By Dr. Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., R.D., Joyce Hendley, EatingWell Editors, The EatingWell Diet (2007)
Opting for a fast-food meal isn’t the diet disaster it used to be. For one, fast-food restaurants are now required to post their nutrition information, so you’ll know what you’re getting. (If you don’t see it, ask—or check it out at the restaurant’s website first.) And, because they’re tuned in to what consumers want, most places now offer some “healthy” options. Take note of these usually smart selections:
1. Grilled or roasted chicken sandwiches. Just be sure to ask for no mayonnaise nor (almost-always mayonnaise-based) “special sauce.”
Read on for 6 more better choices when you're eating fast food.[pagebreak]
2. Baked potatoes. Opt for vegetable toppings rather than the cheese and sour cream.
3. Deli sandwiches. Skip the cheese and go easy on (or avoid) the mayonnaise; choose roasted lean meats or chicken rather than mayonnaise-rich chicken or tuna salad. Eat the sandwich open-faced, discarding the top bread half if the sandwich is especially large.
4. Vegetarian options. Choose vegetable toppings for your pizza, or try a bean burrito or veggie burger.[pagebreak]
5. Salads. Round out any meal with a “side” or “garden” salad. Some full-meal salads are good options, but croutons and other nonvegetable toppings can quickly pile on the calories. As always, get your dressing on the side.
6. Vegetable soup or chili. These are usually filling and relatively low in fat and calories—but not always; check the nutrition information first.
7. The kid-size plain burger. This meat portion still satisfies, and it might even come with fruit or carrots.