Healthy Fast Food Choices

by | Jul 2, 2012 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

Doesn’t matter how many people tell us that junk or fast food is bad for our health – fact is, it tastes good. Even the most disciplined person loves an occasional bite or two. Fortunately, all fast food joints are now required to display nutritional information. For those like you who care, making an informed choice is now easier. Check out these 7 easy tips how to make better and healthy fast food choices:

Don’t go by color alone – check the nutrition and calorie chart

A salad that looks all green and healthy might actually pack a wallop in terms of fat and calories! Dinners and fast food joints often use a (un)healthy amount of high-fat dressing and fried toppings.

Speak up and be served – specify what you need

Ask for your salad to be either without the dressing or with minimal dressing. Similarly you can ask for a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayonnaise. When your salad or sandwich arrives choose to eat no more than half the fried toppings.

Also, pay attention to the total quantity of salad served. Restaurants love to sell as much food as they can. If you generally eat a few tablespoonfuls of salad, then stick to that quantity. You do not have to finish everything in your plate. Your health is more vital than not wasting food.

Read, don’t gloss over the menu

Don’t go by the titles alone. Read the menu description; does it say deep-fried, or pan-fried? (Latter is a bit healthier). Does it say batter-dipped, breaded? Deep fried bread tastes lovely but it soaks up a lot of oil. Any breaded deep fried item would probably be the un-healthiest item in the menu.

You don’t have to empty the plate

If you love batter-dipped, breaded fries then by all means do order. You don’t want to be craving for it the moment you stepped out of the fast food joint. Instead, choose to control how much of it you consume. Usually a few pieces is all it takes to satisfy a craving.

Chose water or fruit juice over sugary sodas

A large 32 oz glass of soda packs around 400+ calories. As per USDA recommendation, a healthy adult needs no more 2,500 calories per day. This means that a single 32oz glass of regular soda will supply you with nearly a third of your daily calorie required but without any nourishment.

Have a beverage by all means but select fresh fruit juice or wine over regular soda.

Leave the salt shaker alone

There is already a lot of sodium (salt) in each preparation. Avoid adding more. Excess salt results in severe blood pressure and heart problems. If the food tastes bland, ask for a wedge of lemon and squeeze that on top of your food. It will add to the taste as well as add Vitamin C to your food.

Never eat alone – take a friend with you

Sounds strange? Order for one and ask for an empty plate. Divide the food between yourself and your friend. You will both enjoy for the price of one and stay healthy too.