Life in the Fast Food Lane

Are you living in the fast lane?

Living on fast food? What's your excuse?

  • Can't cook
  • Don't like to cook
  • Don't like to clean up
  • Don't have time
  • Not worth the effort "just for me"

A fast food diet fits into healthy eating if

  • it is part of one or all of the basic food groups
    • 2-3 servings of milk or dairy products
    • 6-11 servings of breads cereals/grains
    • 2-4 servings of fruits
    • 3-5 servings of vegetables
    • 2 servings of meat or meat substitutes to equal six ounces
  • it allows you to keep these nutrients low in the diet
    • sugars
    • fat, especially saturated fat
    • salt
    • calories
  • it allows you to choose fewer calories and more nutrients

Take a new turn to healthy foods.

Reduce fats, saturated fats and cholesterol

  • Choose plain burgers and beef sandwiches; leave off the sauce, mayonnaise, cheese and bacon
  • Avoid fried foods--fish, french fries, onion rings, etc.
  • Select broiled or poached instead of fried
  • Drink water, regular or diet pop, tea, coffee or lowfat milk
  • Order your tacos or taco salads on a plain (soft) tortilla
  • Skip croissants and biscuits
  • Eat raw veggies and green salads without dressing
  • Choose small portions
  • Skip dessert
  • Avoid coffee "whiteners"

Limit sugar

  • Use less ketchup, pickle relish, jelly, honey, BBQ sauce, etc.
  • Avoid gelatin salads
  • Avoid sweetened fruits at the salad bar--use fresh fruit instead
  • Avoid sweetened soft drinks and shakes--ask for milk, water, tea or coffee
  • Skip sweet desserts

Yield to the right choices.

Limit sodium

  • No pickles
  • Limit salad dressings--use a lemon wedge instead
  • Some diet pops have sodium, others don't--ask
  • Avoid restructured poultry and meat (chicken nuggets, some roast beef)
  • Limit sausage, ham, bacon and biscuits
  • Ask for fries without salt
  • Use salt sparingly
  • Limit cheese

Increase fiber

  • Choose fresh vegetables and fruits at the salad bar
  • Select sandwiches with tomatoes and lettuce
  • Choose whole grain or multi-grain buns
  • Eat baked potatoes and the skins--go easy on the toppings
  • Choose foods which include dry beans-- burritos, chili, salad bar toppings

Start In This Lane.

Tips to help out

  • Breakfasts can be eaten out or at home.
  • Weekday lunches and weekend dinners are eaten out.
  • Other meals are a combination of quick cooking ideas and frozen dinners plus supplemental foods (fresh, frozen, canned and deli)
  • Menus may not reflect number of pieces, slices etc. to be eaten

Source:  Ohio State University Extension Service