Have Your Burger and Eat It, Too – Make Fast Food Fare Healthier
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Published by TOP4 Team
Fast food has earned a bad rep over the past few years. Medical experts have pinpointed to the prevalence of a bad diet (where fast food figures well) as well as a sedentary lifestyle as the two most crucial drivers in the spike in lifestyle diseases among modern people.
Sure, fast food is delicious and convenient. And after a tiring day at the office, you'd like nothing more than to turn the TV on and feast on a burger. However, a steady fare of fast food can lead to several health woes including diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
Giving in to your cravings for fast food fare is certainly okay. However, if you make fast food a staple of your diet, then you are putting your health at great risk.
On the other hand, if you have made great strides in cleaning up your diet and yet you feel the urge to wolf down your favourite combo of burger and fries, there are a few things that you can do to make fast food less dangerous to your health.
The first thing that you need to do is to mind your portions. On average, a fast food meal has about 836 calories. You'd want to lower that figure to about 500 calories or fewer. Whenever possible, avoid the option to upsize portions. Also, you might want to opt for the smallest portion available or simply divide your order into two portions.
If the fast food joint offers healthier options, like leaner meats or buns that have higher fibre, pick those options. Avoid fried and breaded meats. Instead, opt for those which have been roasted or grilled.
Salads may seem like a good idea when ordering at a fast food resto. However, make sure that you read the label carefully. Unknown to many, these salads use dressings and toppings that are high in fat. Opt for low fat or fat-free dressings and choose toppings that have been grilled.
As you pay attention to your entrees, do not forget to give equal attention to your side dishes. Again, as much as possible, avoid sides which have been fried or contain too much calories. These include French fries, onion rings, coleslaw and mashed potato. Healthier alternatives include salads with light dressing, corn on the cob and baked potato.
Of course, if you have made good choices with regards to your main meal and side dishes, you should not ignore the beverage you order. Sodas, in particular, contain 300 calories, while shakes contain 800 calories. Juices aren't exactly better options as they may still be loaded with sugar and calories. What's your best bet? Opt for water or unsweetened tea, if you can.