We've all been there – you are in a rush and your stomach is growling. What do you do? Hit a fast food line. It's not the healthiest option but doing so doesn't mean you have to completely blow it.
Mom of two and vegetarian Elizabeth Vanderkamp usually tries to keep her family's meals healthy. But even she can't always avoid the draw of the drive thru.
"Time, I'll say time unfortunately. And unfortunately laziness. I have two little girls. It's just easier," Vanderkamp said.
Dietitian Lindsey Lee there are better choices we can make if time forces us to pick what's fast.
"Fast food restaurants have made it easier to make healthier choices. Most recently providing us with nutrition information online," Lee said.
Lee says if a computer is not around there are plenty of smart phone apps that can also help you out.
"That can be a great tool when in the drive thru," Lee said.
How about things to avoid? Lee says for salads, leave off the fatty dressings, croutons and sweetened berries like dried cranberries. As for sandwiches, make sure you know what is on your bread. It's not just mayonnaise you have to look out for.
"They'll butter each side of the bread. You can ask for it not to be butter and save a significant amount of calories," Lee said.
Lee says the main goal of each meal is to get the most food for the least amount of calories. That can be hard with fast food. She says to keep the calorie count down you must cut your portions which won't keep you full for long. She suggests bringing along your own fiber rich, more filling sides and then buying your main food item from the fast food restaurant.
Here are some of Lee's better meal suggestions for three fast food restaurants:
McDonalds – A grilled chicken sandwich with no bun, apple slices and water.
Subway – A sandwich with the least amount of bread and piled high with vegetables. Choose lean meat like turkey or chicken breast. Also a salad with a low fat dressing.
Taco Bell – A few items off the Fresco Menu will work like the Fresco Crunchy Taco.
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