Fast Food Facts

It isn’t always easy to eat healthy, home-cooked meals every day. Our busy lifestyles frequently require that we eat on the run. This is especially true during the holiday season when we have social commitments like parties and family gatherings. Many Americans who work in an urban setting may choose fast food for their lunch because most fast food restaurants are conveniently located and the prices are usually cheap. Unfortunately most fast fast food and some sit-down family style restaurants offer food choices that are high in fat, sugar, salt and carbohydrates. Add a sugary soda and you can consume almost a day’s worth of calories on your lunch break, but you won’t get all the nutrition your body needs. 
If you typically have a sandwich for lunch, select a restaurant that offers deli-style foods that can be made to order. Some fast food sandwich chain restaurants offer submarine sandwiches on whole wheat bread or low-fat whole wheat bread wraps. Avoid the cheese and mayonnaise because these add extra calories, fat, sodium and sugars. Skip the French fries and onion rings. Opt for a side salad with no dressing or a low-fat dressing. 
Photo Credit: Public Domain US Government
Grilled sandwich meats are less fatty than fried foods. Choose a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a cheeseburger. Be careful not to undermine the grilled food choice by loading the sandwich with cheese, special sauces and mayonnaise. Choose a whole wheat bun if it is available. Select mustard over mayonnaise for extra flavor without all the added calories and fat.
Many supermarkets in America offer fresh foods, peeled, sliced, cut, cooked and placed in convenient containers ready to eat. Supermarkets offer washed and cut fresh vegetables and fruits as well as lean meats and cheeses. The deli section in supermarkets is a great place to find prepared lunch foods. Some supermarket prepare single serving fresh salads, fruit cups, wrap sandwiches, sushi and lean meat sandwiches.
For more information about calories, sugar and fat content of popular fast foods see:

WebMD, MedicineNet, Fast Food Sandwiches Picture Slideshow: Good and Bad Choices for Your Diet, Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on August 29, 2011

America’s Healthiest, America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants, Tracy Minkin, et al. February 2009

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