The healthiest meals you can order at your favourite fast-food chains for 500 calories or less

Yes, you can get food that’s nutritious (and filling!) at fast-food places like Chipotle and Papa John’s.

And while eating pizza and burgers everyday is probably not a great idea, you don’t have to completely swear off joining your friends for a quick bite every once in a while.

We’ve compiled a list of fast-food items from our favourite chains that will fill you up and keep you energised without weighing you down.

Chipotle -- Chicken Burrito Bowl with brown rice & pinto beans, no cheese or sour cream -- 500 calories

Chipotle

Chipotle has lots of fresh, healthier options. In general, nix the cheese and sour cream (an occasional dollop of guac is fine, since it's packed with healthy fats), and go for deconstructed alternatives to their burritos, like this one, which has:

500 calories -- not too low, not too high

42g of protein -- a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

13.5g of fat -- a little on the high side

57g of carbs -- roughly a third of your recommended daily allowance

805mg of sodium -- a little less than half your recommended daily allowance

In-N-Out -- Cheeseburger with onion, ketchup & mustard instead of spread -- 480 calories

You don't have to turn to the secret menu (we're lookin' at you, Protein-Style fans) to get a lighter option at In-N-Out. Swap the special sauce for some ketchup and mustard to slash some fat and calories, and opt for a regular burger instead of a Double-Double.

480 calories -- not too high, not too low

22g of protein -- a good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

27g of fat -- on the high side (a little less than half your daily allowance)

41g of carbs -- roughly 14% of your recommended daily allowance

1080mg of sodium -- close to half your recommended daily allowance

Chick-Fil-A -- Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap -- 340 calories

Hollis Johnson

The 'home of the original chicken sandwich' spiced up their menu last year, adding a smattering of healthy fare like this, which has:

340 calories -- pretty low as far as lunch items go; you might want to pair this with a yogurt, small salad, or some fresh fruit

36g of protein -- a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

13g of fat -- not too low, not too high

30g of carbs -- on the low side

900mg of sodium -- about half your recommended daily allowance

Wendy's -- Asian Cashew Chicken Salad, full size -- 380 calories

Wendy's

Not all of Wendy's salads are on the healthier side (the Spicy Ceasar Chicken Salad, for example, packs 790 calories and 51 grams of fat), but a couple are winners, including this cashew chicken salad, which has:

380 calories -- on the low side

36g of protein -- a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

14g of fat -- on the higher side, but not a deal-breaker

32g of carbs -- pretty high and largely from sugar; watch your snacks

1070mg of sodium -- roughly half your daily allowance

Burger King -- BK Veggie Burger, no mayo -- 310 calories

Wikimedia Commons

My vegetarian friends were ecstatic when Burger King announced its veggie option. Overall at this restaurant, the same rules as McDonald's apply: avoid mayo and fried options and go for sandwiches instead of meals. Here's the BK Veggie low-down:

310 calories -- pretty low as far as lunch items go; you might want to pair this with a yogurt, small salad, or some fresh fruit

22g of protein -- a hefty amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

7g of fat -- not too low, not too high

42g of carbs -- roughly 14% of your daily allowance

990mg of sodium -- close to half your daily allowance

Pizza Hut -- Garden Party Thin Crust Pizza, two medium slices -- 460 calories

As part of its recent attempt to overhaul its brand, Pizza Hut began offering several options with more fresh veggies and popular toppings like Sriracha. But like other pizza chains, one of the restaurant's main health drawbacks is the high sodium and carb content of its offerings. The Garden Party pizza has:

460 calories -- not too high, not too low

18g of protein -- a pretty good amount to strengthen muscles and fill you up

18g of fat -- on the higher side, but not a deal-breaker

60g of carbs -- pretty high; watch your snacks

900mg of sodium -- a little under half your daily allowance

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