“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.” ~William Shakespeare
Fast food establishments are everywhere, from our largest cities to the smallest of communities; they have brought their trademark speedy service and low prices to all corners of the globe. While there is no argument that “junk food” springs to mind when thinking of fast food, is it possible to eat healthy at fast food restaurants?
The answer is a resounding “yes.”
Eating healthy has gotten harder, but it can be done. The highly competitive nature of the fast food industry has spawned some positive developments for people striving for a salubrious lifestyle. Restaurant menus are getting revamped to include healthier options and smaller portions.
Fast food juggernaut McDonald’s now offers snack wraps that contain around 250 calories, a fruit and yogurt parfait, apple slices, orange juice, and various salads. In fact, some sandwiches even include preservative-free meat.
Other fast food establishments are hopping on the healthy bandwagon too. Wendy’s offers salads (the best of the fast food genre), baked potatoes, and chili. Their salads and chili can be purchased as a full or half order, which reduces calories accordingly, and Carl’s Jr. offers a low-carb burger option (a burger wrapped in lettuce) free of charge for any sandwich.
Although a lettuce wrapped burger may sound like a poor dinning choice, some health industry professionals are on board with low-carb burgers. Fitness expert Del Lewis tweeted, “Like hamburgers? The World’s Best Hamburger for Rapid Weight Loss is made with grass-fed beef! Just avoid the bun!”
A recent article posted on Health.com listed the 10 best healthy fast food restaurants. The Authors Tracy Minkin and Brittani Renaud surveyed 100 chains and selected their top 10. The authors concluded, “that many [fast food restaurants] are creating menus that look more and more like what we’d cook ourselves…from nutritious soups and healthy salads to fresh whole grains and sensible desserts.”
It’s not just American style fast food restaurants that are providing healthy options. Minkin and Renaud’s top 10-list included several multicultural franchises, including Mexican, Asian and Mediterranean based eateries. The bottom line is that, with the nimiety of fast food chains, people have unparalleled access to fast and inexpensive meals. It can also be said that there are more healthy alternatives available too.
The trick to eating healthy in a fast food age is having a good strategy. Ultimately the responsibility for eating healthy lies with the consumer; chose wisely when ordering, avoid supersizing your meal, limit the sugary drinks and free refills. Exercising temperance, good judgment, and will power will mitigate the challenge of fast food dining.