Fast Food: Making Healthier Choices

This topic itself sounds like a trick question, right?

Fast food and healthy food are two opposite ends of the spectrum, but life happens, and we sometimes find ourselves stuck with no other option than fast food joints.

And for travelers, this predicament is more common than you’d like to believe. Whether it is an early flight or stuck in a location where you can’t find anything to eat other than fast food.

So, what do you do then? Should you compromise your health? Is it even possible to choose healthy at a fast-food restaurant?

Looking for answers? Let’s dive deep into this!

Menu Surfing

Browse through the menu carefully of the fast-food restaurants and look for salads or other healthier options like grilled chicken sandwiches or wraps.

The terms you should be looking for are – fresh, baked, or grilled! Avoid fried food at fast food restaurants – at all costs!


Most of the fast-food restaurants have salads on their menu to save themselves and the customers from the guilt, or so it seems.

Choose leafy green salads, and say no to rich, creamy salad dressings. Even if you need a bit of dressing, ask it to be given separately. Also, don’t go for toppings like croutons, fried chicken strips, or bacon bits.

No Extras, Please!

These days, restaurants have a ton of extras that not only add extra flavor but also extra calories, sodium, and saturated fats.

Don’t go for extra cheese, bacon, mayo, toppings, or dressings if you’re really serious about mindful eating and making healthy choices at fast food restaurants.

More Veggies!

Having talked about extras in fast food restaurants, loading up on veggies won’t hurt for sure.

Fast food restaurants allow you to customize your meals, so whether it is a burger, sandwich, wrap, or taco, add extra tomato, onion, lettuce, spinach, etc., wherever possible.

And needless to say, vegetables are a good source of fiber, and your gut won’t curse you the next day.

Say No to Sugary Beverages

One of the biggest mistakes most people make when ordering at a fast-food joint is ordering a large sugary beverage alongside the meal.

Sugary beverages, thick, creamy, sugary shakes, and sodas can and should be totally avoided.

Choose water or unsweetened tea if you need something to wash down your meal!

Customizing Burgers

A burger is undoubtedly one of the most loved fast foods across the globe, and it packs a ton of calories along with all the flavors that are watering your mouth as you read this.

Burgers can be calorie-controlled if you order them right. Order a kid-size burger or a single burger always, and if possible, ask it to be wrapped around lettuce other than a bun. (Yes, it’s an option many people choose these days)

Try to go for the leanest option on the menu, or you may also choose a vegetarian option.

Fast Food Chicken Can Be Healthy?

No fast food can be 100% healthy, but you can work your way around it to make it as healthy as possible.

Chicken is one of the most consumed proteins in the fast food industry. When ordering at a fast-food joint, avoid fried chicken and, instead, go for grilled chicken.

Avoid using creamy sauces or mayo as dips, and use mustard instead.


First of all, ask yourself if you really need sides.

One of the most loved sides in the United States is French fries, commonly found at just about every restaurant or fast-food joint.

There are many better alternatives you can order instead as sides, like baked or mashed potato, yogurt, salad, beans, etc.

While avoiding sides such as French fries is your best bet, if you’re really craving it – go for the smallest portion.

Final Thoughts

It’s tricky to make healthier choices at fast food restaurants, but it’s not impossible.

However, be mindful of the fact that even the healthiest options at fast food restaurants can still be relatively unhealthy if had frequently.

Fast foods are overly processed and contain way more sodium, saturated fats, and calories than you need from one meal. When it comes to fast food, it’s all about taste and zilch about nutrition.

For travelers, using fast foods as a quick eat now and then is fine, but refrain from making it a habit out of the convenience it offers.

Knowing the above tips to make healthier choices at fast food joints will certainly help you indulge without guilt!