Eating Healthy With Fast Food; A Necessary Evil

By Matt Griffith, CSCS

We all know the hazards of eating at a fast food restaurant; calories will be through the roof, the salt alone will raise your blood pressure just by touching it, and the fat content is usually astronomical. But sometimes it cannot be avoided. You may be on a road trip and not wanting to stop, just have absolutely no time between meetings, or your chasing kids from event to event and you need to get something to eat. So how can you eat a “healthy” meal from a fast food restaurant? Well the good news is it can be done, somewhat. You can make better, bad meal choices. Here are a few options you can eat without having to worry too much about the nutritional content.

Taco Bell

Power Menu Veggie Bowl – This one is packed full of protein fueled vegetables, 16 grams to be exact. Skip the sour cream to take some unnecessary calories out of the mix.

Calories – 460, Calories from Fat – 170, Total Fat – 19g, Sodium – 1040mg, Protein - 16g

McDonald’s

Egg McMuffin – Now served all day! In one McMuffin you’re going to get 18 grams of protein which is one-third of your daily value. At 300 calories, it’s not a bad meal replacement. Drop the American cheese and you’ll drop the saturated fats, calories, and sodium content. Don’t forget some apple slices to get some added nutrition.

Calories – 300, Calories from Fat – 110, Total Fat – 12g, Sodium – 730mg, Protein – 18g

Starbucks

Spinach, Feta, and Cage-Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap – Compared to most breakfast sandwiches, this one has higher protein and fiber, while being lower in saturated fat. But it still packs a lot of sodium so be sure to drink plenty of water and add some fresh fruit if you can. Plus, Starbucks has them all day, so you can use it for any meal.

Calories – 290, Calories from Fat – 90, Total Fat – 10g, Sodium – 830mg, Protein – 19g

While any fast food option isn’t the best choice, we realize you must hit the drive through on occasion. Just remember on those days, you need to move more to counteract the additional calories or adjust other meals to help keep you within your nutrition guidelines specific to your health and fitness goals. Bon Appètit!



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