This blog was written by Lisa Larkin. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
Working in corporate fitness centers, I see a lot of professionals with very little spare time. Most are trying to get in a quick workout over lunch and then grabbing something quick to eat. Trying to balance work and life doesn’t leave much time for healthy meal planning. I’ve done some comparing to help employees make healthier fast-food choices.
Healthier Choices at McDonald's
Choose a double cheeseburger over a double Quarter Pounder with cheese. It has 500 fewer calories and 19 fewer grams of fat. Select any of the grilled chicken wraps for a meal under 300 calories. Choosing grilled over “crispy” will save you a lot of calories and fat.
If you must have something to go along with your sandwich or wrap, four-piece Chicken McNuggets have fewer calories than small french fries. Most fast-food restaurants now have side salads or fruit as healthier options. To consume fewer calories, choose low-fat balsamic vinaigrette as your salad dressing.
See the McDonald's nutrition details here.
Good Options at Taco Bell
After looking at Taco Bell’s nutritional information, there isn’t a lot on their menu for 300 calories or less. Need I say much more about stopping at their drive-through? I would recommend keeping it simple if you’re going to eat at Taco Bell. For example, soft tacos are going to be your best option because they don’t have a sauce on top or inside that is high in fat.
Other Healthier Fast-Food Rules of Thumb
Watching your sodium? Skip or go light on the condiments and salad dressings. Ketchup, mustard, pickles, sauces, and dressings all contain salt. Hold the mayonnaise and save 50 calories. Order a fish sandwich without tartar sauce and save 80 calories.
It may sound like I’m taking the “fun” out of fast-food eating, but your body will thank you for making healthier choices!