We all know that fast food is terribly unhealthy for us, and yet we Americans spend more on fast food each year than we do on higher education and on health care. It’s probably because fast food is so convenient! But you can still eat fast food without ruining your diet or your overall health. How? Here’s my list of the ten fast foods that are actually pretty good for you, and won’t wreck your diet!
Instead of: Tendercrisp (fried) chicken sandwich
This yummy salad has a little bit of everything — crisp lettuce, tasty carrots, ripe tomatoes, three kinds of cheese, and a little grilled chicken. Choose from one of two light dressings (Ken’s fat-free ranch or light Italian) and you won’t ruin your diet! This is much better for you than the fried chicken sandwich… compare 270 calories, 9 grams of fat in the salad to a whopping 800 calories, 46 grams of fat In the sandwich! Wow!
Instead of: Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich
I love these little grilled snack wraps, and you can even order them without the dressing, if you’re really trying to cut out calories and fat! This is just as tasty as one of the sandwiches, with less than half the fat and calories. This is one delicious item you can order from McDonald’s that won’t ruin your diet!
Instead of: Angus Mushroom & Swiss
Sometimes, a light little chicken sandwich of salad won’t do. You’re craving beef! But rather than opting for a huge fattening double burger with cheese, use some restraint and have a hamburger (no cheese!) instead. One hamburger has a relatively low 250 calories and 9 grams of fat, but the Angus Mushroom and Swiss has three times more — 790 calories, and 39 grams of fat! Yikes! The hamburger is obviously a much better, healthier, choice!
Instead of: French fries
Okay, I know French fries are terribly unhealthy, but sometimes, you crave the starchy goodness! It’s comfort food! By you can still get that comfort-food feeling with a lot less fat and calories if you have a baked potato with butter, instead of a large order of French fries. The baked potato with butter has 320 calories and 5 grams of fat, but the large order of French fires has 540 calories, and 26 grams of fat… that’s five times more fat! Yikes! Go with the baked potato for sure… it’s a much healthier fast food choice, and it won’t ruin your diet!
Instead of: Ultimate Fish Sandwich
I had no idea Long John Silver’s offered such delicious, healthful salmon! This is a plate full of grilled fish and veggies and rice. It’s so tasty, and it only has 280 calories and 7 grams of fat! On the other hand, the fish sandwich may be delicious, too, but it has 530 calories, and 37 grams of fat.
Instead of: WE love these! Let’s just make it a little less fattening, shall we?
Coney dogs are awesome, and Sonic’s are some of the best! You can still have one, just be careful about which toppings you add. A fully-loaded coney has 670 calories and almost 40 grams of fat! That’s going to ruin your diet for sure! But if you take off the cheese, you take off 57 calories and a few grams off fat; take off the chili, too, and you’re down to a still high, but much more reasonable 505 calories, and 25 grams of fat. Bear in mind this is still an indulgence, but if you’re craving a coney, this will have to do!
Instead of: Volcano Burrito
Taco bell is probably my very favorite fast food, and for a long time, I thought I was doing myself favor by having heir taco salads instead of Gorditas, but I was wrong — their nachos and taco salads are the most fattening items on the menu! Avoid them altogether, and rather than indulging in a Volcano burrito, try a Fresco soft taco instead! It has 170 calories and 4 grams of fat, and the Volcano burrito has 800 calories and 12 grams of fat.
Instead of: French fries or onion rings
If you skip the caramel dipping sauce, Apple Dippers from McDonald’s or Apple Fries from Burger King are a very healthful alternative side order instead of French fries or onion rings. This is one fast food offering that couldn’t be better for your diet, or for you!
Instead of: Coke or Pepsi
We need to drink roughly 64 ounces of water (or unsweetened herbal tea) every day, so why not add a bottled of water to your fast food meal? It’s much better for you than diet cola, and much, much better for you than Pepsi or Coke! Did you know that each serving of Coke, Dr. Pepper, and Sprite have 79 grams of sugar and 290 calories? That would ruin your diet for sure!
So you see, there are a lot of things you can order to replace your favorite fast foods that won’t ruin your diet. If you’re not sure how to replace your favorite fast food item, try their corporate website, where you can view and download all of the nutrition information, and do a comparison of your own! Which of these fast food items do you eat when you don’t want to wreck your diet? Or is there something delicious I left off my list? Please let me know!
Top Photo Credit: Eliza[beth] Grace
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