Fast-Food: Healthy Choices When Dining Out

With busy work and school schedules, grabbing a quick meal between events sometimes becomes necessary just to make it through the day. The good news is that it is possible to make healthy choices when eating at fast-food restaurants. Here are five tips for making nutritious choices when dining out – keep them in mind next time you hit the drive-thru!

5 Tips for Making Healthy Fast-Food Choices

Health Fast Food Choices
  1. The first step is to choose a restaurant where you know there are healthier options available. An increasing number of fast-food restaurants are now providing healthier choices – be a conscious consumer and check out the restaurant website or app ahead of time to see what items are available and determine how they fit into your nutrition plan.
  2. Limit fried foods and instead opt for items that are grilled, baked, steamed, or roasted, Choose a grilled chicken sandwich or single-patty hamburger over fried chicken, fried fish, or chicken fried steak. Instead of having French fries, tater tots, or onion rings, choose a healthy side item. Many fast-food restaurants now offer side salads, fruit cups, apple slices, steamed veggies, and yogurt parfaits all of which are great choices.
  3. Add in whole grains where you can. Choose a whole wheat bun for your burger or sandwich and brown rice in your burrito bowl. When you switch to whole grains you add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your meal.
  4. Watch out for empty calories in your beverage – opt for water, unsweet tea, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice over sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages. For information on the amount of sugar in common drinks, visit the CDC’s Rethink Your Drink website.
  5. Avoid the urge to Super-Size! This is not your last meal – you can have a healthy snack later in the day when you get hungry. Super-Sizing may only cost an additional $0.49, but the calories and saturated fat from the extra-large soda and fries can easily derail your nutrition game plan. Remember – moderation in all things!

In conclusion, making healthy fast-food choices is possible. Remember – choose a restaurant with healthy options, limit fried foods, add in whole grains, limit empty calories in your beverage, and avoid Super-Sizing.

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