Fast Food "Healthy Menu" Myths

Fast Food SaladWhat is the Truth Behind the "Healthy Menu"

You are trying to eat healthy, but you are on the road and in a hurry.  You soon find yourself at the fast food drive-through. What do you eat?  Fast food chains are known to have fatty, high calorie food and has been criticized in the media lately. In an effort to present a better image, most of them have included healthier options on their menu. We have taken a closer look at these "healthy menus", and this what we found.

Myth #1- Salads

Although salads may be a healthier alternative to burgers and fries, some salads have more calories then a medium pizza. Beware of extras on salads like croutons and salad dressings. While the veggies in a salad are a healthier choice, most dressing have a very high fat and calorie count. Eating these salads can actually add pounds to your diet instead of shedding them.

Myth #2- Grilled Chicken Breast

A grilled chicken breast fillet would lead one to assume that it is a breast of chicken meat. Instead, in most fast food cases, it's reconstituted rib meat combined with seasonings and additives which isn't healthy at all.

Chicken Fast FoodMyth #3- Parfaits and Smoothies

Beware of the type of yogurt used in parfaits and smoothies, most contain a lot of sugar and have a high calorie count. These are better choices in place of cookies or cake for dessert, but still don't meet the health food standards.

Myth #4- Low Calorie Meal

Although many of these meals are lower in calories, they tend to be higher in saturated fats, protein and sodium. Eating large amounts of high-fat foods for a sustained period of time raises the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer.

Myth #5- Watch What You Drink

Many beverages are high in calories. Order diet soda, water or unsweetened iced tea and skip the shakes and other ice cream drinks. Large shakes can contain more than 800 calories and all of your saturated fat for the day.

A few more tips for healthy fast food eating are:

- Avoid super-sized meals. Downsize your order to a kids meal instead.

- Avoid mayonnaise or “special sauce.” Stick with mustard, pickles, onions, and ketchup.

- Skip the cheese and bacon.

- Choose a fruit salad as a side dish or dessert.

- Eat half the bun and save half the calories.

- Choose grilled chicken over fried.

There is such a thing as healthier fast food. You can order a meal at most fast food chains with less than 550 calories, moderate amounts of fat, saturated fat and get ample protein and fiber. Just do your research and make smart choices.

Until next time, stay healthy!

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