WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New products at fast food restaurants and other take-out restaurants have made it easier than ever to stay in line with your health goals.
WHAT WE KNOW
It’s hard to beat the convenience of fast food, which delivers affordable meals that are ready within minutes. But if you aren’t careful, you could eat your entire daily allowances for fat, calories and sodium in a single meal! Over the long run, this can contribute to obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other serious health issues.
Over the past few years, however, many fast food restaurants have revamped their menus, providing more nutritious options. If you are aware of these options, rolling through the drive-thru doesn’t mean your healthy diet has to take a nosedive.
Keep 3 things in mind …
- Fill half your plate with fruits & veggies … always
- Scan menus for healthy options … you’ll find them more and more
- Moderation is they key
Let’s break those down …
Fill Half Your Plate with Fruits & Veggies
Remember this simple rule whether you’re eating out or preparing a homemade meal—fill half your plate with fruits and veggies! This will not only cut your total calories, but provide you with the best combination of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds that your body needs to maintian energy for your busy life!
Scan Menus for Healthy Options
More and more restaurants are providing healthier food options. Take the time to make healthy choices by doing this …
Go for balance.
Choose meals that contain a balance of lean proteins (like fish, chicken, or beans), fruits and vegetables (fries and potato chips don’t count as veggies!), and whole grains (like whole wheat bread and brown rice).
Watch portion sizes.
The average size of a hamburger in the 1950s was just 1.5 ounces; today, they weigh in at 8 ounces or more! Stick to a regular or junior-size meal or sandwich. Avoid anything labeled as Jumbo, Super Size, Deluxe, Giant or Big Size.
Drink water, low-fat milk or 100% juice.
Regular sodas and energy drinks contain “empty” calories that you don’t need. (If you don’t want to give up your soda, drink diet soda!)
Select lean meat.
Stick to lean meats that have been broiled or grilled, not fried. Skip fattening condiments like mayonnaise in favor of veggies or a dash of mustard.
Avoid ‘hidden fat’ in bread.
Order a sandwich on an English muffin or whole wheat bread, instead of a biscuit or croissant.
Eat from the salad bar.
Select veggies, beans, and fruit from the salad bar, avoiding (or minimizing) heavy dressings, croutons, cheese and bacon bits.
Pizza can be OK.
Stick to veggie pizza (red sauce) without meat toppings or extra cheese. And add a side salad!
Look for fruit on the menu for side dishes and snacks.
Moderation is the Key
An occasional high-fat meal from a fast food joint is OK. But if you find yourself eating it on a regular basis, it may be time to put your health first. Check out a few sample 2,000 calorie menus that you can use for a day on the go!