By: Kasia Ciaston
Today’s blog post is from guest writer Kasia Ciaston. Kasia is a Dietetic Intern at Loyola University and is ENC’s first intern!
Today is National Fast Food Day. Should we be celebrating or criticizing this day of readily prepared foods? The assortment of additives, preservatives and fat contents make these energy-dense foods controversial, but there’s no debating their popular reputation here in the United States. Whether you’re a supporter of the $110 billion fast food industry or a fan of foods with more pronounceable ingredients (monosodium gluta-what?) today is the day to observe and maybe even take part in a fast-food meal at your favorite hot spot.
For those of you frequent-fast-foodies out there who are always on-the-go or don’t have time to cook – there are ways to make healthier choices at the fast food establishments you enjoy. Share my top 10 savory fast food swaps and your clients will see a savings….in their waistlines!
- Instead of the jumbo double-decker cheeseburger (440 calories, 25 grams of protein), opt for grilled chicken (300 calories, 28 grams of protein) instead – lean protein may lead to a lean body!
- Drink water or unsweetened iced tea instead of sugar-sweetened sodas or juices for caloric savings in the hundreds. A large Coke contains about 310 calories and 86 grams of sugar – that’s almost half a cup of pure sugar!
- With salads or subs – choose an oil based vinaigrette dressing instead of anything with the word ‘creamy’ in the name. Using less dressing than you usually do adds to the caloric savings.
- Mayonnaise on the side please! – Approximately 2 tablespoons of mayo adds up to 200 added calories or more. Use ketchup or mustard, which have zero grams of fat.
- Instead of fries, onion rings, or tater tots – go for a side salad, baked potato, fruit parfait, or even pack your own healthy snack!
- Blended or iced coffee drinks are calorie and sugar bombs! Ask for no whipped cream, non-fat milk, or sugar-free syrup to ease the blow to your insulin levels.
- Watch out for higher fat toppings like processed cheese and bacon.
- When possible ask for extra vegetable toppings! The added fiber will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
- Choose brown over white (whole wheat) bread that is. The USDA recommends making half of your grains whole grains. Don’t forget to stay active!
- Walking for only 20 minutes a day may add up to a pound of weight loss per month!