Locations Main Campus: Chesterfield, MO 63017   |   Locations
314-434-1500 314-434-1500   |   Contact Us

Multimedia Encyclopedia


 
E-mail Form
Email Results

 
 
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks
bookmarks-menu

Fast food tips

Obesity - fast food; Weight loss - fast food; High blood pressure - fast food; Hypertension - fast food; Cholesterol - fast food; Hyperlipidemia - fast food

 

Many fast foods are high in calories, fat, salt, and sugar. Use these tips to guide you in making healthier choices when eating in a fast food restaurant.

Can You Eat Fast Food?

 

Fast foods are quick and easy substitutes for home cooking. But fast foods are almost always high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt.

Some restaurants still use hydrogenated vegetable oils for frying. These oils contain trans fats. These fats increase your risk for heart disease. Some cities have banned or are trying to ban the use of these fats.

Now, many restaurants are preparing foods using other types of fat. Some offer low-calorie choices instead.

Even with these changes, it is hard to eat healthy when you eat out often. Many foods are still cooked with a lot of fat. Many restaurants do not offer any lower-fat foods. Large portions also make it easy to overeat. And few restaurants offer many fresh fruits and vegetables.

In general, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease must be very careful about eating fast food.

 

When You Go to a Fast Food Restaurant

 

Knowing the amount of calories, fat, and salt in fast foods can help you eat healthier. Many restaurants now offer information about their food. This information is much like the nutrition labels on the food that you buy. If it is not posted in the restaurant, ask an employee for a copy.

In general, eat at places that offer salads, soups, and vegetables. In your salads, avoid high-fat items. Dressing, bacon bits, and shredded cheese all add fat and calories. Choose lettuce and assorted vegetables. Select low-fat or fat-free salad dressings, vinegar, or lemon juice. Ask for salad dressing on the side.

Healthier sandwiches include regular or junior size lean meats. Adding bacon, cheese, or mayo will increase the fat and calories. Ask for vegetables instead. Select whole-grain breads or bagels. Croissants and biscuits have a lot of fat.

If you want a hamburger, get a single meat patty without cheese and sauce. Ask for extra lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Limit how many French fries you eat. Ketchup has a lot of calories from sugar. Ask if you can get a side salad instead of fries.

Look for meats, chicken, and fish that are roasted, grilled, baked, or broiled. Avoid meats that are breaded or fried. If the dish you order comes with a heavy sauce, ask for it on the side and use just a small amount.

With pizza, get less cheese. Also pick low-fat toppings, such as vegetables. You can dab the pizza with a paper napkin to get rid of a lot of the fat from the cheese.

Eat low-fat desserts. A rich dessert can add fun to a well-balanced diet. But eat them only on special occasions.

Order smaller servings when you can. Split some fast-food items to reduce calories and fat. Ask for a "doggy bag." You can also leave the extra food on your plate.

Your food choices can teach your children how to eat healthy, too. Choosing a variety of healthy foods and limiting portion size are key to a healthy diet for anyone.

 

 

References

Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th ed. Updated December 2015. health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf. Accessed September 29, 2016.

Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC Guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(25 Pt B):2960-2984. PMID: 24239922 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24239922.

Heimburger DC. Nutrition's interface with health and disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 213.

Mozaffarian D. Nutrition and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 46.

 
  • Fast food tips

    Fast food tips - illustration

    Although not impossible it is more of a challenge to eat healthy when going to a fast food place. In general, avoiding items that are deep fried are your best bet. Healthier choices include sandwiches that can be loaded with vegetables. Limit the extras such as cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise. Eat at places that offer a variety of salads, soups, and vegetables to help maintain your best health.

    Fast food tips

    illustration

  • Fast food

    Fast food - illustration

    Fast foods are quick, reasonably priced, and readily available alternatives to home cooking. While convenient and economical for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt and may put people at risk for becoming overweight.

    Fast food

    illustration

    • Fast food tips

      Fast food tips - illustration

      Although not impossible it is more of a challenge to eat healthy when going to a fast food place. In general, avoiding items that are deep fried are your best bet. Healthier choices include sandwiches that can be loaded with vegetables. Limit the extras such as cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise. Eat at places that offer a variety of salads, soups, and vegetables to help maintain your best health.

      Fast food tips

      illustration

    • Fast food

      Fast food - illustration

      Fast foods are quick, reasonably priced, and readily available alternatives to home cooking. While convenient and economical for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt and may put people at risk for becoming overweight.

      Fast food

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Talking to your MD

       

        Self Care

         

        Tests for Fast food tips

         

           

          Review Date: 8/22/2016

          Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
          adam.com

           
           
           

           

           

          A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.



          Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.