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5 Ways To Eat Healthy When it Comes to Fast Food

Fast food has a bad reputation—no need to beat a dead horse.  But, as much as one may want to avoid the psychological mind game that is the drive-thru lane, sometimes fast food is the only option. What fast food options are actually good for you, minus the calories, high salt and sugar and guilt?  Here are 5 ways to ditch what you heard, and choose wisely the next time all you have in your hands is a Hardee’s menu, or our next best favorite McDonalds!

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1.    Watch the condiments

Creamy ranch dressing can take McDonalds Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap from dry to delicious at the spreading of the sauce. But did you know it also adds tons of extra fat and calories to the sandwich, all because it’s oily- mayo based dressing? Veer away from creamy condiments, like mayonnaise, ranch or sour cream, to remove added calories and fat from your meal.  Be advised however, condiments that are lower in calories may have added sodium.  Stick to ketchup, mustard, honey mustard or oil and vinegar-based salad dressings to keep the added calories at bay.  And skip the condiments completely for an even healthier meal!

2.    Fear Anything Fried

We Americans love our French fries. The average American consumes about 110 pounds of potatoes per year. But that also means we digest gallons of oil that the potatoes are fried in.  Don’t eat anything fried (even delicious onion rings!). Instead, opt for a fruit cup, yogurt parfait or side salad with reduced-calorie dressing. While a diet high in salt and fat makes us crave salty fried foods, you are inevitably piling on the calories, and weight, with every crunch.

3.    When in Doubt, Drink Water

Want a drink with that? Liquid calories are the easiest and fastest way to add calories, without accompanying nutrients, to your meal.  Soda, lemonade, sweet tea, or juice and the ever present food-coma-inducing milkshake, are all guilty of adding empty calories to our meals without us even noticing.  The high sugar content also spikes insulin production in the body, causing a sugar rush, and then crash as our body processes all of the sugar. Opt for water, unsweetened tea, or low-fat milk to save calories and nourish your body.

4.    Never Supersize

Supersize meals does for the body, what unleaded gas does to a Corvet.  At first the car will run quick and fast, but soon the gas lines will be clogged and cause a trickle-down effect into the car, and one day the engine blows.  Supersizing meals high in fat, salt and calories not only strains the body as blood pressure rises, heart rate quickens and you feel the sluggish tired feeling overloading your system, but all of the unused calories will turn be storage as body fat.  A large Burger King’s Whopper Meal has 1,30 calories—half of the average person’s daily calorie intake! Order a small, and save the extra calories for foods high in fiber, that will keep you full for longer.

5.    Go Vegetarian

Vegetarians rejoiced when Burger king released its veggie burger with 410 calories, 16 g of fat and 2.5 g saturated fat. While the burger has slightly more calories than a plain hamburger, it has lower cholesterol, trans and saturated fat than a beef patty. Not at Burger King? Eat by the same rules and order a salad with a reduced-calorie dressing. Replace the protein of a meatless meal with a salad that has beans or corn in it.  Try a fruit cup or yogurt on the side instead of fries. And veer away from empty calories by ordering a diet soda, water or low-fat milk.

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