These grab-and-go bites are the ultimate convenience foods, but choose wisely to avoid a diet downfall.
Think your turkey sandwich is a better bet than a burger? Not necessarily. Often filled with too much meat, extra cheese, and fatty spreads, sandwiches and burgers aren't always what they seem. Done right, they're packed with good-for-you ingredients like lean protein, complex carbs, and fiber. On the flip side, they can be calorie, sodium, and fat nightmares. Our top picks show you how to get between the bread - the healthy way.
Starbucks Roasted Chicken Breast with Cranberries and Tarragon Dressing on Whole Wheat Bread
Finally, a chicken salad sandwich without all the fat. How does Starbucks do it? Their secret is swapping fresh tarragon dressing for mayo. That trade doesn't just cut the fat and saturated fat (each sandwich has less than 1.5 grams), it pumps up the flavor as well as tart dried cranberries and crunchy lettuce and celery. A bonus 6 grams of fiber and 32 grams of protein guarantees you'll stay satisfied for hours.
Stats: 420 calories, 13 grams fat, 1,000 milligrams sodium
Au Bon Pain Black Bean Burger
Au Bon Pain nails the veggie burger with its hearty black bean patty nestled inside of a feta flatbread and topped with tomatoes, romaine, feta spread, and a dollop of guacamole. In addition to a surprising 29 grams of protein, you'll rack up an impressive 14 grams of fiber. If the 18 grams of fat scare you, you can relax. They're almost entirely heart-healthy fats with only 4 grams of saturated fat and close to zero cholesterol.
Stats: 560 calories, 18 grams fat, 930 milligrams sodium
Subway Veggie Delite
This crunchy combo of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and black olives from Subway is like a salad in a sub. With 2 servings of produce, you'll score a third of your day's calcium and 20 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C. Order yours on 9 grain wheat and ask for avocado and a drizzle of oil and vinegar to make it even more heart healthy.
Stats: 230 calories, 3 grams fat, 310 milligrams of sodium
Burger King Whopper Jr.
Burger King really does let you have it your way. Visit their website and you can customize your burger and get updated nutrition stats to match. Before tweaking, one right-sized flame broiled Whopper Jr. with all the fixings sports a respectable 340 calories, 19 fat grams and 530 milligrams of sodium. But you can make it even better. Lose the pickles and the mayo and you'll trim 80 calories, 9 fat grams, and 120 milligrams of sodium.
Stats: 340 calories, 19 grams fat, 530 milligrams sodium
Einstein Bros Bagels Tuna Bagel Thin
If you're having trouble squeezing in your two weekly servings of seafood, this fish 'wich can help. Einstein Bros dishes up a generous serving of tuna salad piled with lettuce, tomato, and red onion on a honey whole-wheat bagel thin. The result: a slimming sandwich with 5 grams of filling fiber, 22 grams of satisfying protein, and a whopping 40 percent of your daily dose of iron.
Stats: 320 calories, 16 grams fat, 650 milligrams sodium
Carl's Jr. Teriyaki Turkey Burger
A burger doesn't need to be a diet deal breaker - if it's done right. Grilled pineapple, Swiss cheese and teriyaki glaze from Carl's Jr. put a new twist on the turkey burger. The result is a poultry patty with 32 grams of muscle building protein that weighs in with less than 500 calories. The weak link is the sodium. Ask for yours sans Swiss and you'll shave off 220 milligrams of sodium plus 50 calories and 4 grams of fat.
Stats: 470 calories, 14 grams fat, 1,120 milligrams sodium
Boston Market BBQ Chicken Slider
Order a hand-carved roasted turkey sandwich from Boston Market and it will run you a jaw-dropping 790 calories and 35 fat grams. Why not go with the BBQ Chicken Sliders instead? With only 210 calories and 5 grams of fat apiece, you can eat 2 and still respect yourself. Round out your meal with a 60-calorie side of fresh steamed veggies and pat yourself of the back for a job well done.
Stats: 210 calories, 5 grams fat, 520 milligrams sodium
Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich
This grilled sandwich from Chick-fil-A could be the skinniest chicken sandwich around. Marinated grilled chicken breast on a wheat bun with dill pickle chips, lettuce, and tomato equal 29 grams of super lean protein and only 4 grams of fat. Even though it's more waistline-friendly than most chicken sandwiches, it's still a bit of a sodium bomb. Ask for yours without the Honey Roasted BBQ sauce and you'll shave off 70 milligrams of sodium.
Stats: 290 calories, 4 grams fat, 1,030 milligrams sodium
Arby's Ham & Swiss Melt
Short ingredient lists have decided health perks. With just ham, Swiss cheese, and a bun, Arby's whips up a ham and cheese you can feel good about. With less than 4 grams of saturated fat, it also boasts 20 percent of your daily dose of bone-building calcium. If the 1,070 milligrams of sodium set off alarm bells or if this sandwich isn't available at your local Arby's, go for the Jr. Roast Beef Sandwich from the kids' menu with just 210 calories and less than half the sodium.
Stats: 300 calories, 8 grams fat, 1,070 milligrams sodium
Jack in the Box Chicken Fajita Pita made with whole grain
Who says fast food has to derail your diet? This petite Mexican-style pita sandwich from Jack in the Box's Healthy Dining menu lets you do take out the healthy way. You'll bite into grilled chicken, shredded cheddar, grilled onions, lettuce, and tomato tucked into a warm whole-grain pita. One sandwich delivers more potassium than a small banana plus 3 grams of fiber. By ordering yours without the shredded cheddar, you can trim 145 milligrams of sodium, 67 calories, and 7 fat grams.
Stats: 326 calories, 10 grams fat, 987 milligrams sodium