|Think twice before you order a burger like this.
In a world of soccer practices, open houses and staying late at the office, our busy schedules sometimes don’t permit a healthy diet. We’ve exchanged dining-table family meals for TV dinners. And while we can always pencil in a family outing to compensate for the quality time that we didn’t get while we weren’t eating together, we can’t really do anything about the arteries that were clogged while we were consuming the wrapper-covered food.
Fast food has it all. It’s easy, it’s cheap and it’s plentiful in taste and…calories. Many of the not-so gourmet goods have everything but nutrition. So the question is: would you rather save a few bucks or a few pounds? And if you still can’t seem to find time to whip out the pots and pans, here are some healthy fast food alternatives.
The foodie joints that you may think are somewhat calorie conscious are actually very naïve to healthy sustenance. How bad can a bean, cheese and chicken burrito be? Well think twice about ordering a Classic Chicken Burrito from El Pollo Loco because you’re getting more than just calcium and protein. This meal stays true to its name because 580 calories for one burrito seems a bit loco. And when you order a side of macaroni and cheese for 330 calories or unsalted tortilla chips for 760 calories, you’ve almost fulfilled your daily caloric intake in one meal.
Many make the mistake of assuming that by ordering from the Crazy Chicken they’re fulfilling their daily food pyramid requirements – a serving from this group, a helping from that group. After all, the fast food restaurant mainly serves only chicken, rice, beans, cheese and greens. While this is very true, one must take into consideration how all of this is prepared. Oil and grease are unfortunately very prominent in the cooking process. Instead of a huge burrito and unnecessary sides, opt for an 80 calorie corn on the cob and a chicken breast for 160 calories.
If you’re craving something with a junk-food taste, take a drive through In-n-Out because a protein-style hamburger surprisingly has only 240 calories. However, steer clear of their famous fries and shakes because by packing on a few extra items to your order you’re likely to pack on an extra 1090 calories. With a strawberry shake of 690 calories and fries at 400 calories, you’re consuming mostly fat.
Another popular fast food establishment that often deceives health-nuts is Subway. Don’t let Jared and the catchy jingle fool you because the so-called healthy sandwiches can cause eventual weight gain and high blood pressure with the right condiments.
A six-inch tuna sandwich contains 540 calories, and when adding condiments such as mayonnaise, cheese, oil and vinegar you’ve just bought a 755 calorie meal. That’s not including chips and a drink. If Subway’s stuck-in-your-head-for-hours slogan has your mouth watering for a cold sub, then go for a plain turkey or ham sandwich, free of cheese and mayo.
And for those who like to consume all their daily calories in one meal, Burger King’s drive-through is just for you. A Double-Whopper with cheese, onion rings, and a large Coke is a whopping 1680 calories. Enjoy this meal, because if basing your calorie consumption off the FDA’s Recommended Daily Allowance of 2,000 calories, this is the only food you’ll be able to eat all day.
So the next time soccer practice is running behind or you have to stay a little later because you’re boss asks you to have the report on his desk by tomorrow morning, think twice about overloading on drive-through ordering because one meal could cost you your cholesterol level.