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Whole Grain Benefits

Healthy Food at McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, and More



Fast food is quick, convenient, and sometimes necessary when life gets busy or you are on the go and don’t have many options. When we think of fast food, we think “unhealthy” – but it really doesn’t have to be.

“When choosing items in fast food restaurants, always look for non-fried options, whole grains, and at least one vegetable,” she says Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, registered nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet. “But when all else fails, remember that there is never a good reason to be super-sized – you are wrong on the small side!”

If you’re looking to make healthier choices as you pass through, there are a few things to keep in mind out loud Dr. Amy Lee, MD, Obesity doctor and nutritionist for Nuzific:

  1. Avoid the fried and choose the grilled options. That way you save some calories for more options.
  2. You don’t have to oversize anything. Today’s food industry has brainwashed us into a new normal size, often twice the size of a normal serving.
  3. Hold the sauce! Sometimes the amount of sauces added to a sandwich can add up in calories; They are also made with sugar and fat, which are bulking calories.
  4. You need to order the fries or tater tots as a side dish as they are high in carbohydrates and fat.

But you don’t have to rob yourself completely either.

“As a registered nutritionist and personal chef, I encourage people to start with something they like and then change from there,” says Bernstein Pankonin, MS, RD, LMNT, registered nutritionist and founder of The Stirlist. If you can find products that taste great and offer nutritional benefits, such as fiber and protein with minimal sodium content, this is a really good place to start. “

Would you like more details? Here are 19 of the healthiest fast food orders, according to nutritionists.

Healthy fast food options

At Mcdonalds…

McDonald’s fruit and maple oatmeal

“At 320 calories you get 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and you can save 30 calories by leaving out the sugar. Incredibly delicious and nutritious fast pick, ”says Sylvia Klinger, DBA, MS, RD, registered nutritionist and owner of and Hispanic food communication.

Diet: 320 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 64 g carbohydrates, 31 g sugar, 6 g protein

McDonald’s scrambled eggs

“I don’t like cookies and English muffins that much, but I love eggs so much. I would just order scrambled eggs from the menu and they are happy to do that, ”says Dr. Lee. “Sometimes when I’m feeling adventurous I would use 1-2 packs of their hot spicy salsa. This is a great way to get extra protein and good fats without extra carbohydrates and fat from bread, sauces, etc. ”

Diet: 140 calories, 9 g fat, 3.5 g satellite fat, 1 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 13 g protein

Scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast

At the subway …

Subway’s Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich

“It’s packed with vegetables, fiber, and proteinthe perfect combination to stay full for hours, ”says Gans.

Diet: 270 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 41 g carbohydrates, 8 g sugar, 21 g protein

Subway Veggie Delite

“The 6-inch Veggie Delight only has 200 calories and 2 grams of fat and 5 grams of fat without adding the cheese or spices,” says Klinger. “Double the vegetables – lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and green peppers and ask for the whole grain bread.”

Diet: 190 calories, 2 g fat, 0.5 g satellite fat, 39 g carbohydrates, 6 g sugar, 9 g protein

Subway Turkey Breast Sandwich

“This is really a decent lunch, and you can save more calories by minimizing the sauces and cheese,” says Dr. Lee. “It also has a good amount of fiber from the vegetables and wheat bread. “

Nutrition: 250 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0.5 g satellite fat, 41 g carbohydrates, 7 g sugar, 20 g protein

At Chick-Fil-A …

Chick-Fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich

“Some of the calories come from the sauce, so hold on to the sauce and you get a good amount of lean protein plus a little veggies,” says Dr. Lee.

Nutrition: 320 calories, 6g fat, 1g satellite fat, 41g carbohydrates, 9g sugar, 28g protein

Grilled chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A

“You can get 12 of these nuggets for just 200 calories, which leaves room for a little more. For example, a fruit cup or a side salad OR even those waffle and potato fries that really catch your eye, ”says Gans.

Diet: 200 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 38 g protein

Chick-Fil-A egg white grill

“This breakfast sandwich only contains 290 calories, 8 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbohydrates and 26 grams of protein. The combination of grilled chicken and egg white provides high quality protein and makes for a very filling breakfast. A high protein breakfast can keep you full until the afternoon, which can help with weight management and maintain muscle mass, ”says Pankonin.

Diet: 290 calories, 8 g fat, 3.5 g satellite fat, 30 g carbohydrates, 2 g sugar, 26 g protein

At Taco Bell …

Taco Bell Vegetable Power Bowl

“The Power Bowl options at Taco Bell are delicious and satisfying! For vegetarians, finding healthy alternatives in fast food restaurants can be a big challenge, which is why I always recommend Taco Bell. The Veggie Power Bowl at Taco Bell contains 430 calories, 10 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein. With so much fiber and vegetable protein, this is a very tasty and filling option for lunch or dinner, especially if you are a vegetarian, ”says Pankonin.

Nutrition: 430 calories, 17g fat, 5g satellite fat, 57g carbohydrates, 2g sugar, 12g protein

Taco Bell Bean Burrito

“This bean burrito is a delicious, filling meal with 350 calories, 11 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein. And if that’s not enough, it only has 9 grams of fat! A real pleasure, ”says Klinger.

Diet: 350 calories, 9 g fat, 3.5 g satellite fat, 54 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar, 13 g protein

At Panera …

Panera’s avocado, egg white and spinach breakfast sandwich

“This sandwich doesn’t disappoint. Not only is it delicious, it also contains vegetables, whole grains and heart-healthy fats from the avocado, ”says Gans.

Diet: 360 calories, 14 g fat, 6 g satellite fat, 39 g carbohydrates, 5 g sugar, 19 g protein

Panera strawberry and poppy seed salad with chicken

“The first thing that appeals to me about this salad is its size. We eat with our eyes, so this salad is visually beautiful and looks really appetizing. This salad only contains 360 calories, 15 grams of fat, 480 mg of sodium, 8 grams of fiber, 34 grams of carbohydrates, and 28 grams of protein. I also love that it’s high in protein and provides 8 grams of fiber. Most fast food salad options can have a high amount of sodium due to the salad dressing, but this salad only contains 480 mg of sodium, making it a great option for those who are careful about their sodium intake, ”says Pankonin.

Diet: 360 calories, 15 g fat, 2 g satellite fat, 34 g carbohydrates, 23 g sugar, 28 g protein

At El Pollo Loco …

El Pollo Loco Double Protein Avocado Chicken Fit Bowl

It’s a big bowl full of protein with fresh salsa ingredients, says Dr. Lee. “Super diet-friendly with cauliflower rice and fresh avocado.”

Nutrition: 390 calories, 16 g fat, 7 g satellite fat, 15 g carbohydrates, 5 g sugar, 51 g protein

At Starbucks …

Starbucks Protein Box with grilled chicken and hummus

“With a Starbucks on every corner, this is a convenient and quick lunch option that only has 300 calories, 9 grams of fat, 7 grams of fiber, and 22 grams of protein. I love the combination of grilled chicken and hummus paired with fresh vegetables. This supplies plant and animal protein as well as iron from plant and animal sources, ”says Pankonin.

Diet: 300 calories, 9 g fat, 2 g satellite fat, 32 g carbohydrates, 6 g sugar, 22 g protein

Related: Best Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks

NEW YORK - AUGUST 5: Beverage cups with the Starbucks Coffee logo can be seen in the new flagship store on 42nd Street August 5, 2003 in New York City.  The Seattle-based coffee company has grown to become the largest grocery chain in the Manhattan borough of New York with 150 branches.  (Photo by Stephen Chernin / Getty Images) NEW YORK – AUGUST 5: Beverage cups with the Starbucks Coffee logo can be seen in the new flagship store on 42nd Street August 5, 2003 in New York City. The Seattle-based coffee company has grown to become the largest grocery chain in the Manhattan borough of New York with 150 branches. (Photo by Stephen Chernin / Getty Images)

At Chipotle …

Chipotle Vegetable Burrito Bowl

“My favorite bowl starts with Sofritas – a perfectly seasoned soy-based vegetable meat. Then I add my favorite black beans and coriander-lime-cauliflower rice, garnished with fresh tomato salsa and salad – all for 350 calories and 19 grams of protein, ”says Klinger.

Diet: 350 calories, 12.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 43 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugar, 19 g protein

Related: 18 Best Copycat Chipotle Recipes

At Wendy’s …

Wendy’s grilled chicken sandwich

“Many fast food sandwiches contain over 1,000 mg of sodium, but this sandwich has 850 mg,” says Gans. “It also offers a whopping 33 grams of protein for those looking for a higher-protein option for lunch or dinner.”

Diet: 350 calories, 8 g fat, 1.5 g satellite fat, 35 g carbohydrates, 7 g sugar, 33 g protein

Related: How To Eat Keto At Taco Bell


IHOP protein and vegetable omelette

“This filling and delicious menu item is filled with vegetables, topped with avocados and tomatoes and served with a small fruit bowl – all for 330 calories and 29 grams of protein!” Says Klinger.

Diet: 330 calories, 20 g fat, 6 g satellite fat, 13 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar, 28 g protein

At Long John Silver …

Long John Silver’s Grilled Salmon Plate

“It’s not common to find fish, let alone grilled fish, in fast food. But this option can be very beneficial and gives you a lot more control over your food, ”says Dr. Lee. “Order the grilled fish with salads and you will definitely get all of your fiber as well as good fats and proteins.”

Nutrition: 250 calories, 15g fat, 3g satellite fat, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar, 27g protein

At Culver …

Culvers Butterburger “The Original”

“The single butter burger contains only 390 calories, 17 grams of fat, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of protein and only 480 mg of sodium. For those watching sodium intake due to high blood pressure, this is a great option when you’re in the mood for a burger, ”says Pankonin.

Diet: 390 calories, 17 g fat, 7 g satellite fat, 38 g carbohydrates, 6 g sugar, 20 g protein

Next, here are the top Whole30 approved fast food options.


  • Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, Registered Nutritionist and Author of The Small Change Diet
  • Dr. Amy Lee, MD, Obesity doctor and nutritionist for Nuzific
  • Bernstein Pankonin, MS, RD, LMNT, registered nutritionist and founder of The Stirlist
  • Sylvia Klinger, DBA, MS, RD, registered nutritionist and owner of and Hispanic food communication
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Whole Grain Benefits

Can a Low-Carb Diet Help Your Heart Health?



Instead, the researchers designed what they considered to be a practicable and relatively healthy diet for each group. All participants ate meals such as vegetable omelets, chicken burritos with black beans, spiced London broil, vegetarian chili, cauliflower soup, roasted lentil salads, and grilled salmon. But the high-carb group also ate foods like whole grain bread, brown rice, English multigrain muffins, strawberry jam, pasta, skimmed milk, and vanilla yogurt. The low-carb group avoided bread, rice and fruit spreads as well as sugary yoghurts. Instead, their meals contained more high-fat ingredients like whole milk, cream, butter, guacamole, olive oil, almonds, peanuts, pecans and macadamias, and soft cheese.

After five months, people on a low-carb diet did not experience any adverse changes in their cholesterol levels, even though they obtained 21 percent of their daily calories from saturated fat. That amount is more than double what the federal government’s nutritional guidelines recommend. For example, their LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad variety, stayed about the same as those on a high-carbohydrate diet that got just 7 percent of their daily calories from saturated fat. Tests also showed that the low-carb group had about a 15 percent reduction in lipoprotein levels (a), a fat particle in the blood that has been strongly linked to developing heart disease and stroke.

The low-carb group also saw improvements in metabolic measures related to the development of type 2 diabetes. Researchers rated their lipoprotein insulin resistance scores, or LPIR, a measure of insulin resistance that looks at the size and concentration of cholesterol-carrying molecules in the blood. Large studies have shown that people with high LPIR levels are more likely to develop diabetes. In the new study, people on a low-carb diet saw their LPIR levels decrease by about 5 percent – reducing their risk of diabetes – while those on a high-carb diet increased slightly. People on a moderate carbohydrate diet had no change in their LPIR values.

The low-carb group also had other improvements. They had a drop in their triglycerides, a type of fat in their blood that has been linked to heart attacks and strokes. And they had elevated levels of adiponectin, a hormone that helps lower inflammation and make cells more sensitive to insulin, which is a good thing. High levels of body-wide inflammation have been linked to a number of age-related diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.

The low-carb diet used in the study largely eliminated highly processed and sugary foods, but still left room for “high quality” carbohydrates from whole fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes and other plants, said Dr. David Ludwig, author of the study and an endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School. “It’s mainly focused on eliminating the processed carbohydrates that many people are now realizing to be among the least healthy aspects of our food supply,” said Dr. Ludwig, co-director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Ludwig emphasized that the results do not apply to the very low carbohydrate levels typical of ketogenic diets, which have been shown to lead to large increases in LDL cholesterol in some people. But he said the study shows that people can get metabolic and cardiovascular benefits by replacing the processed carbohydrates in their diet with fat, including saturated fat, without worsening their cholesterol levels.

The new study cost $ 12 million and was largely funded by the Nutrition Science Initiative, a nonprofit research group. It was also supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the New Balance Foundation, and others.

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Whole Grain Benefits

5 Breakfast Myths That You Could Be Messing With Your Morning Meal



Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, at least that’s what our parents always told us. But how do we know which breakfast dish suits us best? Whether it’s too much sugar or too little nutrients, many breakfast options depend on nutritional myths. And these myths can do more harm than good when it comes to your morning meal.

We met with the molecular nutritionist Dr. Emma Beckett, who shattered some great breakfast myths that could keep you from maximizing your morning goodness.

Here’s what she shared with us about breakfast myths.

Myth # 1: Traditional breakfast food is bad for you

The truth: “Some high-carb foods like whole grain bread and breakfast cereals contain fiber that helps us feel fuller …”

For those who have busy mornings to complete endless chores, or even those who don’t bother making gourmet meals every morning, granola is the top choice. It’s simple, convenient, and tastes damn good.

The best thing about grain, according to Dr. Beckett that it’s a great way to make sure we’re getting tons of nutrients in the morning. Packed with iron, B vitamins and fiber, muesli is a better breakfast choice than you might think.

Dr. Beckett even gave us some great tips on how to spice up your morning cereal bowl too:

“Grains go well with other nutritious breakfast foods like Greek yogurt and nuts, which are sources of protein. Protein is essential in the diet as it is the most filling macronutrient that can help reduce grazing habits throughout the day, ”she said via email.

If you’re not sure which cereal brand is good to grab, Beckett suggested going for Kellogg’s All Bran or Sultana Bran because they are “high in fiber and have a 4.5 or even the maximum rating of 5 health stars . Grains like this have been a popular choice for nearly 100 years. “

Who would have thought cereal was so good?

Myth # 2: Processed = Bad?

The truth: “Most foods have to undergo processing in order to be edible and digestible – processing is a broad term that encompasses cooking, slicing and packaging.”

Many of us have been afraid to buy something marked as processed, but it is actually an important step for most foods. Processing sometimes has more to do with preserving the food and avoiding waste than with nutritional value.

Dr. Beckett explained, “Key nutrients like protein are not necessarily lost in processing; they can sometimes be retained or made more accessible through processing. Others like B vitamins and iron can be added back when they are lost in a process called fortification. “

In fact, the common breakfast suspects like cereal and bread are often fortified with added nutrients and processed because they are affordable, accessible, long-lasting, and popular. This just makes it easier for us to make sure we are adding the right substances to our bodies to start the day.

However, this does not mean that the all-clear will be given for all processed foods. Dr. Beckett notes that it is still important to consider how much a food has been processed, with products that have been ultra-processed being consumed in moderation.

Myth # 3: Eating healthy is expensive

The truth: “According to a recently published Australian model-based study, it is possible to improve the Australian diet while spending less money on groceries by choosing inexpensive, nutritious foods, improving nutritional quality and potentially reducing a family’s food bills by over 25 Percent. “

A common misconception about healthy eating is that our wallets are pinched and products need to be consumed quickly. Surprisingly, there are actually tons of healthy food options that are relatively cheap for what you get out of them and don’t spoil as quickly. Foods like whole grain bread and cereal are actually pretty budget-friendly and last a relatively long time.

One twist I wasn’t prepared for is that canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as they are fresh (as long as they’re not in syrup). If you’re worried about that bunch of bananas you bought and you won’t finish before they go, toss them in the freezer! They last longer and do not lose any health properties.

“When you do your research and shop, healthy eating really doesn’t have to be as expensive as it may seem!”

Myth # 4: Breakfast cereals are too sugary and have no nutritional value

The truth: “Australian data has shown that grains make up less than 3% of the added sugar in the average diet. Many cereals contain whole grains and fiber that many people cannot get enough of. “

According to Dr. Beckett, many breakfast cereals are “full of vital vitamins and minerals that are important for health and well-being and the most important source of iron in the Australian diet, especially for children.”

Obviously, muesli’s sugar content varies, with some sweeter ones available if that’s your cup of tea (or should I say your bowl of muesli), but most are moderately sweetened and many are sweetened by added fruits that contain natural sugars.

“For example, half of Kellogg’s 55 cereals contain 2 or less teaspoons of sugar per bowl. By updating the recipes, over 700 tons of sugar and 300 tons of salt were removed from the Australian diet – that’s the weight of about seven blue whales! “

Myth # 5: If it’s not whole grain, it doesn’t contain fiber

The truth: “While whole grain foods contain fiber, not all fiber-containing foods contain whole grains.”

How’s that for a mind-bender?

If you’re like me, fiber is confusing and I’m not sure what it is or where to find it. Fortunately, Dr. Beckett broken it down for us.

“Fibers are in the outer part of the grain, the bran. The bran can be removed from the grain and used in food, ”she explained.

This means that foods made with bran aren’t always whole grains, but they do contain a lot of fiber.

According to Dr. Beckett, I’m not the only one confused about fiber. Two in three Aussies fail to meet their daily fiber goals. What’s worse is that four in five Australians don’t eat enough fiber to protect themselves from chronic illness. Yikes

“For most of us, adequate fiber intake is between 25 and 30 grams per day. That might sound hard, but getting your daily dose is really easy when you’re eating high-fiber options like high-fiber breakfast cereals, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, “she said.

Dr. Beckett then explained that not all whole grains were made equal (in the fiber department):

“Did you know that different whole grains have different amounts and types of fiber,” she said.

“For example, whole grain brown rice and corn both naturally have less fiber compared to other whole grain products like whole wheat and oats, which have higher amounts of fiber.”

The interesting thing, however, is that just one whole grain contains less fiber, doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial – it is!

Whole grains are exactly what they sound like – it’s whole whole grains. Fiber is only one component of whole grains, and all of the components work together to provide health benefits.

The more you know!

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Whole Grain Benefits

Dr. Bridget Gibson: Eight ways to get your metabolism moving | Free



Metabolism is the chemical reaction in the body’s cells that converts food into energy. Our bodies need this energy to do everything from moving to thinking to growing.

If a person’s metabolism is the rate at which their body burns calories for energy, then are there things they can do to increase that rate? And is metabolism the key to weight management and why do some people struggle and others never seem to gain weight?

There are conflicting theories about how your metabolism works and whether it can be boosted to help people lose weight faster. Let’s get the facts about what can be done while losing weight.

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is how your body uses food for energy and then burns that energy to keep your body going.

How can I boost my metabolism?

1. Eat your meals on a schedule: Eating your meals at the same times throughout the day helps your body maintain a metabolic balance. In other words, if you overeat and then don’t eat for a long time, your body can overcompensate and burn calories more slowly or store more fat cells.

2. Don’t skimp on calories: Skipping meals or reducing your calorie count too much can slow your metabolism down so your body can conserve energy. Make healthy choices that will keep you within the recommended number of calories but still fill you up.

3. Drink green tea – While studies are inconclusive, some research suggests that green tea extract may play a role in promoting fat metabolism. Green tea can also be a great alternative to sugary juices and sodas, and can help ensure you get enough water during the day.

4. Do resistance training and high-intensity workouts: Lifting weights and doing exercises that use resistance weights or body weight will help build muscle. Muscle mass has a higher metabolic rate than fat, which means that muscle mass needs more energy to maintain and can boost your metabolism. To do this, add a routine that includes alternating periods of higher and lower intensity to burn more energy.

5. Drink plenty of water – Drinking is important for the body to function optimally. Water is necessary for an optimal metabolism and can help with weight loss.

6. Get plenty of sleep – When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases the hormone ghrelin, which can make you hungry. It also releases less leptin, a hormone that helps you feel full. Getting enough sleep can help keep these hormones balanced and can prevent you from overeating.

7. Reduce stress: Stress affects hormone levels and can cause the body to produce too much cortisol, the hormone that regulates your appetite and can lead to unhealthy eating habits that, in turn, disrupt your metabolism. Stress is also closely related to the quality of sleep.

8. Get enough B vitamins: B vitamins in foods like bananas, baked potatoes, eggs, orange juice, peanut butter, peas, spinach, and whole grains are essential for a functioning metabolism. B vitamins help your body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats and use the energy stored in food.

Do I burn energy when I am not active?

Yes, even when you are not moving, your body uses energy performing functions such as breathing and keeping your heart beating. This is known as the “resting (or baseline) metabolic rate”.

What determines a person’s resting metabolic rate?

– Genetics: The hereditary traits passed down from your parents and grandparents play a role, but luckily there are other metabolic factors that we can control, such as diet and exercise.

—Age: Most people’s metabolism naturally begins to slow down around the age of 30.

—Gender: On average, women have a slower metabolism than men. This is because men usually have more muscle and therefore burn more calories.

—Weight: People who weigh less need less energy (fewer calories) to keep their bodies energized. As you lose weight, your metabolism slows down too, so losing and maintaining weight can be more difficult over time.

Three tips for healthy weight loss

The bottom line when it comes to healthy weight loss is to be aware of your caloric intake (and the reduced caloric needs as you age) and focus on the factors that you can control.

1. Start with the goal of losing 5 to 10 percent of your weight through more physical activity and healthier diets. The benefits can be dramatic.

2. For example, a person weighing 250 pounds who lost 5 to 10 percent would lose 13 to 25 pounds, which could lower their risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Other benefits that you may actually feel sooner include more energy, less pain, and feeling less breathless or out of breath – which makes it a lot easier to keep moving.

3. Celebrate your victories at every milestone. When you hit 5 percent, feel better, or notice an increase in energy, give yourself a gold star, do your merry dance, or reward yourself with a favorite activity. You deserve it and the benefits are just beginning.

Slowly and steadily the race wins! Extreme diets and fitness routines are not sustainable in the long run. The saying “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” is true. Healthy weight loss and control is about what you can do each day to get more exercise and eat more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains than carbohydrates, fried foods, and sugar.

Dr. Bridget Gibson is the general practitioner for Brookwood Baptist Health.

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