Fast Foods Mythbusters
Although we don’t recommend people with diabetes eat at fast food restaurants, diabetics need to understand the caloric & carb value of the food we eat in fast food restaurants. Here are few tips on how to eat healthy in fast food restaurants.
1. Chicken nuggets = Protein
Chicken nuggets are a poor choice for diabetics looking to add protein to their diet. In fact, not only are chicken nuggets often fried and loaded with grease, but they also contain high amounts of corn starch when they are made at most fast food establishments.
Therefore, by eating chicken nuggets, you are overloading your system with saturated fat and you are taking in a product that your body cannot process (the body does not process corn starch, so it turns to fat.)
Instead of chicken nuggets, ask for a grilled chicken sandwich. Make sure to specify that you want grilled chicken rather than fried chicken. Remove the bread and other condiments from the sandwich and enjoy the chicken on its own.
Keep in mind that most fast food condiments, such as ketchup, are loaded with refined sugar, so avoided them and keep your blood sugar under your control.
2. Smoothies are always a healthy option
Not all smoothies are healthy. When it comes to creating a smoothie, there are a variety of recipes that restaurants follow. Some restaurants use sugar-rich powders and juices for flavor, whereas others use natural fruits and vegetables to make their smoothies vitamin-rich. Make sure that the ingredients are all natural when you order a smoothie…and that the recipe doesn’t include sugar; fruit is sweet enough.
Some restaurants give you the option of adding protein powder to your smoothie, which may help to satiate you for longer. Keep in mind that the protein powder that they use is generally dairy-based, which should be avoided by folks who are lactose intolerant. However, protein in general can help you feel fuller longer than fruit alone.
3. Salads are a sure-fire healthy meal.
Beware of the dressing and extras. Salads are generally a safe alternative to many other fast food options, such as burgers and fries. However, it is important that you are aware of what comes with the salad. For example, a simple pack of salad dressing can add up to 400 calories and countless grams of fat to what would otherwise be a healthy meal.
Also, be careful about eating the “extras” that may come with your salad, such as croutons. Croutons are basically thickly-buttered pieces of bread that are baked until they harden. What might seem like a little bite of something crunchy can add up to be several pieces of buttered bread in no time.