Heart Healthy Fast Food Options: 8 of the favorite healthy fast food options that are heart-healthy are listed here.
“Heart-healthy” does not mean fast food should be eaten in routine. However, one can not totally avoid fast foods. So, in order to enjoy and not damage your heart at the same time, a list of “heart healthy fast food options” is prepared by our nutritionist.
Introduction to Heart Healthy Fast Food Options:
Fast food is often considered a nightmare for cardiac patients. Even one small zinger burger can add up a lot of unhealthy fats.
And the main culprit for heart diseases is that extra saturated fat. So, this makes it almost impossible for heart patients to think of fast food.
It is considered as diabetic patients should avoid “sugar foods”, and heart patients should avoid “fatty foods”. And even when you picture fast food in your mind, mighty burgers and cheesy pizzas and pasta are all that you imagine.
And that is exactly what the common concept of fast food is!
Almost every chronic condition has a link to diet. and for cardiac patients, it is best to lose weight and avoid extra fat in the diet.
But when your doctor suggests you avoid fast food, it means avoiding “unhealthy fast food”, So, the good news is that healthy fast food is an exception.
Here are some healthy fast-food options that are perfectly fit for heart patients.
1. Dunkin Donut’s Hash browns:
Dunkin Donuts Hash browns are a perfect fast-food snack option for heart patients. It is very low caloric. One serving provides only 130 calories with only 6g of fat and it is cholesterol-free.
You can also pair this up with a bun or bread and add some salad dressings to increase the fiber content.
Another thing that makes it perfectly healthy is the use of soybean or canola oils for its preparation.
2. Dunkin Donut’s Beyond Sausage:
Another healthy fast-food option from Dunkin donuts is there beyond sausage. It is a far better choice than bacon sandwiches which come with a lot of unwanted calories.
It can be perfectly fit for heart patients if you skip the cheese and go for ketchup. The protein mainly used in this sausage is plant-based pea protein.
Pea protein is high in lysine (the amino acid which prevents the accumulation of fatty acids in the body) and it also contains arginine (an amino acid that aids in the regulation of blood pressure).
This makes it a perfect fit for cardiac patients. It is also prepared in coconut, soybean, or canola oil. All of which are good for heart health.
3. Burger King’s Impossible Whopper Sandwich:
Although eating a burger daily isn’t recommended, you can have it once in a while. Because no matter how hard you look, no burger can be perfectly healthy.
For example, if you skip the cheese there might be an extra amount of sodium. So, it is best if you be moderate and go for a burger once or twice a month.
But burger king’s impossible whooper is a plant-based burger that is prepared with soy protein.
It is healthy but it can become super healthy if you omit the cheese and mayo toppings. That will take away the saturated fat and extra amount of sodium.
4. Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad:
This super-duper healthy salad contains red and green apples with lettuce, cranberries, roasted pecans, and grilled chicken chunks all topped with pomegranate vinaigrette.
It gives only 90 calories per packet! A perfect side dish for cardiac patients. Unlike other salads, it is not loaded with milk cream or mayonnaise.
5. Taco Bell’s Bean Burrito:
Beans are excellent for heart health. This bean burrito provides only 330 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving. It also provides 11 grams of fiber that make it healthier.
By skipping the cheese and going for an extra amount of veggies, it becomes a perfect fit for cardiac patients.
6. Panera’s Tomato soup and Tuna Salad Sandwich
This is a perfect fit for a lunch or dinner meal. It provides 600 calories. This combination makes you achieve almost half of your daily vegetable and fiber requirements.
It is delicious as well as healthy. You can also lower the salt amount on a customized order.
For cardiac patients, this is a healthy and nutritious lunch/dinner option.
7. Steak Soft Tacos by Chipotle
These soft taco steaks proved 560 calories with 36 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber. This meal is an excellent supply of calcium, iron, and vitamin C.
This dish is high in sodium, but still less sodium than other fast-food items.
8. Starbucks’ Protein box
All the protein boxes at Starbucks are rated high in fiber. They contain balanced amounts of all three macronutrients carbs, fats, and protein.
Some of these also include fruits or vegetables which add up the antioxidant content. One protein box provides 300 calories with 11 grams of fat, 13 grams of protein, and 25 grams of carbohydrates.
How to make your meals “Heart-healthy”?
A meal that is perfectly healthy for your heart is often not available but it is made by a few changes to the already available items. Here are some changes that you can do in order to make your meals healthy:
- Understand the difference between serving and portion size.
- Servings size is the amount of food that is measured using cups and measuring instruments.
- Portion size is the amount of food a person chooses to eat. Smaller portion sizes can help in calorie restriction.
- Set up your portion sizes for example you can set up the portion of pasta about the size of a baseball.
- When you are very hungry, load up on salads rich in fruits and vegetables. That way you eat less of the main course and more healthy fruits and veggies.
- Beware of side dishes. Often the side dishes exceed 500 calories per serving.
- Scan the restaurant menus carefully and go for the healthiest option available.
- Go for fresh juices as drinks, and use artificial sweeteners for tea and coffee.
- Try to cut out saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol as much as you can.
Fast food can be made healthy for heart patients with a few changes and some thorough selection.
Well-balanced meals with limited fat and sodium available at various fast-food chains are perfectly fit for such patients.
Even if you have a heart problem or you just need to be cautious, these options are healthy for everyone.