On June 18, we taught our second quarterly nutrition seminar, hosted by Beyond Housing, Fast Food the Healthy Way! Joy Millner and guest instructor Jessi Baker taught attendees how to make healthy choices when eating at fast food restaurants.
While it’s not healthy to eat fast food all the time, in a pinch sometimes it is our only option. We recommend that you limit yourself to eating fast food only once or twice per month. However, even then, it’s important to know about the foods that you are putting into your body. Eating at these restaurants more frequently makes it even more important to learn how to make healthy choices at fast food restaurants. The more informed you are, the better food choices you can make!
The first thing that we discussed was basic nutrition. Before you start looking at nutrition of fast food restaurants, you need to have a basic understand of nutrition in general. We started out by reviewing nutrition labels, and pointing out what to look for. It is important to note the serving size and calories on a nutrition label. However, people sometimes forget to look at the other nutrients! Basing our numbers on the standard recommended 2,000 calorie diet, we provided some recommendations for daily levels of the most important nutrients.
After understanding nutrition labels, we reviewed serving sizes. It’s a well known fact that fast food restaurants serve meals that are much larger than the average person should be eating. Also, most fast food places, especially Panda Express and Chipotle, serve you heaping scoops. It’s important to keep this in mind while looking at the nutrition facts above, since they represent the nutrition facts for only one scoop, when in actuality you are eating more.
Next, we looked at nutrition information from a variety of popular fast food restaurants, including McDonalds, Chipotle, Pizza Hut, Panda Express, Subway, and Taco Bell. Looking at the meals in depth before you know to these fast food restaurants helps you make smarter, healthier choices. We even provided a few tips to make meals healthier at each of these fast food places. One tip for all fast food places – don’t forget about your drink! The larger sizes of fountain drinks at fast food restaurants are packed full of empty calories and an unbelievable amount of sugar.
Learning about the nutrition value and planning ahead are the keys to making sure you can eat fast food the healthy way! After learning a basic understand of nutrition information you can start to gauge which foods will be healthier choices at your favorite restaurants.
Don’t miss our next seminar! We will be hosting our third quarter Beyond Housing Nutrition Seminar on September 17, 2016 from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Learn more by visiting our Nutrition Seminars page!