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How to make healthy choices when eating fast food


a person sitting at a table with food: We have tips from a registered nutritionist about how to make good choices when you're on the go.

© Provided by Meredith Corporation (local)

We have tips from a registered nutritionist about how to make good choices when you’re on the go.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) — Busy work weeks, family obligations, after-school activities and errands all can leave us little time to cook and prepare healthy meals at home.

[VIDEO: How to make healthy choices when eating fast food]

Eating out makes up about one-third of our calories every day and that is a big dose of salt, sugar, fat and calories.

Is it even possible to eat healthy on the run?

Here are some simple tips to consider when you are ordering:

-Keep portions small

-Watch what you drink

-Choose healthy side dishes

Choose the grilled meat or veggie option

-Go green…choose an entrée salad instead

So how does that translate on the menu?Chipotle – Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

390 calories

7.5g fat

68g carbs

3g protein

This is a great choice for a healthy dose of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Go light on the rice and heavier on the beans to get a better balance of carbohydrate and protein. Beans are a low glycemic index food and can help regulate blood sugar. Remember sides add calories…skip the cheese, sour cream and guacamole.

Panda Express – Wok Smart Menu – Broccoli Beef with Brown Rice

380 calories

9g fat

51g Carbs

12g Protein

These veggies are fresh! Ask for double broccoli. It doubles your nutrition! Beef is high in iron which helps build healthy red blood cells. Broccoli is high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary to absorb iron. It is a great nutritional pairing.

Panera – You Pick 2 Meal – Asian Sesame Salad with Chicken and a Cup of 10 Vegetable Soup

325 Calories

16.5g Fat

26g Carbs

19g Protein

This menu helps you to keep portion sizes in check while getting options loaded with vegetables and lean meat. By choosing this soup and salad combo you are getting ample phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber which is great for gut health but also in giving you a good balance of carbohydrates and protein to give you energy for the rest of the day.

Starbucks – Classic Oatmeal with Sous Vide Egg White Classic & Red Pepper Bites

330 Calories

9.5g Fat

41g Carbs

18g Protein

The Starbucks menu does give you options. They make some delicious treats loaded with calories, sugar and fat but they also have tasty healthy options too. This combination provides you with quality protein, fiber and a great balance of protein and carbohydrate that won’t cause a sugar crash mid-morning.

Be aware of your beverages here though…drinks can add up to 500 calories, so keep it simple. As consumers we are beginning to demand healthier choices and if you know what you are looking for solutions are on the menu.

It is always easier to choose healthy foods when you have a plan. So try applying these simple tips to your food choices this week, your body and your health will pay you back!

Stephanie Espinoza, MA, RDN, Registered Dietitian &Nutritionist

The Nutrition Professionals |


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