Fast Food: Making a Healthy Choice
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Published by TOP4 Team
Fast food is always the most convenient option, but it’s the least healthy choice. But don’t worry. You can find ways on how to choose healthier food items when you’ve got no other choice than fast food. Here are some tips for you.
Most major fast food chains have websites, and most now offer the nutrition information online. Select your meal and tally the calories before heading to a restaurant.
Mind descriptions on the menu.
Deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped or au gratin dishes usually have high calorie, unhealthy fat and sodium content.
Pay attention to size.
A single serving of many fast food meals might be just enough for several meals. Avoid supersized and value-sized items, and go for the smallest size of sandwiches, burgers and sides. You can also find more reasonable sizes on the children’s menu.
Pick grilled or roasted meats.
Avoid fried or breaded items like crispy chicken sandwiches, breaded fish fillets, or processed meats such as sausage, bacon, hotdogs or ham. Instead, choose turkey, chicken breast, or roast beef.
Ask for extra veggie sandwich toppings.
To add more vitamins, fibre and flavour to your sandwich, ask for extra tomato, lettuce and onion.
Beware of condiments.
Avoid or cut the following:
- Salad dressing (contains fats in the oil, but read the labels, because sometimes the fats are "good fats" -- the lowest-calorie dressing is usually the healthiest choice)
- Cheese (high in saturated fat, but if your diet is low in calcium and you can’t tolerate milk, one slice of cheese will be enough)
- Sour cream
- Sauces which are high in sugars and/or fat (Instead, use mustard for sandwiches, vinegar for fries, and lemon juice for salads.)
- Salt (in excess)
Be wise about sides.
Watch menu items that come with one or more sides. Sides that can quickly send calories soaring include biscuits, chips, coleslaw, fries, macaroni and cheese, noodles, onion rings, rice, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Better options are side salads with apple slices, baked potato, corn on the cob, fresh fruit cups or light dressing.
Skip the bacon.
It’s always tempting to add bacon to sandwiches and salads for extra flavour, but processed meat has very few nutrients and has high fat and calorie content. Instead, try ordering extra pickles, onions, lettuce, tomatoes or mustard.
Watch what you drink.
Soda is a huge source of hidden sugar and calories. And don’t be fooled by lemonade and fruit drinks, which add calories and sugar without much in the way of nutrients. Order water, unsweetened tea or coffee instead. If you have a sip between every bite, you'll also slow down your eating time, which results in eating less.
The best way to eat healthy is still to avoid eating in fast food chains as much as possible. Remember that anything taken in excess is bad for your health.
For healthy fast food options, consider dining in these top-rated restaurants.