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Healthy Choices For Fast Food Lovers

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) Times sure have changed in the fast food industry, and certainly for the better. With an abundance of lower-fat alternatives, it is now possible to make better choices at fast food restaurants so you can eat with convenience, without spending more than a few dollars, and without worrying about gaining a few pounds.

For those of you who like to frequent the pick-up windows, check out these helpful hints for lower fat fare.

Beverages

Instead of the large sizes, try ordering a diet soft drink, a small pop, a non-soft drink, or other beverages like water, juice, 2% milk and lower-fat milk shakes are all better choices. It should be noted that a milkshake at McDonald's only contains five grams of fat.

Burgers and Fries

They had it right in the beginning when they came out with small burgers. Common sense tells us that the bigger the burger, the more the fat. It's no surprise that the added cheese, bacon, mayonnaise and special sauces serve to increase the fat. Helpful hint: choose your toppings wisely. Why not ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles.

Same rule applies for fries: the smaller the better. At McDonald's, for instance, you could have a burger, fries and soft drink that add up to more than 1100 calories, or fewer than 500; it just depends on which items you order and how large they are.

Chicken and Fish

The rules are simple here. Deep fried versions usually contain more fat. While chicken nuggets and Filet of Fish styled sandwiches might be chosen every so often, a grilled, roasted or broiled piece of chicken or fish would be your best bet. Like the burgers, it's what you put on top that ultimately determines the total fat content.

Wraps and Pitas

Wraps are sweeping the nation as a popular health-conscious fast food choice. They're made from pita bread or flour tortillas and stuffed with salad ingredients, chicken, fish, beans and vegetables. You just have to watch out for the dressings and sauces. A Garden McWrap for example, has only 313 calories and 6.5 g of fat.

If you want more details on the nutritional facts of your food choices, most chains provide up to date information booklets on their menus.

"At McDonald's restaurants for example, you can find a "Food Facts" brochure at its service counters. It describes in full detail the ingredients and nutritional information of its entire menu. This is ideal for those who pay special attention to their food choices including people with food allergies," said Sheila Murphy, dietitian-nutritionist.

So there you have it, it's possible to enjoy a convenient, energizing meal at most fast food restaurants. You need only to consider your options wisely and make them as lean as you wish.


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