Thanks to these healthy picks and tips, you can head to the drive-thru without guilt weighing you down. By Mara Miller
We’ve all been there: tired, hungry, and without a piece of fresh produce or healthy snack in sight…and then a drive-thru beckons. Even if you typically have stellar resolve, you’re likely to crack faster than someone on the fifth day of a juice fast. Lose the guilt trip already and get smart instead, These days, there are plenty of ways to feed your face at a fast-food chain, without wrecking your waistline.
Believe it or not, there are SOME fast foods that you can actually eat that are GOOD for you, not many, but SOME!!
THE 500 AND UNDER CLUB
Quarter White Rotisserie Chicken with Garlic Dill New Potatoes
BoMark’s white rotisserie picks are comfort food without the uncomfortably high fat levels.
420 cal, 15 g fat, 21 g carbs, 805 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 53 g protein.
Burrito Bowl with Carnitas, Black Beans & Tomatillo Salsa
Skip the rice, even brown: it sends the calls sky-high.
360 cal, 14 g fat, 26 g carbs, 1,010 mg sodium, 13 g fiber, 34 g protein.
Ham & Egg Wake-up Wrap
Load up on protein in the morning-it can help get your fat-burning engine running, stat.
170 cal, 8 g fat, 14 g carbs, 560 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 10 g protein.
Fruit’n Yogurt Parfait
Low-fat dairy (like this vanilla yogurt) could help you shed pounds.
150 cal, 2 g fat, 30 g carbs, 70 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.
Power Steak Lettuce Wraps
In addition to is well-know list of deli eats, Panera has a secret weapon: its hidden menu-your server will know what you’re talking about-which includes six light and
nutritious “Power” meals (from these wraps to salads to even egg-based breakfasts)
Turkey Lite Sub with pasta Salad
Stick to the small sub size to keep sodium in check.
Small size-470 cal, 12 g fat, 69 g carbs, 1,230 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 24 g protein.
Veggie Delite Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing and Poblano Corn Chowder
A meat-free lunch that doesn’t skimp on protein and fiber
260 cal, 9 g fat, 40 g carbs, 880 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 8 g protein.
Rich and Meaty Chili
Warm, satisfying, and bound to keep you full till dinner.
Large size- 270 cal, 8 g fat, 31 g carbs, 1,180 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 19 g protein.
Jamba’s new “Make it Light” option means you get fresh, fruity flavors with up to one-third less sugar (and calories)
Small size-170 cal, 0 g fat, 39 g carbs,125 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein.
Good-for-you changes rolling out nationwide
Excess sweeteners can be a health hazard, and they’re added to just about everything. One of the worst offenders, researches say: high-frutose corn syrup. That’s why Strbucks, Subway, and panera have pledged to nix or reduce it.
“Across the industry, salt levels are dropping,” says Sam Oches, editor of QSR Magazine, a restaurant trade publication. Boston Market, for example, took its classics back to the test kitchen, slashing the sodium as much as possible without noticeably changing taste.
More chains are following in the footsteps of Chipotle by using antibiotic-free meats. This year, Chick-fil-A committed to phasing out all antibiotic-treated poultry from its farms and restaurants.
Among the recent influx of protein-packed options: McDonald’s Egg White Delight McMuffin, with 18 grams, and Starbucks Protein Bistro Box (includes eggs, cheese, and peanut butter) with 13 grams.
Thanks to the evolving laws, many chains post nutritional data, which has led to greater scrutiny over menu options. In some cases, unhealthy food may have even been ditched.
DO IT YOUR WAY
A burger eaten in your car might never be as nutritious as a home-grilled one. But by making savvy choices or requesting mini tweaks when you order, you can steer your health in the right directions, says Lindsay Lawes R.D, a nutritionist in Boulder Colorado.
1-ORDER THE HAPPY MEAL-
You might feel silly using the word junior or kiddie, but kids’ menu options often have half the calories of their grown-up equivalents. “Those portions may look skimpy,” says Teresa Wagner, R.D., a nutritionist in Dallas. “But they’re often a lot closer to the amount you, as an adult, SHOULD be eating.
2 HOLD THE BREAD-
Carb-loaded white wraps, bread, and buns can pack plenty of calories and sodium while adding little flavor to your meal-which is why you can skip them altogether. Ask for a bunless burger (Protein Style), a soup sans the bread bowl, or a burrito minus the tortilla. This trade-out can save you up to 300 calories.
3-GO EASY ON THE SAUCE-
It’s the old news that drizzling on dressing or sauce yourself instead of leaving it to he heavy-handed cooks can shave off at least 100 cals. But even innocent-soundingsauces, like barbecue and teriyaki, can contain tons of hidden sugar (and calories) ‘Order your food as plain as you can ,” says Lawes, “then accent it yourself.”