Making Better Fast Food Choices: 5 Healthier Alternatives

This is a guest post written by Caroline Hill of AllTruckJobs.com.

Fast Food Graphic

It’s easy to preach healthy eating as THE solution to common health issues many in the trucking industry face like obesity and diabetes.  Unfortunately, it is pretty unrealistic (and very difficult) to completely avoid grabbing fast food on the run. After all, with the crazy schedules and frequent lack of other options, the only truly viable solution is to replace the bad stuff with some of the more sensible options. So if you have no other choice but to reach for the fast food, at least choose the most nutritious options. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the smartest menu options at some of the nation’s most popular restaurant chains:

McDonald’s

Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich

Calories          350
Total Fat         9g
Carbs             42g
Protein           28g
Sodium          820mg

Although the typical “go-to” healthy option is a salad, I would recommend ordering the grilled chicken classic sandwich instead at McDonald’s. It’s more filling, offers a good amount of protein, and is portable. Pair it with some fruit and a black coffee for a complete meal from Mickey D’s that you don’t have to feel guilty about.  In fact, you’ll be lovin’ it. 

Subway

Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki 6″ Sub

Calories          370
Total Fat         4.5g
Carbs             57g
Protein           25g
Sodium          770mg

For a great lunch option without sacrificing flavor, consider choosing the sweet onion teriyaki sub. Just choose the half-foot option! The fat content is extremely low and there’s no fat in the tasty sauce (oh, and definitely avoid buying that bag of chips or cookie in the checkout line). Hey, if that Jared guy can diet with Subway, why can’t you?

Burger King

Whopper Jr.

Calories          350
Total Fat         21g
Carbs             28g
Protein           12g
Sodium          640mg

A flame-broiled classic, the Whopper Jr. with cheese packs less than 400 calories. On the side you can also add a small salad and some juice. There’s no reason you can’t eat like a king every once and a while when you’re watching your eating. 

Starbucks

Tall Cafe Americano

Calories          15
Total Fat         0g
Carbs             3g
Protein           1g

Caffeine is a trucker’s best friend. But, believe it or not, all those fancy caffeinated beverages can add up in the calories. Instead of drinking up all that sugar and calories, stick to a classic like a tall caffé Americano—which is essentially just a plain black coffee in Starbucks language. Although in all honesty, there are way cheaper places to get that cup-o-joe fix anyway.

Taco Bell

Fresno Style Bean Burrito

Calories          330
Total Fat         7g
Carbs             39g
Protein           28g
Sodium          1,120mg

Thinking outside the bun? Try the fresno style bean burrito. It’s only 330 calories and can be a afternoon snack. But, with this item, you should still be cautious if you’re on a low-sodium diet.

General fast-food rules to live by:

  • Avoid fried sides (AKA fries and onion rings)
  • Don’t drink your calories (forego milkshakes, sugary coffee drinks, and soda)
  • Beware of condiments in calories! Adding that extra BBQ sauce can also add a bunch of hidden calories to your meal)

Being healthy can be difficult at time. But, one of the most important things you can do is plan for the best—-but prepare for the worst. So next time you find yourself with no other choice but to fuel your hunger with some drive-thru dinner—just think about it differently. Making smarter choices is easy and you don’t necessarily need to sacrifice time or energy to stick to your diet.

You can find some more healthy truck driver tips here