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I’m a nutritionist and here’s what you should choose for the healthiest lunch at every chain – from Greggs to Costa

NUTRITION experts often warn that food from McDonald’s and Greggs is bad for us – but you CAN enjoy a healthy lunch in any fast food restaurant.

Viral TikTok videos have revealed the most nutritious options – and the least – when it comes to grabbing some lunch.

Getty

You can enjoy a healthy lunch in any fast food restaurant if you make the right choices[/caption]

And its not as obvious as you might think.

Professor Tim Spector, who founded personalised nutrition app Zoe, revealed that a “clean green smoothie” from Leon lacked fibre, and bircher muesli from Pret was packed with sugar.

Here, The Gut Co nutritionist Sas Parsad reveals which menu items at some of the UK’s best-known chains are packed with nutrients – and which ones really are junk food . . . 

McDonalds

McDonald's

You should choose a Fillet-O-Fish and side salad from McDonalds[/caption]

Avoid a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese

THE fish burger and salad provides a good source of protein, and fish also provides heart- and brain-boosting omega-3s.

Meanwhile, the vegetables in the salad have plenty of fibre.

Although it tastes delicious, the quarter pounder is high in saturated fat and processed ingredients, which can disrupt gut balance and potentially lead to digestive discomfort.

Starbucks

Starbucks

At Starbucks get the Spinach, Feta And Cage-Free Egg White Wrap[/caption]

Starbucks

Avoid the Venti Frappuccino With Whipped Cream[/caption]

Offered as a protein-packed choice, the wrap provides iron and health-boosting chlorophyll thanks to the spinach.

Egg whites, spinach, and feta contribute to a balanced meal.

The frappuccino with cream is packed with sugar – and it won’t even fill you up.

The drink contains more than 500 calories, so don’t think of it as a harmless accompaniment to your meal.

Nando’s

Nandos

At Nando’s choose the Butterfly Chicken Breast with Corn on the Cob and Spicy Rice[/caption]

Nandos

Avoid the Nando’s Full Platter with Extra Peri-Peri Sauce and Fries[/caption]

HERE’S a meal which offers lean protein from grilled chicken, fibre from corn and rice to fill you up nicely. It is well-rounded for gut health.

By contrast, the platter is loaded with extra peri-peri sauce and fries, making it high in calories, saturated fats and salt.

Subway

At Subway choose: the 6-inch Veggie Delight
Subway

Avoid the Footlong Meatball Marinara[/caption]

WITH plenty of veggies and wholegrain bread, the vegetarian sub provides fibre and nutrients that support a diverse gut microbiome and will help you hit your five-a-day.

The footlong is a calorie overload with meatballs, cheese, and rich marinara sauce.

At 828 calories, it is also suffed with fat and salt.

If you have to get your meatball fix, go for a standard six-inch sub.

Wagamamas

Wagamama

At Wagamamas choose the Yasai Yaki Soba[/caption]

Wagamama

Avoid the Chicken Katsu Curry[/caption]

THE Japanese restaurant chain’s vegetarian-friendly option contains stir-fried noodles, tofu and vegetables in a savoury sauce.

The variety of veg can provide prebiotics, which nourish beneficial gut bacteria.

But the curry a very different meal – it is high in calories and saturated fat due to the crispy fried chicken, and rich curry sauce.

Greggs

At Greggs choose the tomato soup and a salad
Avoid the Sausage, Bean, and Cheese Melt

GO for the salad and soup if you want a healthier option. I

t’s a filling and satisfying option that supports gut health by providing nutrients and fibre.

Plus, the tomato soup gives you plenty of veg without maxing out your daily allowance of calories.

The melt is indulgent and delicious – but it is worse for your waistline.

The processed ingredients can also negatively impact gut health.

Costa

Costa

At Costa choose the Chicken and Basil Salad Wrap[/caption]

Costa:

Avoid the Sticky Toffee Waffles[/caption]

Protein and greens support gut health and a diverse microbiome – and this wrap delivers both in a convenient package.

But the waffle should only be enjoyed in moderation.

The sugary, calorie-dense treat is definitely not one to grab for an average lunch.

KFC

KFC

At KFC choose the Grilled Chicken Rice Box[/caption]

KFC

Avoid the Zinger Tower Burger Meal[/caption]

THIS box is a delight on your taste- buds while being easy on your gut.

Grilled chicken and corn are a dream team for digestion, offering protein and fibre in one tasty package.

The Zinger combo is a high-calorie option with a fried chicken burger, fries and a soft drink.

At 845 calories, it is a huge proportion of your daily calorie allowance (2,000 per day for women, and 2,500 for men) but without providing much nutritional value.

Pret A Manger

Pret a Manger

At Pret a Manger choose the Egg & Avocado Protein Pot with Crayfish and Avo salad[/caption]

Pret a Manger

Avoid the Prosciutto MacCheese[/caption]

Rich in protein from eggs and crayfish, the protein pot offers healthy fats from avocados.

The salad adds fibre and essential nutrients, making it a gut-friendly and balanced option.

Macaroni cheese is a creamy and delicious option but it is heavy on calories and saturated fats while lacking in fibre.

This version also contains more than half your recommended daily allowance of salt.

Burger King

At Burger King choose a Whopper
Burger King

Avoid the Burger King Bacon Double Cheeseburger[/caption]

PICKING a Whopper without the bacon and cheese means you’re getting that great protein from the burger while the salad in the bun provides fibre and nutrients that support digestive health.

You can skip or go light on the mayo to keep it even healthier.

The bacon double cheeseburger is high in calories, saturated fat and salt.

Men should have less than 30g of saturated fat per day and women less than 20g – so this burger’s 24g of saturated fat are a worry.

September 18, 2023 at 01:57AM

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