Healthy Fast Food Choices

At some point in time, we all have found ourselves stuck in a situation where we were extremely hungry and fast food is all that is available.  The good news is that healthy fast food choices can sometimes be a reality.  In this article, we will look at a few examples of when fast food can be healthy.  Believe it or not, it is possible to find healthy selections at restaurants including Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and even McDonalds.  However, keep in mind that while there are healthy fast food choices, this doesn't necessarily mean that you should be eating at a fast food restaurant in the first place.

Quite often you may find yourself in a fast food restaurant and not even realize it.  Many fast food restaurants are disguised as being something other than what they are.  The food may be presented in a different way.  But at the end of the day, it is still fast food. 

 What do we mean by fast food?  Fast food has generally taken on the meaning of being unhealthy, highly processed food.  Another major problem with fast food is that it is often full of preservatives and chemicals designed to make the food last longer, thus increasing corporate profits (and quite likely make it more addictive as well!)  In short, fast food is very bad for you and should be avoided.  But for social reasons alone, you may find yourself at a fast food restaurant from time to time. 

Knowing what is healthy can be extremely tricky at a fast food restaurant for many items that are labeled as “healthy fast food choices” are nothing of the kind.  Famously many fast food restaurants have managed to load down a simple salad with as much fat and salt as a steak!  Armed with the right information you do stand a better chance of getting a meal that isn’t too high in calories, chemicals and pesticides, but it does take work.  Here are five options to consider when trying to navigate the world of fast food.

Starbucks
At Starbucks, the bistro boxes often have low calorie, low fat sandwiches.  Starbucks also stocks gluten-free kind bars that contain nuts and healthy spices.  Remember don't drink Frappaccinos which are loaded with sugar and fat.

Subway
If you are eating at subway, you can greatly reduce calories and fat simply by choosing the smaller 6” subs.  However, make sure to avoid the mayo and cheese.

McDonalds
McDonalds serves certain salads that are healthy.  These options include the snack-size fruit and walnut; Caesar’s with chicken and Newman’s low-fat balsamic; and the Southwest salad with chicken and Newman’s low-fat balsamic.

Wendy’s
At Wendy's, you can keep your food intake fairly natural by selecting a baked potato with broccoli.  Another potential low-calorie, low-fat option would be to order a small chili and side salad.

Taco Bell
Taco Bell has recently been promoting their Fresco menu as a healthy choice.  Each Fresco item comes in at under 9 grams of fat, which is far less than what you will find throughout the rest of Taco Bell's menu!

It is important to note that all of these options can change at a moments notice and suddenly have 500 calories more than they did just a few days ago.  This is why it is critical that you look for and ask for nutritional information on all fast food products.  Should such information be provided to you upon ordering?  Of course, it should.  However, as someone that is invested in your own health, you may have to be persistent about getting this information.

 

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