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Healthier Fast Food and take out!

Healthy – Fast Food/Take out ideas

Compared to what we make at home, meals eaten out tend to be higher in calories, portion sizes, sodium and saturated fat. Yet they’re lower in fiber and healthful foods, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It should come as no surprise, then, that a long-term study revealed that frequently eating restaurant meals was tied to earlier deaths. The study found that eating out or ordering takeout at least twice a day was linked with a 49% higher risk of dying early from any cause compared to infrequently eating out.

By making better choices when eating out, you can enjoy your favorite haunts while staying mindful of your health. Here are some pointers for putting together healthier meals:

  • Make room for veggies. Stack some extra lettuce and tomato on your sandwich. If you’re getting a grain bowl or burrito bowl, ask for extra vegetables.

  • Make it a point to share. Since portions are often oversized, share larger meals and sides.

  • Make water your go-to drink. Soda contributes more sugar to the U.S. diet than anything else. The majority of Americans exceed recommendations for added sugars so stick with water.

  • Consider skipping the sauces or at least ordering them on the side. Most of these meals are plenty flavorful without adding dressing or special sauces. These packets are often sneaky sources of added sugar and sodium — both of which are typically high when dining at these eateries. Ordering your sauces, ie: salad dressing on the side, will allow you to experience some of the additional flavors in your own way.

  • Choose the Healthy Choice. On most menus you will find a “healthy choice” icon – a character before or after the menu item indicating that this particular items is a healthier choice. Give one a try!

While every restaurant and cuisine is different, you generally want to make sure your takeout includes some produce, ideally a few different types. Choose protein and vegetable dishes, and limit extra carbs, since most of us typically get enough carbs during the day already.

Check out: for some great suggestions on menu selections.


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