Healthy Fast Food Options

Teriyaki Beef Burgers

Teriyaki Beef Burgers

Eating Fast, Eating Healthy

Convenience rules when it comes to eating. But…fast food is often highly processed and loaded with fat and calories. Many fast foods lack fiber, which promotes health and helps keep your blood sugar in control.

Fortunately, finding "fast" foods that boost your health is not impossible; it's just a matter of making wise choices. It's getting easier now that so many fast-food restaurants are pumping up their menu options. Just follow these helpful tips for navigating your way around fast-food (or other restaurant) menus, and you'll help keep your weight and blood sugar where you want them.

Simplicity rules. Hamburgers still seem to top the list for fast-food choices, followed by French fries. There's nothing wrong with an occasional hamburger, but chose a small one and skip the bacon, cheese and special sauce which are loaded with fat and calories. Opt for low-calorie condiments like mustard and reduced-fat mayonnaise or add fresh lettuce, tomato and onions.

Keep it small. Food portion sizes have tripled and even quadrupled over the last 20 years. For example, a small order of fries (about 2 ounces) has 210 calories, 10 grams of fat, while a super-size order (about 7 ounces) has 610 calories, 29 grams of fat. Try choosing a small fry and consider splitting it!

Share your meal. Ordering a variety of foods is a great way of introducing different tastes to your dining experience. For example, order a few appetizers for the group and split an entrée with someone. If you can't live without dessert, try ordering one dessert and share it with three other people. Eating alone? Split the meal with yourself and take the second half home for the next day's lunch.

Speak up! Ask your server questions about meal preparation, you can even do this at a fast-food restaurant. Then request to have your food prepared the way you want it. Without sauce, grilled, not fried, with plenty or extra fresh toppings. You're paying for it.