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Fast food has always held an attraction for its taste and convenience. In today’s hectic world, more and more people are looking for a fast and convenient way to eat. Unfortunately, eating in the fast lane won’t do much for your diet efforts, which is why you should do your best to avoid take-outs. If you must indulge in fast food, follow this handy guide to make the healthiest choices.

BURGER BARS

When it comes to burgers, size counts. Order the smallest possible size. You should also forfeit the trimmings. Ask for the burger to be served on an unbuttered roll and without the mayonnaise and other creamy dressings. Instead, add a touch of ketchup. If the kitchen cannot comply, then scrape as much of the sauce off as you can. Skip the fries and onion rings: these are very high in fat. Don’t be misled into thinking that a fish burger is a healthier choice because the deep-fried crumbed coating boosts fat intake. Lastly, make sure that your soda is diet.

CHICKEN OUTLETS

Unfortunately, deep-fried chicken, coated chicken, and chicken nuggets are very high in fat and calories, so be careful. Flame-grilled chicken is a good choice, but be sure to remove the skin. Chicken burgers and pitas are fine, as long as they are grilled and served without the creamy, fat-laden sauces. Fries are a no-no. Opt for a side salad instead.

FISH AND CHIPS

The ever-popular fish and chips is a definite no-no. No matter how small the portion, the deep-fried fish and greasy chips are full of fat and calories. Stay clear.

CHINESE

When eating Chinese, it is always a good idea to try one of the Chinese soups. They are typically made of clear broth to which meat, fish, and vegetables are added, and these soups are relatively low in fat and calories. Stay away from dishes served with a batter, as these are usually fried. Sweet and sour dishes are also not a good choice for because they tend to be high in sugar. A good choice is stir-fried chicken, pork, or vegetables. Most Chinese dishes revolve around rice or noodles. Ask for steamed rice as an accompaniment to your meal. It is a good idea to order one main dish and share a portion of rice or noodles between two.

ITALIAN

Avoid creamy pasta toppings (such as carbonara or vongale). Instead, opt for tomato-based sauces, such as napoletana or arrabiata, and watch the parmesan cheese!

Pizzas can be a disaster for your waistline unless you make some well-informed choices. Pizzas can be overloaded with calories, depending on the size, type of base, and toppings. Choose a thin crust base. Vegetable toppings--such as tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, onions, green pepper, and pineapple--are easier on the waistline. Avoid salami, pepperoni, bacon, mince, and the tempting extra cheese option. If you can, ask for the kitchen to cut back on the cheese; you will be surprised how good a pizza can still taste with half the cheese.