How to Make Better Meal Choices and Avoid Unhealthy Fast Foods

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When you are on a diet, you will be face with times when you are not able to eat the diet food you have prepared for yourself. Friends might ask you out for a bite, or you may not have time to take a full lunch hour. There are some better choices you can make to avoid unhealthy foods at fast food restaurants.

Get it Grilled

Most fast food restaurants offer grilled versions of their fried chicken offerings. Getting it grilled will save you, on average, 200 calories per menu item.

Skip the Mayo

If you ask for your meal without mayonnaise, you will have saved 150 calories. Mustard or ketchup are excellent healthy substitutes for mayonnaise.

Use Less Dressing

Many of the dressings offered at fast food restaurants come in large servings. Even the low fat varieties are often more than you need. Pour half the dressing on one section of your salad dish and dip your fork in the dressing before eating the salad. You will be amazed at how little dressing you really need. For low fat dressings, this method will save you at least 50 calories.

Pay Attention to the Calories

Just because something sounds healthy, does not mean it is. For example, Burger King’s Veggie Burger has 420 calories and 16 grams of fat. The healthy 7 grams of fiber in this meal are not going to compensate you for all that excess fat. A regular cheeseburger has the same amount of fat, but fewer calories. You can get a side salad with it to get back the missing fiber and you will feel fuller for the same calories.

Know Your Menus

Some restaurants have better healthy options than others. Wendy’s is famous with dieters for its baked potato. You might be surprised to learn that Kentucky Fried Chicken has more healthy options than almost any other fast food restaurant. Dieters should avoid Sonic whenever possible since there are few menu items available under 400 calories.

Below is a list of fast food restaurants and the healthiest menu choices available. Become familiar with this list and check it before you go out if you can.

Burger King

Menu Item, Calories, Fat, Fiber

Whopper Jr. (without mayo or cheese), 290, 12, 1

Regular Cheeseburger, 340, 16, 1

Spicy Chicken crisp sandwich w/out mayo, 290, 12, 2

Fresh Apple Fries, 25, 0, 1

Caramel sauce, 45, .5, 0

Side Salad, 15, 0, 1

Garden salad , 80, 4.5, 3

Tendergrill chicken salad, 220, 7, 3

Ken’s Light, 120, 11, 0

McDonalds

Menu Item, Calories, Fat, Fiber

Regular Cheeseburger, 300, 12, 2

Grilled Snack Wrap Chipotle or Honey Mustard, 260, 9, 1

Side Salad, 20, 0, 1

Caesar salad no chicken, 90, 4, 3

Caesar salad grilled, 220, 6, 3

Newman’s Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette, 60, 2.5, 0

Fruit & Walnut Salad, 210, 8, 2

Apple Dippers, 35, 0, 0

Caramel dip, 70, .5, 0

Kiddie Cone, 45, 1, 0

Wendy’s

Menu Item, Calories, Fat, Fiber

Jr. Cheeseburger, 260, 11, 1

Grilled chicken sandwich, 320, 7, 2

Chicken Caesar Salad, 250, 6.5, 3

Caesar Dressing, 120, 13, 0

Balsamic Vinaigrette, 90, 6, 0

Fat Free Ranch, 70, 0, 1

Baked Potato w/sour cream & chives, 320, 4, 7

Plain Baked Potato with Dressing, 270, 0, 7

Large chili, 280, 9, 7

Side Salad, 35, 0 2, 1

Orange cup, 80, 0, 1

Strawberry yogurt squeezer, 70, .5, 0

Arby’s*

Menu Item, Calories, Fat, Fiber

Grilled Chicken Filet without mayo, 290, 6, 2

Arby’s Melt, 298, 12, 2

Ham N Swiss Melt, 268, 5, 1

Swiss Melt, 303, 12, 2

Junior Roast Beef Sandwich, 272, 10, 2

Chopped Turkey Club Salad, 233, 11, 3

Buttermilk ranch, 217, 23, 0

* Go light on this dressing, no healthy varieties offered.

Taco Bell*

Menu Item, Calories, Fat, Fiber

Fresco Crunchy Taco, 150, 8, 3

Fresco Soft Taco, 180, 7, 3

Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco, 170, 4, 3

Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco, 160, 4.5, 2

Crunchy Taco Supreme, 200, 12, 3

Soft Taco Supreme Beef, 240, 11, 3

Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco, 14, 2, 4

Grilled Steak Soft Taco, 260, 15, 2

Spicy Chicken Soft Taco, 170, 6, 2

Gordita Supreme Beef, 300, 14, 3

Chicken, 280, 11, 2

Meximelt, 280, 14, 3

Tostada , 240, 10, 7

*generally higher in fiber, may help you feel full longer

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Menu Item, Calories, Fat, Fiber

Roast Chicken Caesar Salad, 190, 6, 2

Grilled Chicken Caesar, 280, 14, 4

Roast Chicken BLT Salad, 200, 7, 3

Side Salad, 15, 0, 1

FF ranch dressing, 35, 0, 0

Light Italian, 45, 2.5, 0

KFC Snacker w/sauce, 270, 12, 2

Green Beans, 25, 0, 2

3” Corn on the cob, 70, .5, 2

Baked beans, 200, 1.5, 9

Red Beans w/sausage & rice, 160, 2.5, 4

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