Monday, February 9, 2009

Ways to Make Fast Food Healthier

My Men's Health newsletter came today, and this one is really good!! (Stop laughing at the fact that I get Men's Health newsletter... it's only for this feature!)

Make a Burger Healthy
Burger King Whopper
680 calories
40 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fasts)
1,020 mg sodium

A hamburger smothered in the wrong sauce can instantly sabotage your meal—and your weight loss goals. At 160 calories a schmear, BK’s mayo is the worst in the fast food world. Replace it with barbecue sauce to instantly save 17 grams of fat. Ketchup and mustard are also better picks than mayo and secret sauces—no matter how “special” they may be.

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160 calories
17 g fat

Make Pizza Healthy
Pizza Hut Two Slices Supreme Pan Pizza (12’)
620 calories
32 g fat (12 g saturated fat)
1,440 mg sodium

The caloric-blow of pizza depends on two things: crust and toppings. Want to be thin? Always opt for thin crust. As for what to put on your pie, nix the pepperoni. Heavy on sodium and fat, just four pieces can add 108 calories to your Pizza Hut slice. Pick toppings like spinach, ham, and pineapple to not only cut calories and fat content in half, but also get hefty doses of vitamins and minerals that ward off cancer, heart disease and stroke.

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260 calories
20 g fat

Make a Salad Healthy
Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
800 calories
60 g fat (12 g saturated)
1,745 mg sodium

With that much fat, this is officially the worst salad from any fast-food chain. The dressing alone is loaded with a whopping 42.5 grams of the junk that goes straight to your trunk. This is a perfect example how the wrong dressing can turn a pile of fresh produce into a green monster. Ask for “light” or “fat-free” dressing to save this salad. And remember, heavy toppings such as crumbled cheese, greasy bacon, and pan-browned beef make the one-time rabbit food look more like pig slop. Vegetables and lean protein are the easiest way to guarantee your salad lives up to its reputation as a health food.

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425 calories
42.5 g fat

Make a Sandwich Healthy
Panera Sierra Turkey
840 calories
40 g fat

Turkey’s supposed to be good for you, but not when it’s slathered with a thick layer of chipotle mayo. To top it off, Panera slides the cold cuts between two oily slices of Asiago Cheese Foccacia bread (6 grams of fat per slice). When it comes to sandwiches, meats are rarely the problem: turkey, roast beef, and ham are all lean cuts. But bad breads and sauces can ruin otherwise healthy meals. Nix the mayo and choose whole-grain bread, instead.

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300 calories
30 g fat

Make a Burrito Healthy
Chipotle Steak Burrito
1,033 calories
40 g fat

Chipotle uses fresh ingredients, but until the chain downsizes its football-size burritos, it will still give you a linebacker's gut. If you refuse to give up your favorite lunchtime meal, have a backup plan: Split it with a friend or save half for dinner. Or lose the rice and tortilla and order a Chicken Burrito Bowl (complete with lettuce, black beans, green tomatillo salsa, and sour cream).

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570 calories
94 g carbs

Make a Breakfast Sandwich Healthy
Starbucks Classic Sausage, Egg, and Aged Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich
460 calories
25 g fat

When it comes to meat, bacon tops sausage and ham trumps them both. Replace the sausage with ham and you could save up to 500 calories a week. Starbucks has a ham version of this sandwich that weighs in at just 380 calories. Slash even more calories from you’re A.M. meal by opting for an English muffin, which, nutritionally speaking, will always beat out bagels, croissants, and biscuits.

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270 calories
12 g fat

Make Tuna Salad Healthy
Quiznos Regular Tuna Melt
1,270 calories
101 g fat (18 g saturated fat)
1,445 mg sodium

Tuna melt with mayo and cheese is a classic deli disaster. But Quiznos has really outdone itself with this one, making it the worst sandwich in America. As a rule of thumb, when you’re on the go, avoid all “melts.” They almost always involve a Swiss-mozzarella-mayo combo that racks up the fat content outta this world, taking it out of the running for ever entering the realm of healthy.

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805 calories
84.5 g fat

Make a Chicken Dinner Healthy
KFC Original Recipe chicken meal
460 calories
32 g fat

There's no secret recipe at KFC, just a fryer full of bubbling oil and a breaded, grease-infused two-piece combo (that is some yummy oil and breading though!!) that adds 160 calories and 15 grams of fat. Improve any chicken meal by simply ordering it skinless. It can save up to 200 calories and 17 grams of fat.

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200 calories
17 g fat

Make a Sweet Drink Healthy
Dunkin’ Donuts Large Tropical Fruit Smoothie
720 calories
142 g sugars

Dunkin’ makes it clear that even real fruit—especially if it’s been mixed with high-fructose corn syrup—can be unhealthy. This sickeningly sweet concoction has an ingredient list straight out of a chemistry lab and more sugar than seven Haagen-Dazs vanilla-and-almond ice-cream bars. Any medium (24 oz) fruit smoothie will pack at least 100 grams of sugar. Opt for flavored iced tea instead, and get your smoothie fix elsewhere.

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585 calories
113.5 g sugars

Make a Coffee Drink Healthy
Starbucks 2% Caffe Latte (Grande)with whipped cream
260 calories
14 g fat (4.5 saturated)

In the hierarchy of espresso drinks, lattes sit squarely at the bottom. That's because they're more milk than java and possibly huge pumps of sugary syrup thanks to eager-to-please baristas. A macchiato gives the same caffeine kick for a tiny fraction of the caloric cost by swapping out the excess steamed milk for a thick crown of frothed milk. It's a simple but meaningful switch for caffeine junkies looking for a healthier fix. Other quick ways to improve any morning brew: Ask for sugar-free syrups, nonfat milk, and always refuse the whipped cream—it adds 70 calories and 7 grams of fat!

Make These Swaps and Save:
70 calories
14 g fat

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