I was checking out an article in this month’s Cooking Light magazine that suggested some lighter fast food lunches. I then found another on their website which discussed their picks for best fast food burger & sandwich choices. While the choices looked great, some of restaurants were not available in my area. I decided to browse the menus of the 3 major fast food burger giants and look for some general rule of thumb ways to eat there without consuming vast amounts of fat, calories and sodium.
In the end, one thing stood out as the biggest way to keep things in check, the K.I.S.S. principle (keep it simple stupid). By avoiding super-sizing and the addition of mayonnaise and other high calorie condiments, bacon, extra cheese, etc., and sticking to the traditional hamburger (or even basic cheeseburger), numbers were reasonable. Granted you would not want to live primarily on this, but the burgers our grandparents got through the drive-thru as kids are O.K. on occasion. Also, don’t be shy about ordering a kids meal. It isn’t like they will I.D. you, and the meals these days often come with apple slices and choice of beverage.
Not a burger person? All the chains had grilled chicken sandwiches available, just keep the K.I.S.S. in mind here as well. The same goes for salads. A side salad with light dressing can make a burger seem more satisfying, but a dinner salad with fried chicken, bacon and high fat dressing can make a burger & small fries look like diet food, when you look at the actual numbers. The salad shown in the graphic above is the half size Apple Pecan Chicken salad, from Wendy’s, one of the choices from the magazine this month.
Many times, we find ourselves out & in a hurry, but can’t wait to get home to eat. Rather than trying to get a traditional meal from the Drive-thru, why not grab a value menu choice. The Fruit & Yogurt Parfait from McDonald’s, a small cup of chili from Wendy’s or Smoothie from Burger King.
Since I work from home & enjoy cooking, I rarely get fast food. It is good to know though, that if I’m in a pinch & need to make the stop, there are options which won’t blow my diet or give me a banging headache, from massive quantities of sodium.