TODAY   |  July 31, 2013

Drive-thru done right: Save time and calories

Fast food accounts for more than 11 percent of daily calories for adults, but it’s possible to save time and calories when you choose grab-and-go food. Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner reveals choices food from popular stops like Burger King, Taco Bell, and KFC that are under 450 calories.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> do you avoid your favorite fast food joints because you don't want to ruin your diet or order the salad like carson when everyone else is eating burgers or fries?

>> it's not fair. hit the drive-thru. dawn has grab and go options all for under 450 calories. she is also contributor to fitness magazine.

>> we live in a fast food culture. people go to fast food and there are healthy ways to do it. one of my favorites is not to order off of the main menu. go with the kids menu or have you heard of the new secret and hidden menus they have.

>> at fast food places?

>> yeah, at panera, a steak and lettuce wrap.

>> why would they hide that?

>> it's this fun trend and we're so lucky there's so much nutrition information on websites that if you do just a little bit of homework you can have a better for you option at these fast food places.

>> let's get to it. let's start with burger king and healthier options there.

>> all right. so burger king junior whopper and value size onion rings .

>> are you a dietitian.

>> you're sanctioning the onion rings .

>> don't be afraid of the burger. if you go to cheese --

>> people go turkey burger.

>> yeah, don't be afraid. and this is junior size and the value size means smaller than a small. so they're a lower calorie option than even fries.

>> delicious.

>> isn't that very satisfying.

>> i wish you were my dietitian.

>> i would eat this for breakfast lunch or dinner. taco bell , they have a steak burrito.

>> this is a fresco steak burrito.

>> this is what we make our today show interns do.

>> you have been practicing all day. good job.

>> you have the fresco bean burrito here and black beans on the side. here's what i love about this. if you use the word fresco at taco bell it's a genius move. it's going to hold the cheese and fat si sauces and you're going to get --

>> you say fresco.

>> yeah and you get pico instead and those black beans on the side rock.

>> lots of rprotein. 80 calories. five grams of fiber. very filling.

>> i can't believe this.

>> you're feeling good, right.

>> next is panera.

>> so isn't this a classic. you want a sandwich and soup, right? a sandwich and soup.

>> a soup bowl on the tray.

>> this is the pick two menu so that you don't have a huge sandwich and huge bowl of soup. it's portion controlled and you order simply. this is turkey, vegetables on whole grain bread.

>> no mayo again.

>> what about spicy dijon mustard .

>> you get an a plus for that. no mayo, go mustard.

>> no mayo, go mustard.

>> yes.

>> all right. last but not least, what about pizza.

>> can i take you to kfc .

>> with we go to kfc . here's what you need to know . do not use dipping sauces at kfc . dipping sauces have hundreds of calories. so honey mustard and barbecue sauce .

>> but the deep fried chicken is okay.

>> they have been marinated before they're fried so they have high flavor on their own.

>> 380 calories.

>> and corn on the side or kfc has green beans or surprisingly their mashed potatoes and gravy, good option.

>> is the hot sauce bad?

>> hot sauce , all the sides, the condiments are bad when it comes to calories. so avoid condiments except for mustard.

>> now let's talk pizza. you say we can get pizza.

>> pizza party.

>> some people just eat the cheese and say the bread is bad.

>> here's how you do it. this is skinny slice. it's only 270 calories. it has 200 less calories than the average slice of pizza and here's what you can take away. thin crust. heavy on the vegetables, easy on the cheese. delicious slice of pizza that's healthier if you do those three things.

>> how many calories.

>> 270.

>> is that true?

>> yes, but you can do those things either pizza place .

>> all the restaurants have calories now on the menu. i don't want to know. but now it's okay to know.

>> information is power so the more you know you can really get stuff you love to eat for healthy.

>> fast food is okay.

>> i have to thank you and also thanks to callie, lauren and george. thanks guys.