Sometimes eating on the fly is a fact of life. Occasionally, Fast food can be a regular habit for busy people. So If you happen to be too busy to prepare meals and end up opting for fast food more often than not, try these 20 healthy fast food choices.
Choosing Healthier Fast Foods?
Most restaurants and cafe’s nowadays serve lower fat, healthier, and quick options. However, many of the fast foods out there often contain hidden fats and calories.
Burger, Fries, Onion Rings and Chicken Wings
So, we set out to make sure that the drive-through choices are healthy. We poured over experts’ and dietitians’ recommendations and came up with a list of 20 tricks and tips to transform your fast food, unhealthy meal into a healthy treat without sacrificing time or money!
Making Fast Food Healthy?
Honestly, it might be hard to think of fast food as healthy; however, here are the top 20 healthy fast food choices to help you stay healthy while eating on the go.
- Fried or Battered Fast Food is Not a Healthy Option.
Fried foods tend to have a more significant number of calories due to their fat contents. If you get battered fried foods, you multiply your calorie consumption without adding any healthy ingredients! So try to avoid fried treats and stick with baked or grilled items. Trust me; you will get full and feel better about your healthy choice!
- Avoid Foods Cooked in Cream or Butter
As much as those creamy sauces and buttery foods look tempting, avoiding them will go a long way to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Try using a non-creamy option when possible, or skip it altogether. You will be grateful you did!
- Processed Meats and Sausages Are Not Recommended
Processed meats and sausages are full of unwanted fats and lower-quality proteins, but they tend to have extra salt to enhance their flavor. The excess daily intake of sodium can leave you bloated and encourages you to drink soft drinks to quench your thirst, which is also unhealthy. Opt then to choose leaner meats like turkey, ham, chicken, and roast beef.
- Skip Fast Food Meal Combo
The combo meal includes some fried potatoes in the form of French fries or onion rings. It also comes with an abundant soft drink full of sugar or artificial sweeteners which wreaks havoc with your system. So, opt for the protein in the form of a lettuce wrap.
- Share an Entrée With a Friend – A Healthy Option
Sharing is caring! What a great idea to help a friend maintain a healthy lifestyle while allowing yourself to eat healthily and consume fewer calories. You will be happy with your decision, especially if you like the company. And your friend will thank you later.
- Order You Fast Food Meal From Children’s Menu.
I know it is hard to fathom that you will end up with a child’s meal! But believe me, it has a significant enough portion to keep you satiated until you get a healthier meal.
- Order the Lunch Portion or An Appetizer For Dinner
I try to do this myself when I go out with a group of people. Hence, we order multiple appetizers and sharing them. Often, I order a salad for dinner or a cup of soup to give myself the chance to enjoy sampling the appetizers.
And you know what, I get full from the appetizers and can hardly finish my salad or soup. Enjoying an appetizer for dinner is a great idea because many restaurants have tasty appetizers that you don’t get to enjoy if you order a full meal for the dinner menu.
- Choose Burgers With A Side of Salad
A hamburger paired with a Caesar Side Salad topped with one packet of Lemon Garlic Caesar Dressing and a water bottle is the perfect healthy fast food meal. Try to skip the mayonnaise or margarine on the bun.
- Enjoy Pizza the Healthy Way
Everyone loves Pizza. Try thin crust pizza with lean meat or lean chicken with plenty of vegetarian toppings.
- Enjoy Your Pasta Healthy Style
Choose pasta with tomato-based sauces instead of cream-based. Cream-based pasta sauces are full of fat and calories that you can avoid when trying to eat healthily.
- Choose Steamed Rice Over Fried Rice.
Steamed rice in fast food Chinese Restaurants is the better option instead of fried rice. White rice cooked without the added oils and fried eggs. Steamed white rice will satiate you with lesser calories.
- Eat Plenty Of Vegetables to Make Fast Food Healthy
Stir-fry fast food dishes are healthy with any protein. They pack a good portion of healthy vegetables without the added fats.
This simple-yet-delicious salad has a near-perfect ratio of calories, fat, carbs, and protein, making it the healthiest fast food pick at Panera.
- Drink Coffee, Tea, or Low-Fat Smoothies.
Fast food establishments offer high sugar drinks and milkshakes. Try to avoid large sugary drinks and high-fat smoothies and milkshakes.
- Skip Dessert – A Smart Healthy Option
Fast food places are famous for their deep-fried desserts with high sugar contents. If you must have dessert, opt for the healthy option like low-fat frozen yogurt, ice creams, or the better option, fruit.
- Avoid Heavy Gravies And Sauces.
Gravies and sauces are ladened with high-fat contents and extra salt. If you must add gravy or sauces, try the low-fat, low-sodium version and use less quantity.
- Choose Your Sides Mindfully
Side dishes complement any meal. However, the wrong sides can add unwanted calories to an otherwise healthy dish. Ask to substitute your unhealthy side like chips, mashed potatoes, or Mac and cheese with a side salad or a non-creamy soup.
- Make Fast Food Healthy By Opting For No Dressing!
Dressings and sauces loaded with added sugars are also high in fat content. If you can, skip the salad dressing and enjoy the natural flavor of the vegetables and fruits. It is also ideal to choose a low-fat dressing if you must add some.
- Make Smarter Choices At Fast Food Sandwich Places:
Pick the healthy grilled meats. Load up on veggies, such as tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, green and red peppers, and olives. Skip the chips.
- Skip the Butter
Ask for bread without butter. It is very tempting to add butter to your bread if it is readily accessible. Butter is very inviting, and it adds more flavor to the bread. If you have the willpower to add a sliver of butter to your bread, then enjoy it. If not, kindly ask for no butter!
- Take The Leftovers to Go
You don’t have to eat all your food! If you are full, don’t feel obligated to finish your meal. Take the leftovers to go; they will make for a great lunch the next day!
I hope you found our list of 20 healthy fast food choices to make fast food a healthier choice helpful. Bon appetite!