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How to eat healthier at fast food places?

Updated on November 27, 2011

Eating fast food can be convenient when we are on the go or when we don't have much options. Fast food has always been given a bad reputation as they are high in calories and contain little nutritional value.

Some of us may have watched or heard about the film "Super Size Me" in which an independent filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, went on a 30-day diet which consisted of only McDonald's food. The film illustrates how a diet of too much fast food can cause us to put on weight and affect our health.

While it is not a good idea to eat fast food on a regular basis, making a few smart and healthier choices can make your meal healthier. This article gives you tips on how to eat healthier at a fast food restaurant.

What are chicken nuggets made of?

A video on how they make chicken nuggets for mass production.


Making healthier choices at fast food restaurants

Say no to upsize.

It may not cost much to upsize your meal, but when the friendly cashier asks you if you would like to upsize your meal, say no. A meal serving at a fast food restaurant is typically high in calories, and upsizing your meal means adding more calories.

You do not have to order a set meal.

Who says you have to order a set meal at the fast food restaurant? A set meal means you get a burger, a side dish and a drink. If you are not feeling too hungry or need to lose weight, don't get a set meal. Instead, order a burger (or something else) and a drink, which is more than enough to fill you up. Consider getting a kid's meal if you want a smaller portion. It contains lesser calories and is ideal for those looking to lose weight.

Be aware of dressings, salt and sauces.

Always ask for dressing at the side or scrape them off yourself. Most fast food restaurants use a lot of dressings such as mayonnaise in their food which is high in fat. Fast food is high in sodium content due to the amount of salt they put in. Fast food restaurants such as McDonald's offer an option for you to have no or less salt for your fries. Sauces such as ketchup and barbeque sauce contain calories too. Try not to be overgenerous when you dip your food in sauces.

Order something that has grilled meat instead of fried meat.

Grilled fish or chicken tends to be healthier than fried meat.

Consider a healthier side order.

Some restaurants give you other side order options besides french fries. Consider healthier side orders such as fruit or a cup of corn instead of french fries. McDonald's offers a healthy side option such as Apple Dippers.

Eating fast food isn't so bad after all.

Knowing how to make wise choices at fast food places means that you can enjoy a good meal without having to worry too much about your health. In fact, making a conscious effort to eat healthy at a fast food place is healthier than eating junk food or overeating. Think about it, if you watch your calories intake by ordering a small potion when eating fast food, this actually benefits you more as compared to eating snacks which sometimes have much more calories. Eating fast food once in a while isn't going to ruin your health; refusing to eat fast food and skipping your meal when you are hungry when you do not have much options could give you health problems such as gastric pain. Just don't make it a habit to eat it on a regular basis and you will be fine.

Cookbooks for healthy fast cooking

Why don't you try making your own meals instead of eating at fast food restaurants? Healthy meals do not have to be elaborate and can be whipped up in minutes.


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    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 6 years ago from Chennai, India

      A Wise Advice! Thank u for sharing ur healthy tips with us! Vote Up!

    • kaitlincolee profile image

      kaitlincolee 6 years ago

      Thanks prasetio30 for dropping by!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub. I learn many things from this hub. Thanks for writing and share with us. Well done and rated up!