Tuesday, February 24, 2009

“Cheap” doesn’t have to mean “unhealthy”

As budgeters we scrimp to save money, but when it comes to food you should think about your health, too, and not just whether adding fries to your meal will cost an extra buck fifty. I confess, I love fast food – I know, it’s so American of me to admit – not because of the prices, but because it tastes so fabulous…maybe it’s my penchant for salt and sugar.

Anyway, Health Magazine just published a “Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants” list, and some of their picks surprised me. They are:

  1. Panera
  2. Jason’s Deli
  3. Au Bon Pain
  4. Noodles & Co.
  5. Corner Bakery
  6. Chipotle
  7. Atlanta Bread
  8. McDonald’s
  9. Einstein Bros. Bagels
  10. Taco Del Mar

Perhaps I’m not the fast food connoisseur I thought as I haven’t heard of a few of these places (Jason’s Deli? Obviously a fabricated joint), but it warms my weathered, 26-year-old heart to see Chipotle make the list. It’s like cheering on your boss and awkward coworker, tethered together and fervently hopping toward the finish line at a company picnic using their lone, uni-leg. If you follow this blog at all, you know I have a deep and requited love affair with Chipotle that officially began on September 29, 2007 — the fateful day I went looking for “real” Mexican food in Virginia, stumbled upon the oft-scoffed-at Chipotle chain and realized with my first burrito bowl how empty my life had been prior. Bravo, Chipotle. Bravo.

What’s your favorite fast food chain? [Health.com]


Kate said...

I love Panera and Chipotle. I'm kind of confused as to why McDonalds made this list...? I haven't actually been to Jason's Deli but I was in Richmond, VA on business last year and our lunch was catered by Jason's so I know that they do infact exist.

I really enjoy your blog, by the way!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy Einstein Bagels made the list!

Frugal in Virginia said...

Panera and Chiptole are favorites of mine. Glad to see them on the list! I also really enjoy Quiznos, but I guess they didn't make the cut. (McDonald's beat them?!)

Anonymous said...

Jason's Deli is a chain. sheesh, just Google it & you'll know it exists! very yummy & you get ice cream with your meal!

i have to say i'm surprised that Chipotle is on the list. i thought i had heard that Chipotle is incredibly bad for you. eating a 5 pound burrito doesn't seem like the healthiest meal to me.

Crystal said...

Yay, Chipotle lovers unite! Panera and Einstein, quality food too. I have no idea how McDonald's made the list, probably because they've been striving to offer healthier alternatives (such as salads) lately? The dressing on their salads is enough to throw in the towel and just order a Big Mac.

I know Jason's exists, I was just being sarcastic (though I have yet to see one in person) :P

The trick to Chipotle is portion control. One burrito in one sitting is definitely way too many calories; it would need to be split up over different meals. I usually eat the burrito bowl over a period of a day or two.

Julie said...

Jason's Deli is a great place but I wouldn't necessarily rank it in fast food. And shouldn't these delicious healthy places have a drive-through? After all...that is part of fast food. And while McD's may be giving healthy alternatives, how can one resist their awesome salty fries at the last minute?
Oh wait, maybe that's just me.

Mrs. Modern Tightwad said...

Chipotle is definitely at the top of my list, but here in Vegas we have a regional chain called Capriotti's. All I can say is fresh cooked, hand-shredded, roast beef. Gee whiz I just started drooling at the memory!

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