Making the Most of That Fast Food Meal

TUESDAY, July 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- It can happen when you're traveling on business, running late to an appointment, or are simply running out of time to make dinner.

You're facing fast food or no food.

Use these tips to make the most of this meal.

Start by looking for the lowest calorie selections. Some restaurants list the calories and fat content on their menu board. If not, you can do a quick search of its website on your smartphone.

According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandates, 2018 is the year that calorie labeling is required for restaurants and similar food establishments that have 20 or more locations. The goal is to make it easy to know what you're getting in every menu item.

Of course, you don't necessarily want to choose food by calories alone. Go for lean proteins, like grilled chicken or meat that you can see, not hidden under breading or tucked into a sealed wrap. Have it on a salad rather than a bun, and skip fatty and sugary dressings. Instead, drizzle on oil and vinegar, if available, or use mustard.

If you're limited to a sandwich, opt for a whole-wheat wrap, or eat only half the bread. Add lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables, but stay away from toppings like cheese and special sauces.

If there's no fruit available, fat-free yogurt or frozen yogurt is a healthier sweet ending.

Two caveats:

  • Don't get trapped into supersized portions or meals that include soda and chips; ask for low-fat milk or water instead.
  • Resist the temptation to order and eat in your car. Walk inside the establishment -- you'll feel more satisfied if you take the time to enjoy your food.

More information

Learn more about the calorie labeling requirements put in place by the FDA, including how to interpret the way that calories will be listed.

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

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