Healthy Fast-Food Dining
By JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFI Nowadays, there seems to be a fast-food restaurant on nearly every corner. With our hectic schedules, we have come to rely on the convenience of the "drive-thru," but often at the expense of our health. A recent documentary explored what the effect of eating McDonald's food for one month had on a middle-aged healthy male: Over the course of the month, his health totally deteriorated. Fortunately, along with the explosion of fast-food restaurants, many more options have become available, including healthy choices at most of the chains. As with any restaurant, there are good options and less healthy ones. When you are dining at a fast-food establishment, here are a couple of things to avoid:
- The meal "deals." This generally means you are going to get fries or chips and a soda with your sandwich, so take a pass and supplement your meal with a piece of fruit from home. Many restaurants are now offering soups and side salads, which are a perfect partner to your main course.
- "Supersizing." Sure, you're saving money, but you are sacrificing your fat cells. Practice portion control!
- The sauces. These can add 100 calories or more of unhealthy fat and sugar to your meal, especially if they are "secret" or "special."
- Anything fried or breaded. Go for broiled or baked instead.