- Tim Boyle/Getty Images
Sometimes your day is so busy, you just don’t have time to cook. But if you’re planning on stopping somewhere for a quick snack or meal, you might want to put some thought into it.
Not all fast foods are the same, and there are really some huge differences in the number of calories in similar foods at Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Chick-fil-A. You’ll probably be pretty surprised by some of the results.
Take this quiz to find out what the best fast food place is to grab a low-calorie snack. You won’t regret the time, or the extra inches you’ll save on your waistline.
1) Feeling like a little something sweet on the way to the office? Stop for a fruity treat…
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Smoothies and milkshakes are a yummy addition to any breakfast. And, since they have fruit in them, they sound healthy. But depending on where you order from, it’s easy to forget that these fruity drinks can basically be glorified morning sundaes. So, which one should you choose?
A) Starbucks: Orange Mango Banana Smoothie
B) McDonald’s: Strawberry Banana Smoothie
C) Chick-fil-A: Strawberry Milkshake
Answer: Stop at McDonald’s
- Jacky Naegelen/Reuters
The Golden Arches win here. A strawberry banana smoothie at the fast food joint will only run you 210 calories. Not bad for a tasty addition to your morning routine.
(Starbucks) Orange Mango Banana Smoothie: 260 calories
(Chick-fil-A) Strawberry Milkshake: 570 calories
2) Mmmm…nothing like a breakfast sandwich to warm you up in the morning. But which one?
- Universal Pictures/The Breakfast Club
A smoothie isn’t enough to sustain you through the agonizing hours until your lunch break so you might need a breakfast sandwich. But where should you pick one up?
A) Starbucks: Bacon and Gouda Breakfast Sandwich
B) McDonald’s: Sausage McMuffin with Egg
C) Chick-fil-A: Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit
Answer: Starbucks is your place
- Starbucks Facebook
Looks like Starbucks is your best bet for a delicious and calorie-mindful breakfast sandwich. This choice has 350 calories. That’s pretty good for a breakfast that lets you enjoy some bacon.
(McDonald’s) Sausage McMuffin with Egg: 450 calories
(Chick-fil-A) Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit: 670 calories
3) It’s now time for that mid-morning iced coffee. Where do you go?
- Getty Images/Justin Sullivan
You’ve started to settle into your day and then, all of a sudden, it hits you. You could fall asleep instantly at your desk, and it’s not even lunch time. What place should you rely on for the lowest calorie cold brew?
A) Starbucks: Iced Brew Coffee
B) McDonald’s: Caramel Iced Coffee
C) Chick-fil-A: Frosted Coffee
Answer: No one knows coffee better than Starbucks
It turns out the king of coffee, Starbucks, has it right. A cold brew at America’s favorite coffee shop only puts a 60 calorie dent in your daily count.
(McDonald’s) Caramel Iced Coffee: 130 calories
(Chick-fil-A) Frosted Coffee: 240 calories
4) You didn’t have time to make lunch and need to pick up a quick sandwich. Which one should you go for?
- Cathal McNaughton/Reuters
All of the options here sound pretty similar and enjoyable. So which one?
A) Starbucks: Turkey Pesto Panini
B) McDonald’s: McChicken
C) Chick-fil-A: Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Answer: Order that McChicken
- Spencer Green/AP
McDonald’s often gets a bad rap for being more unhealthy than its counterparts, but it’s your best bet in this round. A McChicken will only add an extra 370 calories onto your daily intake.
(Chick-fil-A) Spicy Chicken Sandwich: 490 calories
(Starbucks) Turkey Pesto Panini: 520 calories
5) It’s now the afternoon and you could use a snack. Where to?
Lunch was good, but now it’s the afternoon and your tummy is rumbling again. You decide on some yogurt. Who can offer you the best option?
A) Starbucks: Fresh Blueberries and Honey Greek Yogurt Parfait
B) McDonald’s: Fruit N’ Yogurt Parfait
C) Chick-fil-A: Greek Yogurt Parfait with Honey Nut Granola
Answer: McDonald’s once again!
- Kate Taylor
For how much McDonald’s is put down, it appears to have some healthier snacks – at least compared to Chick-fil-A and Starbucks. The classic fast food chain offers its Fruit N’ Yogurt Parfait for a mere 150 calories.
(Chick-fil-A) Greek Yogurt Parfait with Honey Nut Granola: 160 calories
(Starbucks) Fresh Blueberries and Honey Greek Yogurt Parfait: 250 calories
6) It’s finally time for dinner. Which place offers the lowest calorie salad?
- Melia Robinson/Business Insider
The day is coming to a close and it’s time to reward yourself with a refreshing, protein-filled salad. Which stop is the best to get the most deliciousness for the fewest calories?
A) Starbucks: Hearty Veggie and Brown Rice Salad Bowl
B) McDonald’s: Premium Asian Salad with Crispy Chicken
C) Chick-fil-A: Asian Salad
Answer: Chick-fil-A finally wins!
- Hayley Peterson/Business Insider
Chick-fil-A may have a lot of high-calorie options, but it looks like it should be your go-to when you need a salad on the run. The restaurant’s Asian Salad is only 330 calories.
(McDonald’s) Premium Asian Salad with Crispy Chicken: 410 calories
(Starbucks) Hearty Veggie and Brown Rice Salad Bowl: 430 calories
7) Which drink should you order?
- Photos by GI via Flickr
Nothing goes better with a fresh salad than a little lemonade on a hot day. Each place offers its own take on the classic beverage. So which one has the one you’re going to want?
A) Starbucks: Shaken Iced Tazo Tea Lemonade
B) McDonald’s: Iced Strawberry Lemonade
C) Chick-fil-A: Lemonade
Answer: Stick with the master of beverages
- Alex Wong/Getty Images
Starbucks does drinks for a business, so it’s no wonder they’ve got the lowest calorie take on lemonade. The Shaken Iced Tazo Tea Lemonade only adds 100 extra calories into your day.
(McDonald’s) Iced Strawberry Lemonade: 120 calories
(Chick-fil-A) Lemonade: 170 calories
8) Finally, which cookie will it be?
- Flickr/Neil Conway
Almost everyone loves to indulge in a little treat after a long day. Each vendor offers their own chocolate chip cookie. How different can they really be?
A) Starbucks: Chocolate Chip Cookie
B) McDonald’s: Chocolate Chip Cookie
C) Chick-fil-A: Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Answer: McDonald’s by a landslide
It’s hard to believe there could be a big difference in the calories of the same exact item across vendors. But, oh, there certainly is. McDonald’s comes in at the lowest count with only 160 calories.
(Starbucks) Chocolate Chip Cookie: 310 calories
(Chick-fil-A) Chocolate Chunk Cookie: 330 calories