Nutritionists often warn that the food offered by McDonald’s and Greggs is bad for us – but you can enjoy a healthy lunch at any fast food restaurant.

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

You can enjoy a healthy lunch at any fast food restaurant if you make the right choicesCredit: Getty

It’s not as clear as you think.

Professor Tim Spector, who founded personal nutrition app Zoe, revealed that Lyon’s “clean green juice” lacked fibre, and Brit’s Bircher muesli was full of sugar.

Here, Gut Co nutritionist Sas Barsad reveals which menu items at some of the UK’s most popular restaurant chains are packed with nutrients – and which ones are actually fast food. . .


You must choose the filet mignon and side salad from McDonald’sCredit: McDonald’s
Avoid eating a double Quarter Pounder with cheese

Fish burgers and salad provide a good source of protein, and fish also provides heart- and brain-boosting Omega-3.

Meanwhile, the vegetables in the salad contain a lot of fiber.

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


At Starbucks, get the spinach, feta, and cage-free egg white wrapsCredit: Starbucks
Avoid the Venti Frappuccino with whipped creamCredit: Starbucks

This wrap is offered as a protein-packed option, and provides iron and health-boosting chlorophyll thanks to spinach.

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

A creamy Frappuccino is full of sugar – it won’t even fill you up.

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


At Nando’s, choose the butterfly chicken breast with corn on the cob and spicy riceCredit: Nandos
Avo the full Nando’s plate with extra peri peri sauce and friesCredit: Nandos

Here’s a meal that includes lean protein from grilled chicken and fiber from corn and rice to keep you feeling well full. It is well rounded for gut health.

In contrast, the dish is loaded with extra peri peri sauce and fries, making it high in calories, saturated fat and salt.


At Subway, choose: 6-inch Veggie Delight
Avoid the foot-long meatball marinaraCredit: Subway

With plenty of vegetables and whole-grain bread, a plant-based meal provides fiber and nutrients that support a diverse gut microbiome and will help you get through your five daily meals.

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

It contains 828 calories, and is full of fat and salt.

If you have to have meatballs, choose a standard 6-inch sub.


At Wagamamas choose Yasai Yaki SobaCredit: Wagamama
Avoid the chicken katsu curryCredit: Wagamama

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

A variety of vegetables can provide prebiotics, which feed beneficial gut bacteria.

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


At Greggs choose tomato soup and salad
Avoid melting sausage, beans and cheese

Go for the salad and soup if you want a healthy option. I

It is a filling and satisfying option that supports gut health by providing nutrients and fiber.

Plus, tomato soup gives you plenty of vegetables without exceeding your daily calorie limit.

Melting is delicious and tasty – but it’s worse for your waistline.

Processed ingredients can also negatively impact gut health.


At Costa choose the chicken and basil salad wrapCredit: Costa
Avoid sticky dessert pancakesCredit: Costa:

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

But waffles should only be enjoyed in moderation.

This sugary, high-calorie dessert is definitely not the type of food you’d have for your average lunch.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

At KFC, choose the grilled chicken rice boxCredit: KFC
Avoid the Zinger Tower Burger mealCredit: KFC

This box pleases your taste buds while being comforting to your gut.

Grilled chicken and corn are a dream team for digestion, delivering protein and fiber in one delicious package.

The Zinger Combo is a higher calorie option with a fried chicken burger, fries and a soft drink.

It contains 845 calories, which is a large portion of the daily calorie allowance (2,000 per day for women and 2,500 for men) but without providing much nutritional value.

Brett is a manager

At Pret a Manger, opt for the egg and avocado protein bowl with lobster and avo saladCredit: Brett Director
Avoid the Pork MaccheeseCredit: Brett Director

Rich in protein from eggs and lobster, the protein bowl offers healthy fats from avocado.

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

Macaroni cheese is a creamy and delicious option but is high in calories and saturated fat and lacking in fiber.

This version also contains more than half of the recommended daily amount of salt.

Burger King

At Burger King, choose the Whopper
Avoid the Burger King Bacon Double CheeseburgerCredit: Burger King

Opting for a Whopper without the bacon and cheese means you’re getting that great protein from the burger while the salad on the bun provides fiber and nutrients that support digestive health.

You can skip or reduce the mayonnaise to keep it healthy.

Double bacon cheeseburgers are high in calories, saturated fat, and salt.

Men should get less than 30 grams of saturated fat per day and women less than 20 — so the 24 grams of saturated fat in this burger is concerning.

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