Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fast Food, Healthy Food?

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Regardless of whether fast food is your guilty pleasure, your only option, or the most convenient stop when you're on the go, it doesn't need to be detrimental to your nutrition. True, some items on fast food menus contain more than half your daily calorie allotment, but with this simple guide, you can make a smarter choice without sacrificing the convenience of your most common fast food stop.

McDonald's

Thanks to the "supersize" syndrome, McDonald's is often pegged as having out-of-control portions. Bon'App recommends looking to a more practical version of McDonald's classic foods, the Happy Meal; and no, it does not just have to be for kids. Choosing a hamburger, apple dippers, and a 1% low fat milk jug gives you 385 calories, 6g of bad fat, and 645mg of salt, a well-balanced meal for any age-group. So ditch the Big Mac, which has 540 calories, 12g of bad fat, and 1040mg of salt, in favor of its happier counterpart.

McDonald's Happy Meal


Subway

Did you know, nearly 15 years ago, Jared Fogle succeeded in his weight loss endeavors by consuming only Subway for lunch and dinner, every day for almost a year? With whole grain breads, low-fat meat options, and plenty of veggies, Subway delivers healthy choices without sacrificing the convenience of fast food. Just remember, a foot-long sandwich may be a good deal, but it's not the best option for calories sake. Stick with a 6-inch sub (or get the foot-long for two meals). Also, to cut out additional calories and bad fat, watch out for condiments like mayonnaise and ranch dressing, and opt for a dollop of mustard or a dribble of vinegar instead.

KFC
The very name of Kentucky Fried Chicken implies a meal laden with bad fat. But it seems this popular chain is encountering an identity crisis--and thankfully for us, it's a healthy one. Their menu now offers Kentucky Grilled Chicken, an oven-roasted alternative to fried chicken pieces. One Grilled Breast with skin has 220 calories, 2g of bad fat, and 730mg of salt. Remove the skin, and you will save even more calories, bad fat, and salt.

KFC's Grilled Chicken Breast


Taco Bell

Taco Bell's promotion of the late night "fourth meal" implies an unhealthy night time indulgence in rich, cheesy, over-stuffed burritos. But on their new Fresco Menu, all items have fewer than 330 calories and only 3g of bad fat. Replacing high-fat cheeses with tomato-based salsas quickly cuts calories and reduces bad fat without surrendering the flavor your taste buds crave. Our top picks are the Fresco Crunchy Taco, which has 140 calories, 2g of bad fat, and 290mg of salt, or the Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco, which has 160 calories, 2g of bad fat, and 430mg of salt.

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is known for cheesy pizza, overloaded with sauce and toppings. Although stuffed crust pizzas and calzones are high in bad fat and calories, smart ordering choices quickly lower Pizza Hut's battery impact. For a medium size pizza, order the Fit' N Delicious or the Thin 'N Crispy crusts and save 40 calories per slice. In terms of toppings, choose the Veggie Lover's, both with 180 calories, 3g of bad fat, and 530mg of salt per slice.

Pizza Hut's 12" Medium Veggie Lover's Thin 'N Crispy Pizza



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