So you started a new diet and then you go on a road trip with your friends. Mile after mile it’s the same old fast food restaurants and not a juice or salad bar in sight. So what do you do? See what nutritionists recommend ordering when your options are limited, but your appetite is not.
How to stay healthy at fast food restaurants
It’s entirely possible to leave just about any fast food joint without regret and bloat. Dr. Wendy Bazilian, DrPH/RD/author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet and Alexis Joseph, RD/Hummusapien blogger/Director of Nutrition at Alchemy Juice Cafe in Columbus, OH, share their healthy picks.
Order this: Fruit & Maple Oatmeal—290 calories, 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 160 mg sodium.
Skip this: “Tell them to hold the brown sugar,” says Joseph, “or else it has more sugar and calories than a Snickers bar!”
Order this: Egg McMuffin—300 calories, 17 grams of protein, 750 mg of sodium and 4 g of fiber. “It’s an excellent source of calcium,” says Dr. Wendy
Skip this: “Omit the Canadian bacon or ham and you reduce the sodium by another 230 mg, bringing the adjusted item to 520 mg—not bad!” says Bazilian. Also, she adds, “skip the Egg White Delight McMuffin, where you only save 50 calories and the sodium is even higher than the original.”
Order this: Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken—270 calories, 31 grams of protein, 740 mg sodium.
Order this: Double Chicken Chopped Salad—220 calories, 36 grams protein, 4.5 grams total fat, 480 mg sodium, 4 grams (good source) fiber, 50% daily value of vitamin A, 50% daily value for vitamin C. “It’s high protein for how modest it is in calories,” says Bazilian.
Skip this: Cheese and mayonnaise. “Swap cheese for avocado,” says Bazilian. “It swaps in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, creamy taste and flavor along with potassium and other phytonutrients.”
Make your own: “I’d create my own sandwich on 9-grain wheat and pile it high with every veggie they have (including avocado), oregano, red wine vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. Their bread is packed with preservatives and far from ‘clean,’ but I’d take it over nitrate-filled deli meat any day,” says Joseph.
Order this: Pretty much anything off the “Fresco Menu,” where everything is under 10 grams of fat and less than 350 calories, is a safe bet. “Sodium is the main issue here, but beans bring big fiber and pico de gallo boosts the nutrition of the meals for very few calories,” says Bazilian.
Skip this: Sour cream and cheese
Keep reading for other healthy options when you’re forced to hit a fast food joint.
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