay full longer.

What Is Your Protein Requirements

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The US FDA recommends that adults consume 50 g of protein a day as part of a 2000-calorie diet (a general rule of thumb is 7 g for every 20 pounds of body weight). The need for calories varies as per your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity.

You can get your protein requirement from a variety of foods, including lean meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy products. However, while ordering food in a fast food restaurant, stay away from your meat that is fried or coated in bread crumbs, and stick to minimum cream or mayo-based salad dressings. Keep an eye on the calorie count while ordering these meals because the idea is to eat meals high in protein content without consuming outrageous calories.

Read on to learn about 13 high-protein fast food options.

Chick-fil-A Grilled Market Salad

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This salad with plenty of vegetables, fruits, mixed greens, and blue cheese is the way to go. It usually comes with a grilled fillet for 31 g of protein; however, if you swap it for grilled nuggets, you can increase your protein quantity.

Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl

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Chipotle burrito bowl with chicken as your source of protein will give you 54.5 g of protein along with 17.5 g of dietary fiber. And it doesn’t stop there. Asking for a double chicken can bring the total protein content to 70 g. That is quite a protein-packed meal. However, as the sodium content of this meal is high, you would like to cut back on your sodium consumption elsewhere.

Starbucks Turkey, Provolone & Pesto On Ciabatta

If you want something more filling than a salad, this tasty high-protein bistro-style sandwich from Starbucks is just the answer. This turkey breast, provolone cheese, roasted bell peppers, and basil pesto on ciabatta roll not only makes for a satisfying lunch, but also gives you 32 g of protein and just 3 g of sugar.

Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

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A terrific salad with apples, dried cranberries, crunchy roasted pecans, blue cheese, and tender meaty chicken breast chunks gives you 37 g of protein. Go easy on the dressing to avoid sodium that stands at 1350 mg.

Shake Shack Double Shack Burger

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One of the highlights about ordering at Shake Shack is that you can ask for any sandwich on the menu to be served in a lettuce wrap instead of a bun. It instantly cuts back on carbohydrates and calories without affecting the protein content. Add more protein (up to 51 g) to your meal by asking for a double shack burger.

McDonald’s McDouble

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The McDouble or the double cheeseburger is a high-protein meal option from McDonald’s. A regular bun with two beef patties, American cheese, pickles, onion, ketchup, and mustard fills you up and offers you a good amount of protein against calories (23 g of protein and 390 calories). You can reduce the calories by asking for a lettuce wrap and losing the cheese.

Panera Deli Turkey Sandwich

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Panera is popular for its sandwiches, soups, and salads, but you need to be careful while ordering in there if you want to stay on the side of the healthy. While a Deli Turkey Sandwich with 35 g of protein is an obvious choice, you can cut the calories by getting a half-order and no mayonnaise.

KFC Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast

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KFC is more than just fried chicken, nuggets, and mashed potatoes. Opt for a grilled chicken breast with a side of green beans that packs almost 40 g of protein with just a fraction of the calories and negligible carbs.

Arby’s Roast Turkey Gyro

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Though Arby’s is known for its roast beef sandwiches, this signature roast turkey gyro with 25 g of protein from lean meat, veggies, Greek seasoning, and creamy tzatziki sauce in a soft pita is a delicious option from the rest of the protein fast food choices.

Subway Rotisserie-Style Chicken Sub

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Make this sub sandwich fiber-rich and nutrient-rich by adding veggies and cheese. Ask for double meat; your six-inch sub will have over 32 g of protein. If you want something healthier, lose the bread and ask for a rotisserie-style bowl which offers the same amount of protein for only 220 calories.

Boston Market Quarter White Meat Rotisserie Chicken

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Boston Market might not be as popular as McDonald’s, however, their menu offers plenty of healthier alternatives. Try their Quarter White Meat Rotisserie Chicken that packs 43 g of protein with just 270 calories and 590 mg of sodium. Pairing it up with a side of steamed vegetables will give you a balanced meal.

Panda Express Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

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The grilled teriyaki chicken at Panda Express makes for a flavorful meal. It is high in protein (33 g) and low in calories (280 cal). Ask for double chicken and take your protein total of this meal to over 50 g.

Taco Bell Chicken Quesadilla

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This classic chicken quesadilla packs 26 g of protein against 510 calories. You can swap chicken for beef by ordering a steak quesadilla for the same protein amount. And if you want the same protein minus some carbs (26 gm of protein for 470 calories), opt for their power menu bowl with your choice of meat, cheese, veggies, and grains.

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