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Healthy Choices at Fast Food Restaurants

The menu boards of fast food restaurants can be daunting and they seem to grow larger every day. Unfortunately, the cheapest and easiest way for fast food joints to ramp up the flavor is to add extra fat and extra salt. How do you know what to choose that will taste great but won’t put you in an early grave? All you need are a few general guidelines and tips.

Stop the madness and take charge of your health with these fast-food dos and don’ts.

Soup it up

Whenever you can, choose fast-food joints that offer soups or chilis on the menu. Subway, Wendy’s and Tim Horton’s all offer this type of fare. Soups and chilis are great because they fill you up quick and offer a nutritional punch with the veggies in the soups and the beans in the chili.

Love your water

Watch out for those meal combo deals that include a soft drink. It’s tempting to want to buy these meals because it seems like such a good deal. However, you’re not doing yourself any favors having a soft drink with every meal and you’ll soon see the evidence with the inches added to your waistline. Drink water instead. It has zero calories.

Stretch your dressing

Many fast food restaurants offer salads on the menus now. Salads are a great choice, but with one warning: don’t pour your salad dressing over the salad. Instead, dip your fork in the dressing container before each bite. This way you get a little taste of the dressing in each bite and you’ll use less than half of the dressing they give you. You’ll be saving yourself alot of fat and sugar if you follow this one little tip.

Something’s fishy

You may think that a 6-inch tuna sub from Subway would be a better than a 6-inch steak and cheese sub at Subway. In fact, the tuna sub has a whopping 530 calories and 30 grams of fat whereas the steak and cheese sub has only 400 calories and a mere 12 grams of fat. How can this be? The tuna is combined with a mayonnaise-based dressing. Unfortunately, unlike with salads, you’re stuck eating all of the dressing. Filet-o-fish at Mcdonalds is also loaded with mayonnaise. Fortunately, you can wipe it off with a napkin.

It’s all in the numbers

Pizza can be a tricky fast food to work with since every bite is loaded with cheese. However, If you decide from the outset how many pieces of pizza you will eat and you don’t go above that number, then you will do alright. Think two or three slices, not five or six. And, if you eat your pizza slowly and savor every bite and perhaps wait five minutes between slices, your body will have enough time to tell you it’s had enough before you reach for the fourth slice.

Cut-down on carbs

Carbohydrates are fine in moderation, but don’t add on extra carbs. This means no large fries and side orders of garlic breadsticks. Carbs fill you up but leave your body starved of nutrients. And the truth is, by the time you get to the bottom of your tray of large fries they’re cold and soggy anyways and by the time you finish those breadsticks, they’re cold and taste a little like cardboard.

In conclusion, it’s important to keep in mind that fast food isn’t meant to be eaten every day. If you’re running errands all day and you only have time for a quick bite, fast food is OK now and then. But eating fast-food every day will leave you nutritionally-deprived and heart-attack prone.

Fortunately, whether you’re keeping your salad dressing on the side, or choosing hearty soups, there are many ways to eat healthier when you’re eating on the run. So take control of your health and start making healthy choices today.