"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


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