Fast Food Menu Items and Heart Health

Is it possible to eat healthy items at a restaurant?  To answer this, visit the website of a popular fast-food restaurant, such as  Using the charts provided below, compare a typical meal one might order (such as a hamburger, fries, and soda) with another meal that has a better overall nutrient profile. Then, answer the questions that follow.

Nutrition info and suggestions can also be found at


Typical Restaurant Meal at Chick-fill-A


Food or beverage Serving size Calories Fat (g) % calories from fat Saturated fat (g) Trans fat (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Sodium (mg)


179g 440 19g 29 % 4 g 0g 2 5g 1350 mg

Waffle Fries

1 360 18g 28% 3.5 g 0g 5g 0g 280 mg
Medium Sprite 1 170 0g 0g 0g 0g 0g 39g 40 mg
Totals:   970 37g 57g 7.5 g 0g 7g 44g 1670 mg


Where did you obtain the info (website, menu, etc.)?


Healthier Alternative at Same Restaurant


Food or beverage Serving size Calories Fat (g) % calories from fat Saturated fat (g) Trans fat (g) Fiber (g) Sugar (g) Sodium (mg)
12 Piece Grilled Chicken Nuggets 12 Grilled Nuggets 210 5g 8% 1g 0g 0g 1g 670mg
Medium Fruit Cup 1 60 0g 0g 3g 0g 2g 3g 0g
Water 1 0 0g 0g 0g 0g 0g 0g 0 mg
Totals:   270 5g 8% 4g 0g 0g 0g 670mg


Where did you obtain the info (website, menu, etc.)?



  1. As you reviewed the nutrition facts information for the restaurant you chose, did calorie or fat content of menu items surprise you? Why or why not?
  1. Briefly comment on the difference between the typical and healthier menus you chose.


  1. With regard to total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat, discuss the potential impact of the meals you chose on blood lipid levels and heart disease risk.


  1. Do you feel it is possible to find a reasonably healthy meal at a fast food restaurant? Why or why not?


  1. Do you feel the posting of calorie information on menus or menu boards will make a difference in what customers order? Do you think requiring calorie information has a potential of lowering risk of heart disease and obesity in the United States? Why or why not?


  1. What might you propose on a food industry, policy, or consumer level to encourage not only healthier options, but improved individual food choice behavior at fast food restaurants?
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