For the people who spend a lot of time on the road, fast food can easily become a main feature in their daily diet. While fast food is known for being extremely unhealthy and fattening, the restaurants are gradually starting to add more healthy options to their menus, making it easier to eat healthier without sacrificing time and money. Many fast food options include a daily serving of fat, saturated fat, calories, and sodium in a single meal. A Whopper Value Meal from Burger King which includes small fries and a small Coke add up to 57 grams of fat, almost 1,300 calories, and 1,560 milligrams of sodium. These types of greasy hamburgers and french fries can lead to serious health problems if eaten on a regular basis. However, just like everything else in this world, fast food in moderation is not a bad thing. Additionally, many fast food chains are beginning to offer healthy alternatives for their consumers. It is still smart to be conscious and careful though, because many of these chains’ “healthy” salads are covered in cheese, full fat salad dressing, croutons, and fried chicken. For instance, McDonald’s Premium Southwest salad contains 20 grams of fat, 430 calories, and 920 milligrams of sodium.
Some of the most calorie and fat-laden meals come from fast food restaurants. The worst hamburger on record comes from the chain Carl Jr’s in the form of the Double Six Dollar Burger with 111 grams of fat and 1,520 calories. The unhealthiest chicken meal by far is McDonald’s 5 piece Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips with ranch sauce. It packs a staggering 55 grams of fat and 830 calories in just one serving. Another not so healthy salad is Taco Bell’s Chicken Ranch Fully Loaded Taco Salad with a whopping 54 grams of fat, 900 calories, and 1,660 milligrams of sodium. The fast food chain Five Guys is known for their mouthwatering burgers, but their large fries are volatile with 72 grams of fat and almost 1,500 calories. Aside from the the fried and cheese-covered foods, beverages can do just as much damage to any diet. For instance, Burger King’s Oreo Sundae Milkshake contains 920 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 18 grams of saturated fat. These are some of the worst meals that can clog arteries and add pounds.
On a lighter note, it is possible for enlightened consumers to make healthy fast food choices. Dunkin’ Donuts offers a ham, egg, and cheese English muffin sandwich with 500 calories and 15 grams of fat. As far as chicken meals go, Hardee’s BBQ Chicken Sandwich with a side of coleslaw is only 490 calories and 16 grams of fat. Although pizza is known for being greasy and cheesy, Pizza Hut’s Thin N’ Crispy Pizza with one meat topping has 360 calories and 12 grams of fat per two slices. Additionally when it comes to hamburgers, Wendy’s is one of the best choices with their Junior Hamburger Deluxe containing only 8 grams of fat, 2
.30 calories, and 3 grams of saturated fat.
Eating healthy at fast food restaurants takes some effort but is completely doable. With a little research, it’s easy to make better fast food choices. Most fast food restaurants are now also making nutritional information easily accessible either through their websites or even on their food labels, one only has to be more conscious about what is being put into their body. However, it is worth noting that even though the healthy choices listed above are lower in calories and fat, they are all still very high in sodium. This is why it is best to keep fast food meals to a moderate consumption. Although fast food is quick, easy, and cheap, the toll it can take on a person’s health may not be worth it.
McDonald’s: a complete nutrition guide to all of McDonald’s meals, sides, desserts, and beverages.
Taco Bell: a nutrition calculator to make the best choices when deciding on a Taco Bell meal.
Five Guys: a complete listing of nutritional information beyond the burgers.
Burger King: menu and nutrition information with clickable features.
Dunkin’ Donuts: nutritional information divided by food type including bagels, bakery, and donuts.
Hardee’s: an interactive nutrition calculator to choose a heart healthy meal.
Pizza Hut: this chain’s nutrition page offers an allergy table as well as a printable nutritional guide.
Wendy’s: information on all of Wendy’s meals from salads to hamburgers.
Arby’s: an easy to use calculator that makes calorie counting simple.
KFC: a nutrition guide to all of KFC’s chicken meals and sides.
Chick-Fil-A: the chain’s Nutrition and Health page with suggestions and nutritional information.
In-N-Out Burger: a guide to burgers, fries, and beverages.
Jack in the Box: information on nutrition, healthy suggestions, allergies, and lifestyle choices.
Popeye’s: a nutritional guide the Louisiana Cajun cuisine.
Subway: nutrition information for one of the healthier fast food chains.
A&W: a nutritional analysis of the chain’s “All American Food.”
Long John Silvers: a nutritional guide to fast food seafood.
Sonic: a nutritional calculator that allows the user to build their own meal.
Dairy Queen: nutritional information for the famous ice cream as well as the burgers and fries.
Blimpie: information on the subs from veggie to Italian mix.