Are you, in your pandemic fatigued mind, pushing the easy button on meals? Are you having fast food delivered via delivery service (or doing drive-by pickups)? Here’s the skinny on that: A diet high in saturated fat, sodium and sugar can lead to obesity, elevated blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressure—all known risk factors for heart disease.
Here’s what else you should know: You can eat healthy when you’re in a hurry, too tired to cook something healthy or have no time.
Eating fast food doesn’t mean you have to mean a fatty cheeseburger and salty fries. These days, there are a variety of menu options where you can find healthier options. Many fast-food restaurants also have their menus, with calorie counts, online.
Smart picks for a quick and easy meal are places where you have more control over what goes into your order. At a sandwich shop, make healthy adjustments such as no mayo, extra veggies and whole-wheat bread. (Plus, they also often have salads and soups.) Many eateries now offer build-your-own bowls, vegetarian options or grilled meat and vegetable plates—all good bets.
But if you find yourself still driving through through a traditional fast-food joint, keep these tips in mind:
- Avoid anything fried (think: French fries, chicken strips and nuggets, and onion rings).
- A grilled skinless chicken breast sandwich is lower in saturated fat than a burger.
- Don’t supersize. In fact, ordering the kid’s menu version of your favorite fast food can give you the taste you crave with far fewer calories.
- Skip calorie-heavy sides, toppings and dressings.
- Bypass sugary drinks in favor of water, unsweetened tea, or fat-free or low-fat milk.