Employee at the drive thru window hands a person a bag with a water bottle, smoothie, and salad while a hand gives the person money.

Healthy Choices at Fast Food Restaurants

Although you may try your best, sometimes it’s hard to avoid a fast food meal. Whether it’s a busy day running kids to sports, a long road trip, or there isn’t any food in the house, stopping at a drive-thru can be the quickest way to a warm meal.

5 tips to help make healthy choices at fast food chains

Here are a few tips to get the most out of that fast food run, without ruining your healthy diet goals.

1. Plan in advance

If there’s a chance you need to stop by a drive-thru, spend some time online checking out their menu. Decide which restaurant you will visit and pop onto their website. Nutrition information is usually only a few quick clicks away! Look at your usual selections and decide if the carbohydrate, sodium, and calorie values are in your ideal range for that day or meal. If you find that they are too high, try searching for other options that are better suited to your needs.

2. Skip the bun

A quick way to lower that carbohydrate intake is to order your usual burger and remove half or all, of the bun. For example, a regular hamburger from McDonald’s ® contains 250 calories and 31 grams of carbohydrate. Remove the bun and that same burger now contains 100 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates. Skipping the fries is also a good way to control your carbohydrate intake as a small fry from McDonald’s® boasts 29 grams of carbohydrate on its own!

3. Skip the breading

Many people feel that choosing a chicken sandwich or breaded chicken salad is a healthier option than the usual burger. A crispy chicken sandwich from this popular fast food restaurant has 620 calories and 63 grams of carbohydrate! That is double the amount of carbs from the original hamburger. A salad with crispy chicken is not much better with 27 grams of carbohydrate. Instead, opt for grilled chicken on a salad but beware of the other toppings. Often the salads are full of hidden carbohydrates such as croutons, tortilla strips or black beans. As long as you do your research and know how many carbohydrates you need for that meal, you will be able to make a mindful choice.

4. Opt for water

Just because something is diet or sugar-free does not mean it is a good choice. Water is the single best way to hydrate your body. It helps our cells function at top speed, which is imperative when you are also dealing with diabetes.

5. Skip dessert

Sweets such as milkshakes, sundaes, and pies are a sure fire way to spike those blood glucose levels. If you must visit the drive-thru, pass on something sweet. There are many low carbohydrate dessert recipes available on Type2diabetes.com if you are feeling the need to conquer a craving.

So before you travel through the drive-thru line, remember to plan ahead and choose wisely to keep your diabetes on track!

Do you eat fast food? How do you manage eating fast food while staying on track with your diabetes management? Share here!

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