Fast food restaurants offer convenience and speed, often at the cost of our health. But, believe it or not, it is possible to make healthy choices from the drive-through window. All you have to do is plan ahead.
First, you should ask to see nutritional information for the foods. Most fast food restaurants have this posted somewhere inside, and it is also available online.
Understand that your average fast-food meal can run as high as 1,000 calories or more and raise your blood sugar above your target range. If you’re looking for a healthy choice, your options may be limited.
If you are looking at a combo meal, ask to substitute a side salad, carrots or apple slices for the fries.
Think about how the food is cooked. Chicken and fish can be good choices, but they can have more calories and fat if they are breaded and/or deep fried.
And if you’re having fast food for one meal, compensate by making your other meals healthier. The rest of your day should include non-fried vegetables, fruit and whole grains.
If you’re ordering breakfast, choose an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast or an English muffin. Fruit and yogurt are also safe options. Cold cereal with fat-free milk is also always a safe option, as are pancakes with sugar-free syrup or plain scrambled eggs.
Bacon and sausage, on the other hand, tend to be high in saturated fat. You should also avoid muffins. Even “low-fat” muffins are usually very high in calories, especially for the amount of food you’ll get.
If you order a burger, get it without cheese. You should also avoid rich sauces of mayonnaise. Instead, add flavor with mustard then use lettuce, tomato and onion to give it some crunch. Grilled or broiled sandwiches are also preferable.
But whatever you order, make sure you avoid anything with words like “jumbo, giant, deluxe, biggie-sized or super-sized.” Your wallet will tell you it’s a good deal, but your body will beg to differ.