The fast food industry has been getting a bad rap in recent years, taking the blame for contributing to health problems like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. It’s no wonder when many of fast food menu choices are high in saturated fat, calories, and cholesterol – not to mention the portion sizes that are nearly double of what they were in the fifties.
But fast food does have its advantages, and they’re probably the reasons why the industry won’t be tanking anytime soon.
Fast food is convenient. They’re found literally everywhere, scattered all over malls, highways, and towns across the country. These quick meals are the best complement to busy lifestyles – and let’s just not deny that they’re delicious.
Fast food is also very cheap. Organic and so-called “healthy” diet alternatives are unsuitable choices in these tough economic times. In fact, McDonald’s and Taco Bell have recorded sales growths in economic downturns when high-end restaurants suffer losses.
Fast food is clearly an inevitable part of our lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be the cause of your heart attack or obesity when you know the ropes. Healthy fast food options are always available and here are some of them:
1. Avoid Some Menu Items
I recently received this awesome McDonald’s offer for a $100 gift card, and the first thing I saw when clicking the link was an image of a Big Mac with Fries and Soda. My advise: do like I did, get the gift card but instead of the Big Mac combo, why not ordering just the burger with a side salad, and bottled water. The Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad (350 calories) is not a bad option neither. For breakfast why not ordering the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal (only 310 calories). There are healthy options in all fast foods, just do your homework and be prepared before getting there.
Don’t eat fast food everyday; that’s a one-way ticket to health and weight problems. Save fast food for times when you absolutely can’t afford to spare time to cook or look for other options. You can also limit your fast food intake to once per week; this way, you’re not totally deprived of cheeseburgers and fries. And if you’re going to indulge in a 5-cheese pizza, have just one slice instead of three.
3. Order Off the Kids Menu
The kids menu have generally smaller servings without sacrificing on taste or quality. Ordering off the kids menu will help you eat less than what you would have eaten when you get adult servings.
Before entering a fast food restaurant, know what you want rather than just walking in and letting the pictures on the menu assault your senses and sabotage your healthy diet.
5. Have a Snack Before Lunch
Or at least, before you walk in a McDonald’s. An empty stomach will only cause you to make bad choices because you feel hungry enough to eat two Big Macs. Consuming an apple that’s high in fiber helps fill you up and make better food choices for lunch.