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Heart Healthy Fast Food Choices?

Posted Mar 07 2009 3:46pm

Fast food is convenient and inexpensive.  But can you eat healthy meals at the fast food chains? What if you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight?

McDonald’s Big Mac Value Meal can be very tempting – you get lots of food and it doesn’t cost a lot. But let’s consider the cost to your health 1,220 calories 58 grams of total fat and 1,310 mg of sodium. Can your body afford that??

We all like our occasional burger (remember moderation is key). So what are the healthier alternatives when eating fast food…

Let’s start with Hamburgers:

-select a single patty or junior size (even kid’s portion)

-skip the cheese, mayo and special sauces

-add as much lettuce, tomato and onions as you like

 

What about those Chicken Sandwiches or Nuggets:

-select baked, broiled or grilled chicken

-again skip the cheese, mayo or special sauces

-pile on the lettuce, tomato and onions

-skip those chicken nuggets (contain lots of trans fat – you can almost hear your arteries clogging while you eat them)

 

How about Fish Selections:

-fish is definitely heart healthy but NOT when it’s fried (I know it tastes good but you lose all the heart healthy benefits when you fry fish)

-avoid tartar sauce and cheese

 

Now let’s look at Subs and Deli Sandwiches:

Subway has commercials talking about how healthy their subs are and how people have lost weight eating there. Well if you make the appropriate choices that may be true but they also have some sandwiches you need to avoid. The Subway 6 inch meatball sub has 530 calories and 26 grams of fat.

-ask for lower fat and/or lower sodium meats

-skip the cheese and mayo

-use vinegar and salt free seasonings

-load your sandwich up with the veggies

 

Last but not least are the Salads:

Not all salads are heart healthy –if you eat vegetables but then smother them with high fat toppings you lose the nutritional benefits.

-select lots of different vegetables to put on top of your lettuce (remember veggies come in all different colors, your salad should not be just green)

-avoid the bacon bits, cheese and creamy toppings

-use light or low fat, low sodium salad dressings

 

Avoid the empty calories and liquid sugar sodas – or if you are going to get a soda order the small size.

And last but not least always remember your portion sizes – avoid those super sized meals.

 

With this economic crisis it can be expensive to take your family out for dinner so if you go to the fast food chains remember you can make some heart healthy selections.

For more heart healthy nutritional info visitwww.heart-strong.comalso our new book “Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” lists lots of other heart healthy nutritional advice.

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