Fit Fast Food - How to Successfully Navigate the Drive Thru

Even when we try to be our healthiest selves, there comes a time where you are in a pinch and need to make a quick stop for food. We all know fast food isn’t the healthiest choice, but there are options you can choose that are healthy and still fill you up. Let’s take a look at some popular restaurant chains and the best choices you can pick from each!

McDonald’s – The king of fast food restaurants (sorry Burger King). McDonald’s is obviously known for the cheeseburgers and fries and surprisingly the cheeseburgers are probably your best bet here. Their chicken sandwiches are often cooked in oil adding hidden fat and their salads tend to be filled with excess fat, sugar, and sodium. Most McDonald’s locations offer breakfast all day now too, so you could always go the extra healthy route and opt for an egg sandwich for the most bio-available protein and grab a fruit salad or yogurt on the side.

Taco Bell – Taco Bell can be very tricky for our health conscious friends. Fortunately they have added a special “fresco” menu that makes their regular tacos a bit healthier by substituting a fresh tomato salsa and lettuce for the typical taco toppings. Make it even better by opting for chicken or beans instead of the ground beef mixture.

KFC – The colonel’s secret recipe is not doing you any favors at KFC. You will have to opt for their grilled chicken options to stay healthy here. They do have a couple of vegetable sides such as corn on the cob, green beans, and yes – we will count coleslaw as a veggie here. Raw cabbage does amazing things for the body, so we can forgive the less-than-nutritious dressing this time.

Starbucks – While Starbucks seems like it has lots of healthy options, the drinks are often overloaded with sugar and the food tends to be heavy on the carbs. A regular coffee with milk or cream and a packet of sugar in the raw is a great alternative to some of the fancy concoctions Starbucks offers up. They also have a great selection of hot and iced teas now since they have joined forces with Teavana. Try a new herbal tea blend and save yourself the calories, sugar, and fat. On the food front, opt for their fresh foods rather than the pastry case. Most Starbucks locations offer a protein box, fruit and cheese box, and a selection of sandwiches and wraps. The boxes offer the best nutrition, but if you are looking for something more filling try their turkey sandwich or wrap!

Panera Bread – The name says it all – they have the best bread! However, the bread is the biggest challenge to overcome here. Panera’s soups are all great choices – try to find one that offers more veggies like their garden vegetable soup or protein like the turkey chili. Their salads are great if you keep it simple, I like to opt for the greek salad and add extra veggie toppings. While they offer a host of delicious salads, many of them tend to load up on unhealthy extras. They have calorie counts posted on their menu board so you can always get a snapshot of the best choices that way!

Maria PannoComment