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Healthy Menus In Fast Food Restaurants And Your Diet

Are The Healthy Menus In Fast Food Restaurants Actually Helping Your Diet And Healthy Living?

An analysis of the healthy choice menus and healthy dieting tips for healthy living.

You have decided that you’re going to begin a healthy diet plan by eating healthy menus. Your kitchen is arrayed with fresh vegetables, fruits, and vitamins as part of your healthy lifestyle. Breakfast and lunch are fairly easy. In your desire to live healthy, you prefer to have a  couple of yogurt in the morning with some fruit or small salad for lunch. However, as you have a family and a modern lifestyle, dinners are almost nonexistent in your house. Sadly, this is the state that many people in America find themselves. The solution that many people rely upon is the fast food industry.

healthy menu image1In a recent statistic report, 25% of all Americans eat fast foods every day. For somebody that is trying to have a healthy diet, fast food restaurants pose a particular threat. For years nutritionists have urged people seeking to lose weight fast or to maintain a healthy diet and healthy living style to stay away from fast foods as they are counterproductive. Yet, the introduction of the health-conscious menu at fast food restaurants has led many to return often. The question that arises then is are the healthy menus in fast food restaurants actually helping your diet and healthy living?

It is oil no matter how you flavor it

Many fast food restaurants offer a healthy diet. Where the main components may be somewhat healthy (though I would question this). In addition, your general healthy diet combo comes with fries and a soda. So even if you order a baked chicken sandwich, you still are getting the fat and the salts from the fries and the soda. This is unless of course you opt for the bottled water and some form of fruit. To be honest, most people go for the fries and the drink. It is the mentality that “I have gotten something healthy, so the little bit of fries will be balanced out.”. This is not the case. Grease is grease and oil is oil. Consumption of it is bad even if the sandwich that comes with it is good. While some fat more be good for your health, the possibility of a fast food restaurant using high-priced healthy fat for cooking is extremely low.

If you are trying to lose weight quickly then you need to ensure that you are not consuming a large amount of carbs and saturated fats. French fries tend to contain large quantities of such fat. The worst is Dairy Queen’s with over 100 carbs and over 1600 mg of sodium. Do not think that Burger King or McDonald fries are better. Burger king has 57 carbs and 820 mg of sodium while McDonald’s fries have 70 carbs and 330 mg of sodium. This does not include the ketchup or the mustard added to them. The bottom line is this; if you get a healthy menu item from a Fast food restaurant ensure that the whole meal is inline with your healthy living diet. Where it is best that you try to stay away from such places, your life may not allow you to prepare fresh meals daily.

Few healthy living tips for dining at fast food restaurants.

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Identify and go to places that serve real healthy food – You may consider this to be a no brainer, but there are actually a few places that are more health conscious than others. Places such as Panera Bread and Chiptole’s tend to have fresh ingredients. Make sure that you keep within your health diet and do not over consume (especially on such things as cheeses or sour creams).

Avoid sweets

You work hard and run around getting everyone where they need to go. Perhaps you are that mom or dad that works all day and then has a load of children to get to soccer practice, band, after school programs, etc. Your day has been hard and you have stuck with your healthy living guide. When going out for dinner, you have chosen a nice fast food restaurant that serves vegetable soup and turkey sandwiches, so what is the problem with getting a little dessert? Well, many of the deserts which are offered are cakes and pies and the like. These desserts are packed full of carbs and all the other hip hugging ingredients which you are trying to avoid. If you must get a sweet, get some fruit. Most fruits offer vitamins that your body needs anyway and a natural sweetness.

Do not make it a large

If you are on a weight loss diet, the last thing that you want to do is gain weight. The fast food industry offers you a tempting “healthy” indulgence. The notion is that you are consuming a large amount of healthy foods. Salad is good for you, so why not make it a large portion. Baked chicken cannot be that bad so why not get two? Somehow, the concept that more of a good thing is a great thing has been passed off to you. The danger is that too much of a good thing is bad. It does no good to avoid that cheeseburger if you are going to include carbs and saturated fats in an enormous meal. Get just enough food that you will fill you (not gouged) and leave it at that.

Choose water over soda

If the option is available, get a bottled water instead of that refillable cup. Where a bottle of water is a one serving thing, the paper cup tends to get filled up over and over. Plus, the temptation to get just “a little” soda tends to be too much. Soda is one of the worst beverages one can consume when on a weight loss diet. Kill the temptation by making the option not available.

Bring your healthy menu from home

The best option to ensure that you have a healthy diet on the go is to bring your healthy diet with you. This is effective on two levels (and so many others). First, you are not hungry going into a restaurant and therefore will not spend money on food that is not healthy for you. Your meal is prepared and you know exactly what is in it. Secondly, you save money and time which is the goal of anyone in a fast paced modern world, is that right?

Can you eat healthy at a fast food restaurant? or Is it possible for you to have a healthy meal at a fast food restaurant?

The answer is that you can eat healthy going the fast food route. However, it is extremely difficult to stay on track with your healthy diet plan when you are in the face of so much temptation. Consider that some of the major companies which have introduced the healthy menus have had CEOs gain weight even though they have claimed to only eat off the healthy menu. If you must order from a “healthy menu” ensure that you are getting something without grease, such as a salad or baked meal, that you are not getting soda or fries (or any other fried additive such as onion rings), and that your portion size is maintained.  With the abundance of restaurants which are offering healthy choice items, the choice is huge. Look at the carb and sodium facts as well as the saturated fats of the items that you want to buy and make your decision wisely.

Important Sources:

http://www.acaloriecounter.com/fast-food.php
http://www.pamf.org/teen/health/nutrition/fastfood.html
http://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/prevention.htm
http://www.businessinsider.com/healthy-fast-food-chains-2013-4?op=1

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