Fast Food: Convenient and Healthy

When you are on the go, you need to get things done and get them done now. Unfortunately, for some people, this means everything is done “on the go.” However, just because you live your life in the fast lane doesn’t mean that your eating habits have to stay there, too.

Today more than ever, fast food restaurants are trying to jump on the bandwagon of society’s push to live a healthier lifestyles by advertising low-fat and healthier options on their menus. Take advantage of this! Obviously, the best and most effective ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle are by exercising and maintaining a nutritious diet, but everybody knows there are those times when you are forced to grab your grub from the drive-thru. So the question is, how can you eat fast and healthy?

The first of two ways you can cut down on your fat and calorie intake is by ordering salads or grilled, not fried, sandwiches. Fast food chains McDonalds and Wendy’s both offer a variety of healthy and tasty salads on their menus, all under $4. If you are not in the mood for crisp veggies, then try McDonalds’ grilled chicken sandwich with only 10 grams of fat and 230 calories or the Jr. Hamburger from Wendy’s with only 9 grams of fat and 270 calories, both under $2.

There is always the fresh and fast option of Subway, which has 6 sub sandwiches under 6 grams of fat, all under $5. Even though we are all familiar with Jared and his love for Subway, his ability to have the discipline to limit the type of fast food he put into his body helped his weight loss more than anything. So come on! It’s simple and you can do it! Eat to fill your nutritional needs, not just to curb your hunger. You can eat healthy while still getting the treat of eating out if you practice these simple ideas:

  • Ask or look for the nutritional information available for restaurants. Be mindful of what you are eating.
  • Go easy on the condiments and extras, i.e. cheese, sauces, super-sizing.
  • Eat in moderation.
  • Eating fast food here and there won’t hurt, but don’t make it habitual.
  • Substitute grilled for fried.
  • Drink ice water or milk instead of soda.
  • Beware of fat filled salad dressing.
  • Chicken is often less fatty than beef.
  • If you splurge on fast food for lunch, make extra sure that your dinner is healthy and nutritious.
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Member Comments

I agree with @MARSHASHADOW - article needs to be updated. Report
2003? Please update these old articles or delete them. You might want to get rid of the Jared example in your update. Report
Both Subway and Mod Pizza will make sandwich (or pizza) into a salad too! Report
Good article. I just bought some pitas so I can make healthier meals. Report
I've learned that a Hamburger/Cheeseb
urger 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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
Good article. Report
Good to know! Report
very helpful Report
The junior menu is where I order nearly every time we eat out. Report
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. Report
I love to eat out, this information will help me to make better choices when I eat out. Report
BUBBLEGUM_FAIRY
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! Report
I really don't eat out like that. So I don't have to think about that. Report


 

About The Author

Jennifer Putnam
Jennifer Putnam
Jennifer earned a master's degree in nutrition from the University of Cincinnati.
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