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The Best and Worst of Fast-Food

Not enough time, or not enough energy to prepare your lunches? Maybe you don’t like to cook? Many people now turn to fast-food, either for lunch time or supper after work. Is it absolutely impossible to find a healthy choice? No. Admittedly, choices are limited (especially within a weight loss context), but they do exist!

Generally speaking, if we replace the traditional French fries with a small salad, pay attention to the type of sauce added in the sandwich (avoid creamy sauces), and the amount of dressing on the salad (get the dressing on the side), leave out the fat condiments such as cheese, bacon, and onion rings, and choose water as beverage, we get a more balanced choice.

As you will see, there really are healthy choices even in fast-food restaurants (good choices). However, several choices combine fat, sodium, and sugar in excessive quantities (worst choices). There are also some which are borderline healthy, and thus deemed “acceptable”. To assess the value of a meal, the following criterion were used: less than 10 g of fats, a minimum of 15 g of proteins AND carbohydrates, and a maximum of 750 mg of sodium. Enough for a meal that’s filling, healthy, and quick!

Top et flop de la resto rapide_ENG

N.B. Some fast-foods do not provide nutritional information, even on their website (La Belle Province, Tiki-Ming, Basha), or the serving size had nothing to do with a realistic serving (Chop Crazy).

And voilà! Despite all this, preparing a homemade lunch is the best of the tasty options, and allows you to control fat, salt, and sugar intake!

By Caroline Proulx, Dt.P. Nutritionist

Caroline Proulx

Holder of a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from McGill University, and member of the Ordre Professionnel des Diététistes du Québec, Caroline has been working as a nutritionist for Nautilus Plus since January 2013. A seasoned marathon runner with a passion for cooking, she also animates conferences and motivation groups about nutrition! “As I have not always been a keen athlete, I am very proud of having completed a marathon, and also of preparing the next ones! For me, nutrition is not only the key to optimal performance, but also a medicine in itself. Therefore, my objective is to encourage people to change their habits if they need to and motivate them to never give up, but first and foremost, make them realize that eating healthy is a pleasure that we are lucky to enjoy three times a day!”

The Best and Worst of Fast-Food is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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