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5 New ‘Healthy’ Menu Items At Fast Food Restaurants

It’s that kale time of year. You know, that time when people think about their health and contemplate eating more leafy greens and less meat.

El Pollo Loco took the lead this year with a new line of fitness bowls.

Other fast food chains have made new year’s additions to their menus. Most are good tweaks, but maybe a tweak is all you need to get started on your diet resolutions.

The Costa Mesa-based chain’s new Pollo Fit Bowls are aimed at people who follow ketogenic or paleolithic diets, better known as keto or paleo. Keto diets are an update to the low-carb craze in the early years of this century, while paleo diets are built around lean meats, nuts and plants, the kinds of foods that were supposedly available in prehistoric times.

Two of the bowls are keto-certified: Double Chicken & Avocado and Double Chicken & Double Chicken & Queso Fresco. The main difference is that one has avocado and the other has black beans.

Double Chicken & Mango is billed as paleo-friendly.

All three bowls are high-protein, and include organic spinach, other vegetables and salsas.

In a news release chief marketing officer Hector Muñoz describes the bowls as only the beginning of a better-for-you menu.

El Pollo Loco’s Newport Beach competitor came out with its own diet-specific Lifestyle Bowls a year ago.

This year, Chipotle is introducing a supergreens salad mix that features baby kale and baby spinach as well as romaine lettuce.

Chipotle has also changed the oil in its grilled chicken marinade to make it compliant with the Whole30 diet, which emphasizes natural foods but shuns added sugar, alcohol, grains, and legumes.

The chain launched three burgers that are wrapped in iceberg lettuce in lieu of a bun on Jan. 5, National Keto Day. They are the Guacamole Bacon Thickburger Lettuce Wrap, the Jalapeño Thickburger Lettuce Wrap, and the Original Thickburger Lettuce Wrap.

All three feature an Angus beef patty weighing one-third of a pound.

Turkey tacos are back for a limited time. They have 40 percent less fat than seasoned beef, according to the Lake Forest-based chain’s website,

The Irvine-based chain is serving brussels sprouts, which are considered healthy because they’re high in fiber and nutrients, for a limited time. But here, they’re sautéed in garlic butter and tossed in balsamic vinaigrette.


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