RD Fast Food Orders: McDonalds Edition
Welcome to my first edition of #fastfoodorders, where I share what a dietitian would order at a popular fast food chain, highlighting that all foods fit in a healthy lifestyle.
Sometimes life throws a curveball at us, and we don't have the luxury to have pre-planned, homemade meals, and GASP, even dietitians eat at fast food restaurants.
This week, it's all about the golden arches of McDonalds. Bet you weren't expecting that one.
I'm not going to lie, I'm into McDonald's coffee. I already appreciate their toilet facilities for my pea sized bladder. While it's not a usual stop for a meal, I have been known to enjoy a menu item or two.
McDonald's isn't quite as customizable as Chipotle, so options can't be tailored to meet all your needs, BUT since they rolled out an all day breakfast, they do have some better options all day.
I'm not talking about quality or farming practices, because in reality, not all of us have the privilege of voting with our time or dollars in that issue. This is solely for the purpose of sharing what I would do, as a human and nutrition professional, when time isn't on my side..
Egg McMuffin - No meat, optional cheese, all day
This is my go-to. I know I'm getting around 250-300 calories, and have removed the processed meat (sodium! saturated fat!) also, pork). I'm getting protein from my egg, and carbs from my english muffin. Sometimes I go crazy and ask for a double egg.
I always ask for apple slices as a side (unless I've got my own apple with me), because... fruit.
If you're a meat eater:
You are better off with a single hamburger or a grilled chicken sandwich. There's no need to stack patties or get crazy with toppings. You can ask them to hold the mayo to cut back on added fat and calories.
Thinking about salad?
Some of the salads can be heavier than the sandwiches - be sure to use the dressing sparingly, and decide if you want to. add in all the cheese, bacon, and tortilla chips... or add half their serving in! Also, choose the salad with the grilled meat over crispy.
If you want fries:
Ask for unsalted fries (they're fresher anyways!)
Forget the fountain drinks, and fill up with water.
Craving something sweet?
Opt for a kiddie cone, it's the perfect amount to satiate your craving.
At the end of the day, the occasional fast-food meal won't derail your otherwise nutritious lifestyle, but don't make it a habit. Make sure that the rest of your day is filled with lean proteins, lots of vegetables and whole grains.
Lastly, make an effort to eat your fast-food sitting down at a table instead of in the car or while on the go - take the time to eat mindfully without distractions, chew properly and enjoy your meal.