Sure it’s easy and inexpensive but we all know fast food isn’t exactly the basis of a healthy lifestyle.
But sometimes we all fall victim to the siren call of chicken nuggets and what’s life without a little indulgence?
So, if you want to tuck into something a little bit naughty while not going totally off the healthy track then you’ll be delighted to know we’ve found the healthy swaps you can make next time you pay a visit to your favourite fast food joint that could save you up to 900 calories.
The study by Protein World reveals that two very similar pizzas or burger and fries meals can vary wildly when it comes to the number of calories they contain.
The brand commissioned nutritionist Abigail Montgomery to weigh up the nutritional value of each meal and help us to pick out the lightest options.
Abigail explains that she would order a six-inch Chicken Tikka sandwich without cheese or sauces if she were to visit Subway: ‘In reality, there is no need to order a foot-long sandwich, a six inch is normal.
‘Chicken is a form of lean protein, which is great for muscle maintenance while remaining low in fat.
‘The added spices will add flavour and boost metabolism, and as I’ve avoided cheese (high in fat) and sauces (high in sugars), I can add as much salad as I like.’
An example is switching a chicken and bacon ranch melt (1,005 calories) for a turkey breast and ham sub (651 calories).
The golden arches is a tricky one according to Abigail but she would usually opt for three chicken selects with a small fries and water.
‘McDonald’s is a tough one, as even some of their ‘healthy’ options (salads etc) can quickly turn into unhealthy options with added sauces and meat coated in breadcrumbs – and, let’s be honest, no one goes to McDonalds to order a salad,’ she explains.
‘The best option I can see for myself would be three chicken selects, small fries and a bottle of water.
‘The lean protein from the chicken gives you a hearty 27g of protein, and the entire meal has less than 1g of sugar. It also allows for a bit of indulgence without excessive calories as it works out as 600kcal for the entire meal.’
Swapping a Big Mac Meal (1,164 calories) for a Medium Cheeseburger Meal (638 calories) will save you 526 calories.
As a nutritionist Abigail would order a BBQ wrap with fries, explaining: ‘Anything deep fried or coated in breadcrumbs adds unnecessary salt, fat and calories.
‘The best meal available is the BBQ chicken wrap with regular fries, as it has 20g of protein with only 2g sugar.’
Swapping a ‘Big Daddy Meal’ for a ‘Daddy Burger Meal’ will save you 660 calories.
‘A thicker crust adds extra carbs, salt, fat and sugar to this meal, so opting for a thinner, crispier base will always be the better option,’ Abigail tells us. ‘You’ve got your lean protein with the chicken and the Cajun seasoning will help boost metabolism. If you really want to kick-start your metabolism, add some extra jalapenos.’
Swap a Large Mexican Hot (2,060 calories) for a Large Hot And Spicy (1,680 calories) and save 380 calories.