5 Tips for Making Fast Food Healthier

Eating healthy can be hard if you eat out often. Fast foods are often quick and simple substitutes for cooking at home, but they can be packed with extra calories and fat. Now you can eat healthier at fast food restaurants by ordering healthy alternatives to the classic meals. Here are 5 simple tips to help you make fast food options healthier.

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Tip #1- Know the nutritional facts

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Many restaurants offer nutritional information which includes facts such as: serving size, calories, sugar, fats, and nutrients. Depending on the restaurant, this information will either be posted on the menu or available in pamphlets. You can also use an app, such as myfitnesspal to keep track of what you eat.

Tip #2- Rethink your drink!

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It’s best to limit drinks packed with extra calories and sugar. Instead, try drinking water, unsweetened tea, or low-fat milk. These are healthier options compared to lemonade, soda, and sweetened tea.

Tip 3- Shrink your combo size.

 

If you find yourself ordering a combo meal, you may want to choose the smallest size. The larger sizes can pack on excess calories and fat. Restaurants often serve larger portions than what you would usually have at home. So, ordering smaller portions can help to reduce calories. Form more information on portion sizes, click here.

Tip #4- Simplify your salad

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Simplify your meals by being mindful of unhealthy dressings and fried toppings. Requesting for the dressing “on the side” allows you to add small teaspoons of dressing at a time. Doing this will help you to use less dressing and cut out extra calories.

Tip 5- Pack Half of It Up – Right Away!

Don’t worry about clearing your entire plate; you can always take your leftovers home and refrigerate them for later. Many people use doggy bag etiquette. This involves bagging up half of the meal before you begin eating, which helps you from overeating in one sitting. This will help you cut down your portion size, and the leftovers are one less meal to buy! For more information on doggy bag etiquette, click here.

For more tips on eating healthy away from home, take a look here.

Author-Victoria Vantwist

Sources:

AHA Tips for Eating Fast Food

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/DiningOut/Tips-for-Eating-Fast-Food_UCM_308412_Article.jsp#.WK9DWmczWcw

NIH MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

NY Dept of Health Fast Food Tips

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-eating-foods-away-home

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/food-tips/eating-out/the-fast-food-challenge.html

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/weight-loss/food-choices/fast-food-and-restaurants/fast-food.html

https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/tentips/DGTipsheet41EatingFoodsAwayFromHome.pdf

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