Is vegetarian fast food healthy?

(CNN) -- Vegetarian fast food is inherently plant-based, but just because the menu says it's vegetarian or vegan, doesn't mean that it's automatically healthy.

Dietitians say it can have just as much, if not more, calories, saturated fat and sodium as non-vegetarian options.

"Look at the sides. Look at the salads. Consider the portion sizes of the toppings on those and tailor your choices if you are frequently eating out to what's healthy, and not what you would view as your best possible tasting choice on the menu," says Elyse Sartor, a clinical outpatient dietitian with Northside Hospital.

All ingredients can contribute calories, whether plant-based or not.

Food preparation plays a role too. Fried is fried, regardless of the ingredients, and don't forget about portion size.

Whether the meal is vegetarian, vegan or neither. It's only as healthy as its ingredients.