If you're trying to eat better for health or weight, you don't need to skip fast-food restaurants like Jack in the Box altogether. While not ideal, restaurants like Jack in the Box are convenient. Reviewing the menu and nutrition information ahead of time can help you make the healthiest choices for your diet. Note: Menus and nutrition information change, so check the website for the most up-to-date information.
Like many fast-food restaurants, Jack in the Box offers a healthy menu referred to as Better for You, which is always a good place to start when looking for healthy options.
If you're counting calories, the Jr. Jack, Chicken Fajita Pita without salsa and Grilled Chicken Strips with Teriyaki Dipping Sauce make good choices, with 360 calories or less per serving. But if you're trying to limit the saturated fat in your diet for heart health, it's important to know that the Chicken Fajita Pita has 6 grams and the Jr. Jack 5 grams. The Grilled Chicken Strips, as well as the Grilled Chicken Salad, are also low in carbs, with 15 grams per serving.
For breakfast, both the Blueberry Muffin and Egg White and Turkey sandwich make good low-cal choices, with 178 calories in the muffin and 149 calories in the sandwich. The muffin is also low in sodium.
The Better for You menu also features fruit smoothies, which are not that low in calories or carbs -- each contains about 300 calories and 70 grams of carbs per 16-ounce serving. They are low in sodium, however.
Burgers, Chicken and Something Different
You don't have to limit yourself to the healthy menu when dining at Jack in the Box to find options for your diet. A regular cheeseburger makes an OK choice with 320 calories and 32 grams of carbs, but it is high in saturated fat and sodium, with 6 grams of saturated fat and 810 milligrams of sodium per burger, respectively. Or skip the cheese and order the hamburger, which has 280 calories, 32 grams of carbs, 4 grams of saturated fat and 620 milligrams of sodium, to save on calories, fat and sodium. Carb counters, order the burger without the bun.
A small order of chicken nuggets makes another acceptable choice for calorie and carb counters, with 240 calories, 13 grams of carbs, 2 grams of saturated fat and 600 milligrams of sodium in a five-piece serving.
The Jack in the Box menu offers tacos on its Something Different menu. The Original Monster Taco yields 270 calories, 19 grams of carbs and 530 milligrams of sodium, but has 6 grams of saturated fat and 0.5 gram of trans fat.
Best Salad Options
The Jack in the Box menu offers a couple of good salad options, including the Chicken Club Salad and the Southwest Salad. Order them with grilled chicken to save on calories, carbs, saturated fat and sodium. Each salad with the grilled chicken has 360 calories or less per serving without the dressing. The Chicken Club Salad is lower in carbs than the Southwest Salad, with 15 grams versus 28 grams.
Also, skip the regular dressing and croutons, and use the low-fat balsamic vinaigrette to save more than 100 calories.
Healthy Sides and Drinks
Round out your meal at Jack in the Box with healthy side dishes. The side salad without dressing has 20 calories, 4 grams of carbs and 10 milligrams of sodium and makes the best option for your meal. To satisfy your sweet tooth, opt for the apple bites.
For drinks, stick with water or sugar-free iced tea. If you wanted to boost the nutritional quality of your meal, order the 1 percent fat milk.