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Fast Food: Convenient and Healthy

This Doesn't Have to be an Oxymoron


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  • Good article. I just bought some pitas so I can make healthier meals.
  • I've learned that a Hamburger/Cheeseburger Happy Meal at McDonald's is just about the perfect amount of calories for an adult, plus you'll still get fries just a little tiny portion and some apples to help balance. So when I'm in a hurry and have to eat on the go I get myself a happy meal, I'm satisfied, haven't over eaten, and my daughter is happy to get the toy.
  • I don't eat out, all the hidden msg, sauces can undo determination and a days
    Work. I take each meal at a time, write it down,have a plan, write your self a contract, and a reward every month for an achievement. I'm 50 lbs down , my excess weight has cost me my marriage, this is about my health, and a little " in your face" what ever your drive is, remember the reward at the end.
  • I do not know where you get your fast foods so cheap. I live in Canada and subway has the low fat subs for $6.00- $8.00. They do have a number of them for $5.00 but not all of them are healthy at that price. The salads at McDonalds here are $8.00 each, some are healthy. Tim Hortons has a lunch special with fresh soup & crackers or a bun, depending where you live, coffee & a donut or muffin. It is$5.00-$6.00 & online you can see the soup is healthy, if I did have this I order the muffin & have it later or the next day. I know it is high fat but what counts is the total daily fat,so one higher fat meal would be O.K. Healthy food at McDonalds & other fast food places is always more then the unhealthy because the unhealthy foods you can order as a combo & the healthy foods do not come in combos. Starbucks makes 3 very good, new extremely large healthy salads for $8.00 each, they come in plastic containers with dressing & are about 500 calories total. You can have them for takeout or eat in. It has many grains,rice,with quinoa, nuts, beans,seeds,dried fruit,chicken etc. in them. It is the best salad I have found anywhere, no restaurant is better & as satisfying as there's is.
  • The junior menu is where I order nearly every time we eat out.
  • Moderation and know your products. Most restaurant and fast food "healthy" options are way to high in sodium, so eat it if you have to, but really try to limit how often. I will take a Subway Veggie Delight salad, no pickles or pickled peppers, with oil and vinegar as my first choice, if I don't need a protein boost. I'll add oven roasted chicken if I need the protein. It's about 450 mg of sodium compared to the 1070-1640 mg for the Wendy's salads.
  • I love to eat out, this information will help me to make better choices when I eat out.
    What I got out of this was that moderation and small changes are truly the keys when it comes to eating healthier. I believe you can still enjoy fast food or restaurants now and then, as long as you don't go to an extreme and overdo it. Great article!
  • I really don't eat out like that. So I don't have to think about that.
  • Someone mentioned going to the health food store and getting pre-made sandwiches or lentil wraps instead of fast food. What a great idea! Because of my lifestyle I do have to eat out frequently but I chose with care. Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of a health food store where I can just drop in and get something, but I do try to plan my meals accordingly so that I am okay on the sodium and such when I do eat out.
  • I agree with the author's statement that grilled chicken sandwiches are amazing, BUT I was very surprised to see the statement end there. Grilled chicken sandwiches tend to come with 2+ tablespoons of mayo, which destroys a lot of the gain for swapping to grilled chicken. Most fast food chicken is moist enough you don't need the mayo, especially if you add juicy tomatoes. It adds the moisture to the bun without the calories and fat!
    As with many SP articles, the focus is on fat and/or calories. What you fail to mention is the high sodium content of most fast-food chains and restaurants. Even if you pick a "healthier" alternative, you will be amazed at the amount of sodium.

    For example, McDonalds has a Premium Caesar Salad with grilled chicken - without any salad dressing, it has 580 mg sodium. BUT, add on any of the Newman's Own low-fat dressings, and your "healthy" salad is nearly 1,000 mg sodium.

    400 mg of sodium comes from the grilled chicken alone. That's more than 2x the amount of sodium in a chicken breast you cook at home (unless it's prepackaged/frozen & injected with broth).

    The RDA for sodium is 2300 mg per day for a healthy person. But, if you have health issues, like high blood pressure, or heart problems, the RDA is reduced to 1500 mg per day. So, the above salad is either between 50% - 75% of your daily sodium recommendation.

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