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Healthier Fast Food Options

Editorial Staff April 8, 2009 Nutrition Comments Off on Healthier Fast Food Options

Convenience is a big word in our society today.  We all want instant gratification because we don’t take the time to plan ahead.

If we all took the time to plan ahead on a consistent basis, we would probably run the fast food industry out of business because 70% of all fast food trips are impulsive.  Just a little planning and imagine how much less issues we would have.

Fast Food Industry

But, being realistic here, fast food isn’t going to go anywhere, so we have to adapt to having them around.  What I’ve come up with is some better choices at a few of the particular fast food restaurants around the country.  If you have ever read the book ‘Eat This Not That’, then you know how this format will work.  I will pin two food choices against each other and list the nutrition facts so you can  make a better choice.

First we’ll start with the King McDonalds.  Now when we think McDonald’s we think one of the most unhealthy places to eat on the planet.  But that isn’t entirely true.  You can go to McDonald’s and make ok choices without destroying your nutrition plan.  You probably want to stay away from the burgers all together or at least choose a grilled chicken, but I’ve got two salads to compare; the Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken and the Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken.  I’m sure the grilled and crispy types of chicken give it away, but just how much difference is it?  Check it out:

Try This:

Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken: 220 calories, 6 grams fat 3 saturated, 890 mg sodium, 12 grams carbohydrates, 30 grams protein.

Not This:

Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken: 400 calories, 16 grams fat 4 saturated, 1110mg sodium, 41 grams carbs, 25 grams protein

Now lets go to Burger King, another very popular fast food joint.  We’ll compare two breakfast sandwiches; the Croissanwich Sausage Egg and Cheese and the Croissanwich Ham Egg and Cheese.

Try This:

Croissanwich Ham Egg and Cheese: 340 calories, 18 grams fat 6 saturated, 26 grams carbs, 18 grams protein

Not This

Croissanwich Sausage Egg and Cheese: 470 calories, 32 grams fat 11 saturated, 26 grams carbs, 19 grams protein.

Next we’ll go to Wendy’s and we’ll do a comparison of salads once again.  Here we have the Mandarin Chicken Salad up against the Chicken BLT Salad

Try This:

Mandarin Chicken Salad (doesn’t include nutrition for noodles, almonds, and dressing): 170 calories, 2.5 grams fat .5 saturated, 520 mg sodium, 16 grams carbs, 21 grams protein

Not This:

Chicken BLT Salad (doesn’t include croutons, or dressing): 340 calories, 19 grams fat 2.5 saturated, 990mg sodium, 10 grams carbs, 34 grams protein

Now we’ll go to KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and we’ll compare sides; Potato Salad and a Biscuit

Try This:

Potato Salad: 180 calories, 9 grams fat 1.5 saturated, 470mg sodium, 22 grams carbs, 2 grams protein

Not This:

Biscuit: 220 calories, 11grams fat 2.5 saturated, 640mg sodium, 24 grams carbs, 4 grams protein

Last but certainly not least, when most of us think healthy fast food, we think Subway.  But Subway isn’t immune to the dangerous choices on their menu.  Take a look at this comparison of bread choices.

Try This:

6 inch wheat bread: 200 calories, 2.5 grams fat 1 gram saturated, 360 mg sodium, 40 grams carbs, 8 grams protein

Not This:

Wrap: 310 calories, 8 grams fat 3 saturated, 610 mg sodium, 51 grams carbs, 8 grams protein

Truly, none of these foods are considered supportive, but when faced with a situation where you failed to plan, rather than planning to fail, make the best choices you can by being educated.

Make today better than yesterday,

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