Given the hurried lifestyle most people live today, fast food cannot be avoided; which means finding the healthiest fast food options is very important. Unfortunately, fast food is often considered the very opposite of healthy. Some of it features a great deal of fat (including unhealthy trans fats) and processed ingredients. Some fast food also contains a large amount of carbohydrates and high glycemic indexes. However, there are some things you can do when purchasing fast food to keep the calories and fat to a minimum. Below are tips for choosing the healthiest fast food.
Select Healthy Alternatives
When you are looking for the healthiest fast food, the first rule is to actually apply logic to your selection. Fast food menus usually have a few deep-fried, breaded, and creamy options that are very high in items you should avoid, such as saturated fats and sodium. Instead you should select items that are naturally healthier. For instance, order the baked potato instead of French fries, the vegetable sides instead of the sweet and buttered ones, and/or the lean and grilled white meats instead of fatty, deep-fried ones. Also, purchase or ask for water instead of soda, beer, and juices; or any beverage that does not contain sugar and carbohydrates.
Ask if it is possible to have a special request in your order. For instance, ask if you can have the green vegetable salad without the carbohydrate-filled dressing or have the dressing placed in a separate container. Since several fast food places are actually very accommodating, do not be shy to ask. A great idea is to ask to substitute the worse parts of a meal such as white rice and white bread for healthier alternatives such as brown rice. In the worst case scenario, you can ask to exclude certain items such as white bread if whole wheat alternatives do not exist.
Finally, when selecting the healthiest fast food option for your meal, (as mentioned earlier) pay attention to your beverage too. Soda and sugar-filled drinks contribute many calories to your intake. Select water or sugar-free tea (if it is available) instead. Let’s put the numbers in perspective. Let’s say your daily carbohydrate intake is 150 grams. One glass of soda could contain up to 49 grams of carbohydrates. Likewise, just one glass of soda and two refills can meet your carbohydrates requirements for the day. Once you add food to the mix, you could easily surpass this maximum. If you absolutely must have soda, select the option that has lower sugar, carbohydrates, and calories.
When selecting the healthiest fast food, keep an eye on the sodium content of the meal. Sodium is a definite concern these days, both to people who are afraid of or at risk of cardiovascular disease and weight gain. To avoid high-sodium foods, you should view the nutritional information provided on the fast food chains’ websites. Likewise, you can make sure to purchase and eat the healthiest fast food.