Here’s the quick and easy answer for why fast food is so popular: it’s fast and cheap. There’s no preparation. No running to the grocery store to roam the aisles for a carriage full of elusive ingredients. No chopping or grinding, seasoning or sautéing. No digging deep into your wallet. You don’t even need to leave the confines of your car if you decide to do a drive-thru window run. But is it possible to enjoy the ease and affordability of fast food while making it a bit healthier? Chew on the following suggestions and you might find that you can make fast food a not-so-bad choice.
Eat up these tips for making fast food a not-so-bad choice for your well-being.
Get The Facts On Fat (And Other Ingredients)
It’s not as easy as it once was to turn a blind eye to what you’re putting in your mouth: Nutrition information is everywhere, including the menu boards in fast food restaurants and on their websites. The Food and Drug Administration even requires large restaurant chains to provide nutrition information for standard menu items, in writing, upon request.
Armed with this knowledge, you’re in a better position to decide which fast food items you’d like to devour or decline.
Peel Off Some Calories With Fruit Choices
You scour the menu at your favorite fast food joint and notice there’s no fruit in sight. Why not bring along your own fruit choice when you’re planning on a drive-thru meal? Fruit packs vitamins and nutrients, and does double-duty as a side if you’re looking for a substitute for fries to go with that double cheeseburger.
Quick: What Are The Main Nutritional Components Of Fast Food?
On average, fast food items are high in carbohydrates and fat, light on fruits and vegetables. But you can up the nutritional value of your fast food meal by making a few simple tweaks: order a side salad instead of fries, opt for light dressing on a salad or sandwich, or request a smaller dollop of sour cream on your taco supreme.
The Upside Of Downsizing Portions
Those Arby’s curly fries are calling. That Burger King Triple Whopper is about to whet your whistle. But one look at the nutrition info — calories, carbs, saturated fat, sodium — and you’re thinking you might have to go cold turkey and eliminate some of your faves from your fast food run.
Choose, instead, to be reasonable about portions: downsize to a ‘junior’ size offering or check out the kids menu where you’ll often find a wide variety of menu items available in smaller portions.