Healthy Fast Food
Tips for Making Healthier Fast Food Choice
Fast food is cheap, convenient, filling and many of us it tastes good. if you are eating out, a fast food restaurant is often the cheapest option, but unfortunately not a healthy one. Eating just one fast food meal can pack enough, sodium and fat for an entire day or more. Eating fast food on a regular basis can lead to a host of different health problems. Both physical and psychological.
Still in bad economy the quick and cheap temptation can often be hard to resist. As an informed customer, through, you can make healthier choices and still enjoy the price and convenience of fast food restaurants.
When is it healthy to eat fast food?
The short answer is: rarely. Typically, fast food is low in nutrition and high in trans fat, saturated fat, sodium, and calories. Some example:
- One sack of hash bits or potato snackers from white castle, for example, contain 10 grams of very unhealthy trans fat. The American heart association recommends we consume less than 2 grams of trans fat per day. So in one side order. You’ve just eaten more than five days’ worth of heart busting trans fat!
- A single meal of double whopper with cheese, a medium order of fries, and an apple pie from burger king contains more saturated fat than the American heart association recommends we consume in two days.
Moderation become they key. It’s OK to indulge a craving for French fries now and then, but to stay healthy you can’t make it a regular habit. Finding a healthy, well-balanced meal in most fast food restaurants can be a challenge but there are always choices you can make that are healthier than others.
Learning to make healthier choice at fast food restaurants
Making healthier choices at fast food restaurants is easier if you prepare ahead by checking guides that show you that nutritional content of mean choices at your favourite restaurants. Free downloadable guides help you evaluate you options. You have a special dietary concern, such as diabetes, heart beat or weight loss, the websites of national non-profit provide useful advice. You can also choose to patronize restaurants that focus on natural, high quality food.
If you don’t prepare ahead of time, common sense guidelines help to make your meal healthier. For example, a seemingly healthy salad can be a diet minefield when smothered in high-fat dressing and fried toppings, so choose a salad with fresh veggies, grilled toppings and a lighter dressing. Portion control is also important, as many fast food restaurants serve enough food for several meals in guise of a single serving.
Tips for making healthy choices at fast food restaurants
- Make careful menu selections - pay attention to the descriptions on the menu. Dishes labelled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, cream, and crispy, scalloped, Alfredo, au gratin or in cream sauce are usually high n calories, unhealthy fats or sodium. Order items with more vegetables and choose leaner meats.
- Drinking water with your meal. Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. One 32-oz big gulp with regular cola packs about 425 calories, so one big gulp can quickly gulp up a big portion of your daily calorie intake. Try adding a little lemon to your water or ordering unsweetened iced tea.
- Undress your food. When choosing items be aware of calorie-and-fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, cheese, sour cream, etc. for example, ask for a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayonnaise. You can ask for a packet of ketchup or mustard and add it your self, controlling how much you put on your sandwich.
- Special order. Many menu items would be healthy if it weren’t for the way they were prepared. Ask for your vegetables and main dishes to be served without the sauces. Ask for olive oil and vinegar for your salads or order the dressing “on the side” and spoon only a small amount on at a time. If your food is fried or cooked in oil or butter. Ask to have it broiled or steamed.
- Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what you eat and savour each bite. Chew your food more thoroughly and avoided eating on the run. Being mindful also means stopping before you are full. It takes time for out bodies to register that we have eaten. Mindful eating relaxes you, so you digest better, and makes you feel more satisfied.
Tips for what to avoid at fast food restaurants
- Super sized portions. An average fast food meal can run to 1000 calories or more, so choose a smaller portion size order a side salad instead of fries, and don’t supersize anything. At a typical restaurant, a single serving provides enough for two meals. Take half home or divide the portion with a dining partner.
- Salt: fast food restaurant food tends to be very high in sodium, a major contributor high blood pressure. Don’t add insult to injury by adding more salt.
- Bacon. It’s always tempting to add bacon to sandwiches and salads for extra flavour, but bacon has very few nutrients and high in fat and calories. Instead, try ordering extra pickles, onions lettuces, tomatoes or mustard to ad flavour without that fat.
- Buffets-even seemingly healthy ones like salad bars. You’ll likely overeat to get your money’s worth. If you do choose buffet dinning, opt for fresh fruits, salads with olive oil& vinegar or low-fat dressings, broiled entrees and steamed vegetables. Resist the temptation to go for seconds, or wait at least 20 minutes after eating to make sure you’re really still hungry before going back for more.
Watch your fast food sodium intake
High salt/sodium intake is a major contribute to cardiovascular disease. The American heart association recommends that adults stay under 150mg of sodium per day, and never take in more than 2300 mg per a day. A study by the New York city health department surveyed 6580 meals bought at fast food restaurant chains and found that:
- About 57% of the meals exceeded the 1500-mg daily sodium level.
- Fried chicken outlets including KFC and Popeye’s were the worst offenders, with 83% of meals exceeding 1500 mg of sodium and 55% of the meals surpassing 2300 mg of sodium.
- At only one of the 11 chains included in the study, Au Bon Pain, did more than 7% of meals contain less than 600 mg, the FDA’s “healthy” sodium level for meals. But even there, 46% of meals have 1500 mg or more of sodium.
- Even those eating lower calorie meals were likely to exceed their sodium limit within a single.