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The New Fast Food: Our Top Picks

More choices make it easier to eat out healthfully
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WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

Jack (from Jack in the Box), Dave (from Wendy's) and the Colonel (from KFC) must stay up nights thinking of new foods to add to their menus, because each new year brings more fast-food options.

Some of the products come and go as quick as you can say, "McLean Deluxe." But others, like Homestyle Chicken Strips, stay around and become permanent fast-food fare. I remember the day when the nugget had no chicken competition.

There have been so many changes at the major fast-food chains this year that I can hardly keep up! Lots of salads are now available, and there are a few more sandwiches and wraps to choose from. Even the die-hard pizza chains are making changes -- there's a "skinny" crust at Round Table Pizza now.

Just so we all know what's out there now, I went through the fast-food nutrition guides, made a few phone calls, and rounded up some of the newer items that have some nutritional merit. Take a look, and the next time you drive through one of these fast-food chains' windows, you might have something new to look forward to!

McDonald's

New Item
Calories
Total fat (g)
% calories from fat
Saturated fat (g)
Sodium (mg)
Fiber (g)
McVeggie Burger (in some areas)
350
8
20%
2
0
1,200
8
Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait (with granola)
160
2
11%
1
5
85
<1
Vanilla reduced-fat ice-cream cone
150
4.5
27%
3
20
75
0
*Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad
250
10
36%
4.5
85
930
3
*Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
200
6
27%
3
70
820
3
*Grilled Chicken California Cobb Salad
270
11
36%
5
145
1,060
3
*California Cobb Salad (no chicken)
150
9
54%
4.5
85
410
3

*Salad information does not include dressing. To add 1/2 packet of low-fat balsamic vinaigrette, add 20 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat and fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, and 375 mg sodium. Beware of the creamy Caesar dressing, with 190 calories and 18 g fat per packet.

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