15 Fast Food Entrées with the Least Cholesterol

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Eating fast food doesn’t have to mean trouble for your arteries
Fast Food

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By reading the menu ahead of time, you can easily navigate fast food menus and make good choices.

It’s no secret that eating fatty, processed, and convenience foods raises your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, level. Elevated LDL levels lead to atherosclerosis, which is the accumulation of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls of your arteries. This build-up reduces blood flow and can cause complications such as chest pain, heart attack, and stroke.  To protect yourself against heart disease, the United States Department of Agriculture suggests you eat no more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day.

Click here for the 15 Fast Food Entrées​ with the Least Cholesterol slideshow.

Adhering to this recommendation can be challenging, especially at fast food restaurants. A single meal at any chain can have you consuming more than the suggested daily amount. For example, one half order of KFC’s original recipe fried chicken, which contains a breast, thigh, wing, and leg, contains 355 milligrams of cholesterol. While some chains are more forthcoming with their nutrition information, many simply display the number of calories in a given item, while some do not provide information at all. Despite such pitfalls, one meal doesn’t have to derail your entire diet. By looking up the menu online beforehand, it’s possible to stay on track. You can easily avoid a slip-up and keep your cholesterol in check by familiarizing yourself with the fast food items that contain the least amount of it.

We looked at popular entrees (as opposed to sides, like fries, or dessert options) at five favorite fast food chains. Here are the results:

Burger King Chicken Apple Cranberry Garden Fresh Salad

Burger King Chicken Apple Cranberry Garden Fresh Salad

Credit: Burger King

This salad is a great alternative to cholesterol-laden fried foods.

This salad combines lettuce, crispy chicken, dried cranberries, apples, and blue cheese, all topped with apple cider dressing. With just 35 mg of cholesterol, it is a great light lunch option.

Burger King Fiery Chicken Fries

Burger King Chicken Fries

Credit: Burger King

These "fries" are made of white meat chicken

Made with white meat chicken, these “fries” are coated in crispy breading seasoned with spices and herbs. A nine-piece order contains just 35 mg of cholesterol. Their shape makes them perfect for dipping, but be careful not to overindulge in their sodium-laden sauces.

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