In a perfect world, we’d eat delicious, healthy homemade dishes at every meal. But with school starting up again and Americans working longer hours these days, fast food seems more appealing than ever. The only problem? Fast food doesn’t usually align with a healthy lifestyle. So, how can you do drive-thru and still reach your health goals? Keep reading for our top tips and favorite diabetes-friendly menu items.
Fast Food Fast Hacks
A few things to remember when you pull up to your fast food joint of choice:
- It’s important to pick options that fit the guidelines for a complete meal.
- Supplement fast food options with fresh fruit or whole grain crackers from home to help regulate blood sugar and save a bit of money!
- Meals should have 30-60 grams of carbohydrates, and your daily intake of sodium needs to stay below 2300mg.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
This delicious sandwich has 320 calories, 41g of carbohydrates, and 820mg of sodium. Add some tasty crunch by asking for extra lettuce and tomato.
Grilled Chicken Nuggets
These bite-sized pieces of yum are a great option on a day when you have some fruit from home to supplement your meal, or add a Chick-fil-A side salad to your order. An 8-count serving of grilled chicken nuggets has 25g of protein and 130 calories with 440mg of sodium.
Need some extra flavor? Opt for the Honey Mustard Sauce with 150mg of sodium and 11g of carbohydrates or Barbeque Sauce for 190mg of sodium and 10g of carbohydrates. Remember to limit yourself to one packet!
Small Chili & Side Salad
Enjoy this combination at Wendy’s and make sure to choose low fat dressing for a meal with 330 calories, 22g of carbohydrates, and 1215mg of sodium.
Spinach Feta Egg White Wrap
This whole wheat flavorful wrap is a great on-the-go breakfast option with 290 calories, 20g of protein, 34g of carbohydrates, and 840mg of sodium.
Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon & Egg White Sandwich
A healthy breakfast is important, and this sandwich makes a hearty choice for 230 calories, 26g of carbohydrates, 17g of protein, and 550mg of sodium.
Coffee & Tea
Starbucks means coffee, right? Your best bet for a quick caffeine fix is an Americano, cold brew coffee or tea to avoid excess simple sugars. Click here for even more healthy drink ideas!
Chicken Power Menu Bowl
With a few modifications, this bowl is a good option for a protein-packed dinner. Order this meal as-is for 50g of carbohydrates, or request they go ‘light’ on the rice to drop the carbohydrate count to 33g.
You can also ask for no rice, shredded chicken instead of grilled, and extra black beans to reduce the sodium content from 1200mg to 940mg with 24g of carbohydrates. Want more options? Skip the cheddar cheese to knock off another 100mg of sodium!
Life gets busy – it’s okay to lean on quick and convenient options from time to time. But if you’ve got to do drive-thru, be prepared! Remember your health goals and order items that will help you reach them. What are your favorite fast-food health hacks? Share them in the comments below!