Build it yourself – look for quick service outlets that allow the customer to build their own sandwich, salad or bowl. Try to reduce starch and sugar–rich items.
Request a different side – even if fries are the default, most chains offer a side salad or an option like apple slices, applesauce or baby carrots that be substituted.
Don’t “supersize” it – keep portions reasonable, consider ordering from the kids’ menu and choose half-portions when available.
Rethink your drink – fast food often means drinks laden with added sugars. Instead, look for milk or water.
Look for the whole grain option – whole-wheat bread or whole-grain wrap options are often available to replace refined-grain items, and grab-and-go oatmeal is an often available breakfast offering.
Limit starchy options – including rice and French fries. Look for more healthful ingredients like fruits, nuts, beans, seafood, and plant-based proteins.
Look for healthy vegetarian options – not all vegetarian foods are healthy. Nonetheless, the bean-or-grain based burgers, hummus and veggie wraps or grilled vegetables sandwiches being added by some franchises can get more health-promoting plant foods on your plate.
Source: Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter