6 diabetes-friendly fast-food meals

Whether you’re travelling, on a budget or just out for the day, sometimes the only realistic eating option is fast food. Try these tips and options to find a meal that works for you

6 diabetes-friendly fast-food meals

Source: Web exclusive, August 2011

Eating healthy is easy’when you’re cooking at home, with access to a good grocery store. When you’re out, on the other hand, it can be hard to find the best choices. Restaurant meals are often laden with calories, fat, sugar and salt, and the most popular’and tempting’sides, such as fries or pop, have barely any nutritional value other than calories. Plus, says Janet von Weiler, a registered dietitian who specializes in pediatric diabetes at Saint John Regional Hospital in New Brunswick, ‘Restaurant portions can be so huge.’

But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on eating well when you’re eating out. The most important thing is to plan ahead. First, says von Weiler, know which restaurants will offer the healthiest choices, and plan to choose them rather than competitors in the same food court or on the same stretch of highway. Second, ‘do a bit of studying ahead of time’ to familiarize yourself with nutritional information online so you’re aware of the best picks. And third, know what to avoid: empty-calorie and sugary beverages; anything from the deep fryer, including any tortilla strips or croutons that are added to salads; and calorie-rich sauces, which can often be substituted or served on the side so you can control what you eat.

All of the meals below have been chosen to hit between 45 and 60 grams of carbohydrates’a ‘not unreasonable’ goal, according to von Weiler’and 400 to 500 calories, with fat and sodium as low as possible for fast-food restaurants. Make sure you’re hitting your personal nutritional targets and balance them out with meals that are light on fat and salt the rest of the day, and speak to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns on how these meals can fit into a healthy diet.

1. Wendy’s

Our pick: Pico Grilled Chicken Fresh Wrap and Garden Side Salad (with Light Classic Ranch Dressing and Gourmet Croutons)

Calories: 440
Carbohydrate: 44 g
Fat: 18 g
Sodium: 1,250 mg
Protein: 25 g

2. Tim Hortons

Our pick: Egg Salad Wrap, Minestrone Soup and Small Iced Coffee made with milk

Calories: 410
Carbohydrate: 59 g
Fat: 11.5 g
Sodium: 1,165 mg
Protein: 14 g

3. Subway

Our pick: Oven-Roasted Chicken 6-inch Sub and Creamy Garden Cauliflower Soup

Calories: 450
Carbohydrate: 62 g
Fat: 11.5 g
Sodium: 1,380 mg
Protein: 26 g

4. Booster Juice

Our pick: Tuna Wrap on Whole Wheat and Green Hornet Juice (12 oz)

Calories: 460
Carbohydrate: 60 g
Fat: 11 g
Sodium: 1,060 mg
Protein: 33 g

5. Boston Pizza

Our pick: Half a Baja Thin Crust Pizza and a Spinach Salad (starter size)

Calories: 510
Carbohydrate: 46 g
Fat: 27 g
Sodium: 940 mg
Protein: 29 g

6. Starbucks

Our pick: Roma Tomato & Mozzarella Sandwich and a Tall Caffè Latte made with non-fat milk

Calories: 480
Carbohydrate: 59 g
Fat: 15 g
Sodium: 900 mg
Protein: 31 g

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