Fast food: tips for healthier alternatives
Do people who want to lose weight and eat a healthy diet have to do without fast food altogether? Not necessarily, my health experts from the United States. You have some tips to enjoy a burger or french fries every now and then.
Experts keep warning about the consequences of consuming fast food. After all, the high consumption of burgers, fries and Co. not only favors overweight, but also numerous diseases. But the occasional consumption of fast food can also go with a healthy diet, my experts from the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, USA). However, some tips should be observed.
Follow simple tips
Mayo Clinic employees have summarized a few tips in a post that will help you not have to do without complete fast food:
Keep portion sizes small
If the fast food restaurant offers several sandwich sizes, choose the smallest one. Hamburgers with two or three patties can have almost 800 calories. Instead, choose a normal hamburger or a child-sized hamburger with about 250 calories. Don't take a large portion of french fries, instead ask for a small portion. This change alone can save 200 calories.
Choose healthier side dishes
Use the healthy side dishes that are offered in many fast food restaurants. For example, instead of french fries, choose a side salad with low-fat sauce or a baked potato. Or add a fruit bowl or fruit yogurt option to your meal. Other healthy alternatives are apple or orange slices, corn on the cob, steamed rice or baked potato chips.
Main course salad
Salads can also be served as a main course, for example with grilled chicken and vegetables. Only half of the pack should be used for dressing. Or leave it aside to save calories from added fats and other unwanted ingredients like salt and sugar. High-calorie salads, such as breaded chicken or fried ingredients, are not recommended. Also, skip extras like cheese and croutons that quickly increase calories.
Opt for grilled dishes
Fried and breaded foods such as crispy chicken sandwiches and breaded fish fillet contain a lot of fat and calories. Choose grilled or roasted lean meats such as turkey or chicken breasts, lean ham or lean roast beef.
Stay away from sugar-rich soft drinks
Many drinks are high in calories. For example, a large normal lemonade (half a liter) has more than 200 calories. Instead, order diet soft drinks, unsweetened iced tea or even better water (sparkling water or mineral water). Stay away from shakes and other ice drinks. Large shakes can contain more than 800 calories.
Ask for healthier alternatives
Remember that you don't have to settle for what is offered with your sandwich or meal - not even in fast food restaurants. Ask for healthier alternatives. And keep an eye on the portion size. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Mayo Clinic: Fast food: Tips for choosing healthier options, (accessed: August 17, 2019), Mayo Clinic