One can not totally avoid Fast Food. But one can choose between unhealthy and healthy fast food options.
For example, when you order chicken, order Grilled Chicken and Not Fried or Roasted Chicken. If you are fond of fast foods and simultaneously want to be healthy, this article is for you!
Nowadays, a busy lifestyle has caused many people to switch towards fast food and ready-to-cook food products. No doubt, using these can be time-saving and delicious.
Many people seek nutrition from fast-food restaurants, but the choices are often high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium.
In fact, one lunch at a fast-food restaurant might exceed your daily fat and calorie intake while delivering little nutrition or fiber.
Only one mighty burger can make you get more than 500 calories. This has become a trend for people to enjoy their dinner or lunch at restaurants.
Although doing this once or twice a month is no big issue, however, if you frequently do this, you should think about choosing the healthiest fast foods.
Can Fast Food Be Healthy?
The truth is that dining at fast-food restaurants often makes it difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Fast food is often high in calories and with one meal, provides enough for a whole day.
It is also deficient in nutrients and nearly devoid of fruit, vegetables, and fiber. But that doesn’t mean you should completely avoid fast food.
When you’re hungry and on the go, fast food can be a lifesaver. It’s inexpensive, delicious, and, most importantly, convenient.
But this should not become a daily habit if you want to stay healthy and fit. The key is moderation, both in terms of how frequently you visit fast-food restaurants and what you order when you do.
When you’re trying to lose weight or stay healthy, fast food menus might be difficult to navigate. It’s difficult to find a healthy, well-balanced lunch in most fast-food places.
However, there are always healthier fast food options available to you.
Following are some tips that can help you enjoy fast food with no extra calories:
You will never gain extra calories if you take care of the portion size. The portion size of food refers to the portion you actually consume from the amount that is served.
Typically, a small size is sufficient to satisfy the cravings. A small order of fries may have up to 100 fewer calories than its super-sized equivalent.
A modest sandwich or half a sandwich will often satisfy your hunger. You can also request a child’s dish to ensure smaller servings.
Focus on calories:
You must always aim to keep your meal less than 500 kcal. Always keep a check on calories or else you might consume the calories of a whole day in just one meal.
Pick healthy side orders:
It’s not necessary to add French fries or mayo sauces to your burger or pizza.
You can always go for a fruit or vegetable salad as a healthy side order. This will help maintain your fiber intake.
Even if you order carefully, it might be difficult to get enough fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals from a fast-food menu.
You can add healthy toppings and side dishes like nuts, dried fruit, seeds, apple or pear slices, and yogurt or cottage cheese if you plan a little bit earlier.
Skip the carbonated drinks:
You can always skip the excessive calories from simple sugars found in soft drinks. Instead of this, you can go for fresh fruit juices or water.
It is never necessary to have a soft drink with fast food because health comes first!
Skip the mayo:
Fast food already contains a lot of calories there is no need to gain an extra 100 calories from mayo sauce, you can just go for mustard sauce.
Healthy Fast Food Options: How to Choose Low-Calorie Fast Foods?
It can be difficult to find healthy, well-balanced meals in a fast-food restaurant. However, here’s how to find healthier alternatives amid diet disasters.
Choose Grilled Food:
Although chicken is lean meat, many fried or breaded chicken alternatives might contain more fat and calories than a hamburger.
Grilled chicken is always preferable to bread or fried chicken.
So, notice the word roasted, fried, or grilled on the menu. Grilled chicken contains less amount of fat as compared to the other options. Try to add a salad with your grilled chicken.
It’s not easy to completely avoid burgers so the better option is to go for small-sized burgers with less mayo and cheese.
Avoid double or triple-sized burgers!
You can also add extra lettuce to your burger to make it a bit healthier. But still, the best option for those who cannot avoid burgers is to prepare them at home.
Choose Grilled Fish:
When it comes to fast food, select carefully if you want to consume fish. A lot of fish selections have a high calorie and fat content.
Avoid the fish products that have been breaded like finger fish. Tuna salad is typically loaded with mayonnaise and generally exceeds a typical day’s fat recommendations.
Order grilled or steamed fish instead of fried fish. The more you fry it, the more calories and fats you add. So AVOID FRIED FISH, instead choose grilled one.
Fries are the most favorite side order all around the world. You must be cautious as they are high in calories.
While ordering fries, go for the smallest serving possible. And select baked or air-fried instead of the deep-fried ones.
A medium-sized serving of french fries might contain about 120 calories. However, big restaurants may provide bigger cups and bowels that may contain about 400 to 600 calories.
When ordering a pizza, go for a thin crust instead of a pan pizza. Avoid excessive cheesy flavors and go for the ones loaded with olives, onions, and tomatoes.
Carefully stick to portion size in order to avoid excessive intake.
Check the table below for the amount of calories in one slice of a Pizza:
Type of Pizza
Thin Crust Calories
Regular Crust Calories
Deep-Dish/ Pan Crust Calories
|Meat Lovers’ Pizza||300-400||350-450||450-550|
Some Clues to Choose Between Unhealthy and Healthy Fast Food Options:
Healthy Nutritional Hints
Look for these words on the menu to stick to healthy fast food:
- Baked, grilled, or broiled
- Served poached, roasted, or steamed
Clues for Unhealthy Dishes:
Avoid the food products that are:
- Rich, in butter sauce, gravy, cheese sauce, or cream sauce
- Pan-fried or roasted.
Do Not Be Afraid to Ask
You can make special requests for lighter fare in restaurants where food is cooked to order.
Tell your server if you’re watching your calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, or sodium levels. Inquire about the contents of a dish.
Find out how it’s prepared. A chef can frequently cook meals with less oil, butter, or salt.
If there is a sauce, salad dressing, or gravy on the menu, request it on the side. You can then skip high-fat meals.