"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

Are there any healthy take away options?

Lisa Cutforth - Thursday, October 21, 2010

What are the healthy fast food options available out there at the generic chains?

Many of my clients appeal to me to give them some options for a "healthier" alternative at their favourite fast food joint or take away.  The reality is they express:  "Sometimes I am just in such a hurry or I just can't be bothered to cook and those flashing lights and clever marketing just call out to me, I am helpless!"  Getting a little image of the poor little moth that gets drawn in by the brightest light bulb, I felt some compassion rise up.  Sometimes it is hard to deny your nature and resist the urge for what may appear to be the most logical efficient solution, especially when you accompany those instincts and drives with the subliminal brainwashing of emotional cues that have you believing that this will make you happy and you just can't beat the feeling.

So, what's on the menu?  Well I challenged myself to pop into Red Rooster, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, Subway and Big Dad's Pies.

Some I was pleasantly surprised, so here is what I would do:

  1. Hey, if they do salads, that is the obvious choice.
  2. Choose grilled over fried and/or crumbed meat (chicken/fish/beef).  Trust me you just don't want your body to have to deal with the A.G.E.'s that tip the scale of the crumbed and deep fried and often uber processed meats. Not to mention trans fats. Both of these are SERIOUS ANTI-NUTRIENTS, so not only is your body not getting much real nutrition, it is also having to deal with a shot of heavy compounds it has to now process and deal with. 
  3. Hold the sauce, it scares me what they put in sauces these days: mayonnaise is not made from good old egg and oil in fast food joints, so rather leave it out.  Hold the cheese.  It is super processed and just plain nasty very often, with some of the above mentioned anti-nutrients lurking, I would urge you to resist the temptation of a cheese burger!
  4. Choose a wrap over a bun/burger and fries.
  5. They are very clever at making you think something is healthy when it may not be, you are going to have to outsmart them.  Don't just assume a wrap or something with a heart foundation tick is healthy.  It may be a healthier choice out of what's available on their menu but certainly if it is from a fast food outlet, moderation is the order of the day.
  6. Go vegetarian: when pushed and I have no other choice for example there isn't a salad on the menu and there isn't a vegetarian option, I have ordered a burger without the patty, which ends up being a bit like a salad roll:  beetroot, tomato, onion, gherkin and lettuce.  Which is not too bad, considering.  And, often the most unhealthy culprits on the menu are the processed meats and cheeses.  So for example if I was ordering a pizza I would get a thin crust vegetarian with chilli
  7. Try and get to the healthier fast food places more often where you know they have some better health options on the menu: for example, Sumo Salad, Subway.
Bon Appetit!
Let me know how you go on DO TELL LISA and DON'T TELL LISA

Recent Posts


nutritious healthy cooking parties natural alternatives to drugs sugar and adhd getting fit salad great second hand books low cholesterol what is movember fun recipies benefits of strength training, why you should strength train reducing coffee making time to relax life choices low calorie meal plan to know and not do is not yet to know motivation gift fruit brain health health pioneers fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys homocysteine comfort foods gluten intolerance best exercise breakfast Lisa's Diary relationship with food christmas cholesterol lowering diet taking a break 7 steps to detox is sugar bad Cancer recipes for allergies healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options blood pressure healthy cooking party dangers of multitasking while you eat avoiding a choice health for busy people go for 2 and 5 fruit and vegetable shortage recipe diet diary pop-eye and spinach weight loss benefits of sleeping wrong type of exercise, exercise and results make stress work for you empty your mind organic vegetables prostate cancer nutritionist dancing Alan Pease Sensational high cholesterol quick recipes how to love exercise comfort pig alzheimers love, loneliness leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut real food memory do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources how to get more of exercise I've Got Life happiness course Egg allergy heart foundation tick explained maintain a healthy weight, underweight how to be happy love food performance music what is a good breakfast libido overindulge should I eat organic veggies muffins I don't get hungry nutritionists diet diary life are grains healthy improve your memory sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas sexy salads heart disease nutritionist in brisbane focus delicious cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia childrens lunch boxes sensitivity to milk have fun in the kitchen trans fats 10 % principle mood healthy shopping lunch Nutritional Therapist breast cancer awareness 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart fussy eaters detox relax benefits to keeping a diet diary skip meals nutritious cooking food sensitivities allergies Nina Simone Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah Lactose intolerance strength simple 7 day detox plan sugar and add health with 10 % effort health one step at a time nutrition Add new tag stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress increasing energy healthy cooking demonstration reasons to eat foods in season anxiety healthy shopping list keep focused health indigestion assertiveness soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results new year's resolutions how to avoid injury during exercise comfort eating quizz cooking with allergies hunger and stress what is healthy food low calorie diet ways to improve prostate health time management and healthy living have more energy foods in season, seasonal recipes life lessons image soft drink and behaviour problems skipping meals cooking class in brisbane fresh happiness workshop diet diary of a nutritionist natural toothpaste energy food intolerances taking responsibility weightloss soft drink and behavior problems healthy fast food, healthy take away fresh start calorie controlled diet ability to respond quick eating solutions food allergies breast cancer prevention which is better for you butter or margarine ask my doctor herbal toothpaste mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo the power to choose corporate wellness are frozen veggies any good fatigue four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication immune system how to check your breasts weight sexy salad celebrate life the tummy beast success and you seasonal quick and tasty recipes addicted to chocolate dance drugfree alternatives control immune boosting tips support your body Happiness is chocolate bad for me feels good how to say no obesity Laughter and stress muscle wasting