Trying to eat healthily at a fast food restaurant may sound like a contradiction in terms, however, a lot of people do go to fast food outlets with the intention of eating healthily. Of course, we all associate fast food outlets with towering burgers, bucket size sodas and shakes, nevertheless, the fast food industry has come under increasing pressure to make sure that there is a healthier option on the menu for those people that want it. It is not as difficult as you might think to eat healthily at a fast food outlet, and in this article we will look at some of the ways in which you can keep your calorie and saturated fat content to a minimum.
A lot of fast food companies have added salads to their menus, and although this might look like the healthier option, it might actually be a bit misleading. When ordering a salad in a fast food restaurant, it is important that you are careful with what you add onto it. For a start, do not add a dressing, as this is likely to be high in preservatives such as sugar and salt and even cream, and not only are they unhealthy, it will also add a lot of unnecessary calories to your meal. Avoid chicken, unless it is grilled. If the chicken is advertised as being “crispy”, this is just a by-word for “dunked in a vat of fat”, so steer clear. So many salads at fast food outlets come with fried chicken, bacon, cheese and other high fat additions that it is not unusual for the salad to have more calories than a plain burger in a bun.
Secondly, never order a milk shake or full sugar soda, as these are laden with calories, and even the smallest cup can add as much as 300 calories to your meal. Instead, order a diet soda, or better still, a bottle of mineral water. Do not feel pressured into ordering an unhealthy option if you are in a group, just because they are all ordering burgers, fries and sugar packed sodas.
Another tactic that you can employ is to do some research on the fast food retailers in your area. You can do this by going on to their websites, where they should have a full list of the items that they offer, alongside all of the nutritional information that you could ever need. As soon as your research is complete, you can print out or make a note of the healthiest option, and then keep a copy in your car. This will then help you to make the healthiest choice from each fast food outlets menu whenever you visit them, even if you are going through the drive-thru.
There are some fast food retailers that go a long way to promoting the healthiness of their meals, and one of the most well-known is the sandwich shop, Subway. A lot of the ingredients for one of their sandwiches are low in fat and also low in calories too. There is a distinct absence of fried food on the Subway menu, and if you avoid adding cheese, sauces and potato chips as well as avoiding the sugary sodas, you can get a very filling meal for only a couple of hundred calories.
Another tip to cutting down on the calories at a fast food restaurant is to make sure that you avoid condiments, such as mayonnaise and tomato ketchup. You may well have ordered the grilled chicken as your low calorie option, however, the calorie count can rocket if you add mayo and sauces. So make sure that you tell the assistant to avoid putting any sauces on to your sandwich. If you must have sauce, then use honey mustard on chicken and be very sparing on the ketchup as it will be full of sugar.