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Quick picks for healthier ‘fast-food’ meals

Think fast. Big Mac or Boston Market chicken breast? If you pick up a considerable number of your meals without even getting out of your car, your answer could be meaningful. Making a savvy fast-food selection can make all the difference in the amount and type of calories you consume and their effect on your cardiovascular system.

For example, did you know that a McDonald’s Big Mac has 600 calories and 33 grams of fat—about half of what you’re supposed to have in an entire day? And that’s without adding any fries!

The next time you’re opting for a grab-and-go meal, remember that most fast-food restaurants post their nutritional information. So before you place your order, take a few moments to review the chart—and you just may reconsider supersizing your meal.

Here are additional tips to help ensure you don’t get more fat and calories than you bargained for:

  • Pick a fast-food restaurant with a varied menu. You’ll have more to choose from.
  • Boost the fruit and vegetable volume. Order a side salad or a baked potato with your meal; then enjoy an apple brought from home for dessert.
  • Toss your salad with a “lite” dressing or ask for packets of oil and vinegar; that way you won’t add unnecessary fat and calories to an otherwise healthy salad.
  • Order grilled burgers or chicken, which contain less fat than fried versions.
  • Instead of soda, try bottled water or sugarless iced tea (so you can control the amount of sweetener you add).
  • Go ahead, give in! Once in a while, it’s okay to indulge your craving for a slice of pizza with all the toppings. It may be just the thing to satisfy your urge to splurge.