The Best Sugar-Saving Restaurant Swaps

Keep it healthy at your favorite chains by choosing these sugar-smart alternatives

February 20, 2014
IHOP Crispy Chicken Salad
Courtesy of IHOP

No longer relegated to the candy bowl or cookie tray, added sugar is contributing heavily to our country’s obesity rates and health woes as it creeps into our packaged snacks, bottled drinks, and “healthy” meal options. Another place where sugar is souring your food? Your favorite restaurants. And with Americans consuming over 30 percent of their calories away from home (according to a 2012 study from the USDA Economic Research Service), it’s more important than ever to make sugar-smart choices when dining out.

More from Fitbie: 18 Foods That Pack a Secret Sugar High

Cooking at home is always yours safest sugar bet, but let’s be real: Sometimes life necessitates a meal out or a quick on-the-go snack. You already know that choosing an egg and cheese sandwich over a pastry will save you serious sugar calories, so we’re not going to tell you that. Instead, we're offering you the path of least resistance in your fight against the sweet stuff. The following list of swaps will satisy your cravings at your favorite chains with minimal sugar damage, and allow you to decide for yourself when and where you want to indulge.

More from Fitbie: 15 Painless Ways to Crush Sugar Cravings 

Want more tools for saying sayonara to sugar? Order your copy of The Sugar Smart Diet by Anne Alexander, editorial director at Prevention, today!

1/14
Au Bon Pain Cinnamon Crisp Bagel
Courtesy of Au Bon Pain
At Au Bon Pain

SUGAR BOMB
Cinnamon Crisp Bagel
410 calories
4 g fiber
25 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Whole Wheat Skinny Bagel
90 calories
6 g fiber
1 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Newport Turkey Sandwich
770 calories
4 g fiber
22 g sugar


 

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Chipotle Turkey and Avocado Sandwich
660 calories
6 g fiber
4 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Turkey, Apple, Brie, and Spinach Salad with Fat Free Raspberry Dressing
480 calories
8 g fiber
27 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Strawberry Salad with Chicken
330 calories
4 g fiber
4 g sugar

2/14
BK Chicken Apple & Cranberry Garden Fresh Salad with Tendercrisp and Dressing
Courtesy of Burger King
At Burger King

SUGAR BOMB
Chicken Apple & Cranberry Garden Fresh Salad with Tendercrisp and Dressing
700 calories
5 g fiber
37 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Chicken BLT Garden Fresh Salad with Tendergrill and Dressing
550 calories
3 g fiber
5 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Whopper Sandwich with Cheese
710 calories
3 g fiber
14 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Whopper Jr. Sandwich with Cheese
380 calories
2 g fiber
6 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Vanilla Milk Shake (medium)
730 calories
0 g fiber
110 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Soft Serve Cup
140 calories
0 g fiber
19 g sugar

 

3/14
Denny's Pancake puppies
Courtesy of Denny's
At Denny's

SUGAR BOMB
Pancake puppies (6 pieces)
490 calories
2 g fiber
53 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Pancakes, hearty wheat w/ Turkey bacon
2 cakes, 2 strips
360 calories
8 g fiber
4 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Grilled Chicken Breast on a whole wheat bun w/ BBQ sauce
445 calories
3 g fiber
22 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Grilled Chicken Breast on a Whole Wheat Bun w/ Pico de Gallo
401 calories
4 g fiber
9 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Banana Pecan Breakfast w/ maple-flavored syrup
850 calories
10 g Fiber
102 g Sugars

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Senior Belgian Waffle Slam w/ egg
520 calories
1 g Fiber
1 g Sugars

 

4/14
Dunkin' Donuts Caramel Swirl Latte with Skim Milk
Courtesy of Dunkin' Donuts
At Dunkin' Donuts

SUGAR BOMB
Caramel Swirl Latte with Skim Milk
270 calories
55 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Carmel Lite Latte
120 calories
15 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Vanilla Bean Coolatta
630 calories
130 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Frozen Vanilla Chai
330 calories
45 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Blueberry Muffin
460 calories
44 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Apple cheese Danish
330 calories
18 g sugar

 

5/14
IHOP Crispy chicken Salad w/ grilled chicken
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald
At IHOP

SUGAR BOMB
Crispy Chicken Salad w/ grilled chicken
1,280 calories
7 g fiber
28 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Take 2 Combo House Salad w/ reduced fat Italian dressing & Chicken Tortilla Soup
295 calories
6 g fiber
9 g sugar






SUGAR BOMB
Whole wheat Pancakes w/ Blueberries
470 calories
8 g fiber
35 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Original Buttermilk Pancakes (3 pancakes)
470 calories
4 g fiber
13 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Cinn-A-Stack French toast
940 calories
9 g fiber
62 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Belgian Waffle with butter and glazed strawberries
490 calories
3 g fiber
20 g sugar

 

6/14
Jamba Juice Strawberry Surf Rider Smoothie
Courtesy of Jamba Juice
At Jamba Juice

All nutritional info is for the Classic (24 oz) size

SUGAR BOMB
Strawberry Surf Rider Smoothie
430 calories
4 g fiber
93 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Make It Light Strawberries Wild Smoothie
230 calories
3 g fiber
44 g sugar





SUGAR BOMB
Banana Berry Smoothie
400 calories
4 g fiber
82 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
MAKE IT LIGHT Banana Berry Smoothie
250 calories
5 g fiber
45 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Pomegranate Paradise
340 calories
5 g fiber
74 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Berry UpBEET
340 calories
13 g fiber
56 g sugar

 

7/14
McDonald's Quarter Pounder With Bacon & Cheese
Coutesy of McDonalds
At McDonalds

SUGAR BOMB
Quarter Pounder With Bacon & Cheese
600 calories
3 g fiber
12 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Premium McWrap Chicken & Bacon (Grilled)
460 calories
3 g fiber
4 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Big Breakfast with Hotcakes (Regular Size Biscuit)
510 calories
6 g fiber
17 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Sausage Burrito
300 calories
1 g fiber
2 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Snack Size McFlurry with Rolo
510 calories
1 g fiber
63 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Kiddie Cone
45 calories
0 g fiber
6 g sugar

 

8/14
Outback Steakhouse Wood-Fire Grilled Pork Chop
Courtesy of Outback Steakhouse
At Outback Steakhouse

SUGAR BOMB
Steakhouse Salad
914 calories
5 g fiber
22 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Victoria’s 8 oz Filet
301 calories
0 g fiber
0 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Wood-Fire Grilled Pork Chop
383 calories
0 g fiber
15 g sugar



SUGAR SMART SWAP
Sweet Glazed Pork Tenderloin
303 calories
0 g fiber
4 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Sydney Sinful Sundae
479 calories
2 g fiber
43 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Classic Cheesecake
167 calories
0 g fiber
10 g sugar

 

9/14
Panera Bread Cinnamon Crunch Bagel
Courtesy of Panera Bread
At Panera Bread

SUGAR BOMB
Cinnamon Crunch Bagel
420 calories
2 g fiber
31 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Cinnamon Swirl & Raisin Bagel
320 calories
3 g fiber
11 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Apple Crunch Muffin
450 calories
2 g fiber
49 g sugar



SUGAR SMART SWAP
Pasty Ring-Apple Cherry Cheese (1 slice)
230 calories
1 g fiber
16 g sugar
        
SUGAR BOMB

Mocha Frozen Drink
570 calories
2 g fiber
77 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Iced Chai Tea Latte
160 calories
0 g fiber
26 g sugar

 

10/14
Starbucks Green Tea Latte
Courtesy of Starbucks
At Starbucks

SUGAR BOMB
Green Tea Latte
260 calories
1 g fiber
40 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Earl Grey Tea Latte w/2% milk
140 calories
0 g fiber
22 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Strawberry Smoothie
300 calories
7 g fiber
41 g sugar



SUGAR SMART SWAP
Very Hibiscus Starbucks Refreshers
60 calories
1 g fiber
11 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Cranberry Orange Scone
490 calories
2 g fiber
34 g sguar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Blueberry Scone
460 calories
2 g fiber
17 g sugar

 

11/14
Subway Club Salad w/ Honey Mustard Dressing
Charles Platkin
At Subway

SUGAR BOMB
Subway Club Salad w/ Honey Mustard Dressing
220 calories
4 g Fiber
20 g Sugars

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Subway Club Salad w/ Fat Free Italian Dressing
175 calories
4 g Fiber
9 g Sugars

SUGAR BOMB
6” Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki
370 calories
5 g fiber
16 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
6” Buffalo Chicken w/ Ranch Dressing
420 calories
6 g fiber
8 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
6” Meatball Marinara
480 calories
8 g fiber
12 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
6” BLT
320 calories
5 g fiber
6 g sugar

 

12/14
Taco Bell Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla
Courtesy of Taco Bell
At Taco Bell

SUGAR BOMB
Cantina Double Steak Quesadilla
960 calories
9 g fiber
10 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Tacos (2)
300 calories
4 g fiber
4 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Cantina Burrito - Chicken
740 calories
12 g fiber
7 g sugar



SUGAR SMART SWAP
Chicken Burrito
410 calories
3 g fiber
3 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Brownie Sandwich
400 calories
3 g fiber
38 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Cinnamon Twists
170 calories
1 g fiber
10 g sugar

 

13/14
Wendy's Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
Courtesy of Wendy's
At Wendy's

SUGAR BOMB
Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
400 calories
5 g fiber
25 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Chicken BLT Cobb Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing
480 calories
5 g fiber
3 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
1/4 lb Single with Cheese
600 calories
3 g fiber
10 g sugar


SUGAR SMART SWAP
Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger
390 calories
2 g fiber
5 g sugar

SUGAR BOMB
Caramel Frosty Shake (small)
650 calories
0 g fiber
96 g sugar

SUGAR SMART SWAP
Vanilla Frosty Waffle Cone
290 calories
1 g fiber
34 g sugar

 

14/14
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