Let’s face it, you can hardly drive for five minutes without passing a fast food restaurant of some kind. Sure, they’re a convenient way to grab a quick meal on a busy day full of appointments and errands. However, much of the food they serve isn’t as healthy as what family caregivers can prepare for their senior family members at home. It is possible, though, to make smarter, healthier choices at fast food restaurants. Here are a few tips to help.
Look for the Heart-Check Mark.
The American Heart Association’s heart-check mark program can help caregivers make healthier choices at restaurants. If you see the red and white heart-check mark on the menu, that food option has met the criteria set by the American Heart Association to be considered a heart healthy food.
Look at Nutritional Information.
Some fast food restaurants make nutritional information available to their customers. If they do, take the time to look the information over. Doing this just a few times can make ordering faster in the future since you’ll already know which foods are healthier. Look for calorie content, salt, sugars, and unhealthy fats.
Order Smaller Portions.
Those super-sized portions might seem like a good deal. And, while they might be good for your wallet, they aren’t so good for health. The bigger the portion, the more salt, fat, and sugar. Instead, choose smaller, healthier sized portions.
Pay Attention to Condiments.
Some condiments are healthier than others, so be careful about what is put on that burger. Avoid condiments that contain a lot of fat and calories, like mayonnaise and ranch sauce. Instead, opt for a little ketchup, mustard, or barbecue sauce. Remember, though, that those can be high in sodium, so be conscious of sodium intake as well.
Pick Healthier Sides.
Lots of fast food restaurants are offering healthier sides these days. Instead of salty, fat-filled fries, choose a salad or fruit instead. If you pick a salad, remember to choose a low-fat dressing, too.
Pay Attention to Drink Choices.
It’s easy to forget that the calories in drinks count, too. Instead of sugar-filled, high calorie sodas, opt for healthier drink options. Unsweetened tea or diet soda is a better option than regular soda.
Choose Grilled Items.
Foods that are fried contain more fat than grilled options. So, if the restaurant offers grilled chicken or crispy fried chicken, go for the grilled chicken.
As a family caregiver, one of your many responsibilities is keeping your senior family member as healthy as possible. Making good food choices, both at home and in restaurants, is an important part of overall health. Even fast food can be healthier when you take the time to make good choices.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional caregiver services in Pelham, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.
They have three teenage children and are actively involved in their church and community – both teach high school Sunday school while Dennis coaches youth sports and Kelly leads a women’s Bible study. Dennis & Kelly personally manage the daily activities of the company.
It is their passion and commitment to providing quality and responsive service that has made their company the fastest growing home care agency in Birmingham.
They believe that being an independently owned and operated company gives them the flexibility to manage their business in a way that better serves their clients.
They understand you have a choice in care providers and they will do their utmost to earn your trust.
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