Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: What to order if you have to eat fast food

Posted at 8:17 AM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 08:17:22-04

Most of us are pretty busy each day, whether it's running errands, picking up the kids, or working. And some days, a stop at the fast food drive thru is inevitable. And there are some options that are better for you than others.

A survey by Cleveland Clinic showed almost half of people get fast food at least once a week, and younger generations are doing this the most.

Julia Zumpano, a Registered Dietitian with Cleveland Clinic, said even foods that seem healthy on the drive thru menu typically aren't.

"Sometimes we can convince ourselves that some fast foods are healthy. There can be certainly choices that are more healthy than others. I wouldn't classify fast foods healthy by any means, but there are certainly choices that we can make that are definitely superior to others," Zumpano said.

She said fast food provides very little nutrition, and is mostly made up of processed ingredients, saturated fats, trans fats and salt. All those things are bad for your blood pressure and cholesterol. She said it's important to at least limit how much fast food you eat, or avoid it completely. In the business that life brings, if you do have to stop for fast food, Zumpano said don't order anything fried or breaded, and try to stick to grilled meats, salads, and soups.

"Depending on where you're going, if there's like more of a broth based soup, or a baked potato, or maybe even a chili, something more along the soup aspect where you're getting in maybe some vegetables, some leaner proteins, some beans, those would be another great way to go," she said.

She said to help you avoid fast food, buy frozen vegetables, salad kits, mixed greens, pre-cooked meats, beans, whole grain rice, or noodles. Those don't take long to make and are much healthier.