Finding Healthy Options on a Fast-Food Menu

Fast food is easy and convenient, and whether you are going on a road trip or simply don’t have time for anything else, sometimes it is inevitable. But let’s be honest: Most fast-food menu options are loaded with calories, as well as sodium and unhealthy fats. Sometimes one meal can contain more calories than you would eat on a typical day! Despite this, it is possible to find healthier choices on a fast-food menu. Here are some tips!

Try to Keep Your Meal Under 500 Calories

The average adult eats 836 calories per fast-food meal, but you can avoid this by simply looking at the nutritional information on the restaurant’s website or at the location itself. This can help you make better choices. You should also look for foods that are higher in protein and fiber, which will make you feel fuller for longer.

Watch Out for Sodium

High sodium intake can raise blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends adults limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day (with an ideal limit of under 1,500 mg of sodium per day. At some fast-food restaurants, you can request that your meal be cooked without added salt, which can help to reduce sodium and make it a bit healthier.

Look at Your Portion Size

Fast-food meals tend to be much larger than necessary. Try to avoid ordering anything “large,” especially when it comes to burgers or anything with carbohydrates. You can often find a better-sized portion on the children’s menu.

Read the Descriptions

Reading the descriptions of items on a fast-food menu can give you clues about what to order. For example, descriptions with keywords such as deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, or au gratin usually indicate a lot of fat and calories.

Skip on the Sides

Sides can add on unnecessary calories. So next time, try replacing that side of fries with a side of fruit or a salad.

Look for Grilled or Roasted Options

Rather than ordering fried or breaded items, look for grilled or roasted meats.

Do Your Best

Although fast food is not the best option for eating healthy, it can be consumed in moderation. Simply try to look at the menu and make the best choices possible.

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