January 16, 2015

Healthier Fast Food Survival guide

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Who says that you can’t eat healthy all the time? Healthy is not a diet, which only lasts for a week or a month–its a lifestyle. It is reflected in the choices you make when your at the grocery or caught at a fast food restaurant, or a night out with friends etc…In the spirit of Challenge #5, (click here if you don’t know what Im taking about), these are some of my healthier options/tips if you’re buying fast food.

1. McDonalds- Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich (300 cals, 27g protein, 3.5g fat, 41g carbs, 730mg sodium) 

Customized with extra lettuce, tomato and not adding mayo, it saves you 6g of fat and 50 calories and of course with more vegetables, its healthier. Don’t just look at the calories, look at the calories, fat, sodium, carbs, and protein numbers as well. The Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap is another healthier option at McDonalds, maybe with a side of fruit and walnuts.

Veggie option: If you are vegetarian, or just looking for a vegetarian option. McDonalds offers Premium Salads as well. There is the Premium Southwest Salad without chicken or cheese (110 calories, 5g protein, 2.5g fat, 19g carbs, 90mg sodium) and topped with their low fat Balsamic vinaigrette is a healthier option than ranch or caesar dressing. Their salads contain, Iceberg Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Spring Mix (May Contain Baby Red Romaine, Baby Green Romaine, Baby Red Leaf, Baby Green Leaf, Baby Red Swiss Chard, Baby Red Oak, Baby Green Oak, Parella, Lolla Rosa, Tango, Totsoi, Arugula, Mizuna, Radicchio, Frisee), Carrots.

2. Subway- Subway is the better “fast food” alternative as it contains carbs, protein and veggies so we can be a little more lenient but still pay close attention to the details when making your sub. 1) Get a 6″ or salad instead. 2) Make sure the bread is whole grain, like the whole wheat or honey oat. 3) Add most, if not all of the vegetables, you can skip the pickles or jalapeños as it can add extra sodium. 4) Watch out for the sauces and cheeses, they can add hundreds of calories to your meal without you even realizing. Opt for the olive oil, mustard or even shadow beni sauces instead. 5) Skip the chips and skip the soda, ask for a free cup to get water instead or even a unsweetened ice tea will do.

6” Sandwiches – Healthier Options:

Veggie Delite® 
290 cal, 3.5g sat fat, 7.5g total fat, 505mg sodium, 5g fiber, 12g protein

Oven Roasted Chicken
380 cal, 5.5g sat fat, 9.5g total fat, 845mg sodium, 5g fiber, 27g protein

Turkey Breast
340 cal, 4.0g sat fat, 8g total fat, 1,005mg sodium, 5g fiber, 22g protein

Roast Beef
380 cal, 4.5g sat fat, 9.5g total fat, 935mg sodium, 5g fiber, 30g protein

3. Burger King- Tendergrill Chicken sandwich (no mayo) (320 calories, 5g fat/1g saturated fat, 750mg sodium, 38g carbs, 31g protein)

Also customized with added lettuce, no cheese or mayo, this sandwich is lower in sodium and fat than most of their sandwiches/burgers. Watch out for those “combo-grenades”, they are silent but deadly. A small pack of fries can add an extra 340 calories, 450mg sodium, 15g fat to your meal, and opt for water instead of soda/juice.

Veggie option: Believe it or not, BK offers veggie burgers which aren’t bad without mayo (320 calories, 8g fat, 840mg sodium, 43g carbs, 21g protein.) There are not many meatless salads at BK, but there is the Side Ceasar Salad and Side Garden Salad with healthier dressing options like Honey Balsamic and Apple Cider Vinaigrette, hold the croutons please.

4. Wendy’s- Grilled Chicken Breast (130 calories, 1.5g fat, 470mg sodium, 3g carbs, 27g protein), Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe- without mayo (300 calories, 13g fat, 800mg sodium, 27g carbs, 17g protein)  or Ultimate Chicken Grill-without sauce (330 calories, 3.5g fat), or Apple Pecan Chicken Salad: full-sized salad, no blue cheese (330 calories, 11g fat, 570mg sodium, 32g carbs, 30g protein).

Veggie option: Garden Side salad with no croutons can cost you about 20 calories, 0g fat, 30mg sodium, 4g carbs, 1g protein. Its not very fulling but it can get the job done. Some healthier dressings from Wendy’s would be Pomegranate Vinaigrette, Light Classic Ranch, and Fat Free French.

5. The Cross (Trinidad)- Chimichangas, Corn Soup

Chimichangas is a healthier alternative to gyros and burgers which are high in fat and sodium. Corn soup has vegetables, carbs and protein which is a great “fast food” alternative.

What are some of your healthier fast food restaurants and what do you get there?

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