During summer there is a big chance that you will find yourself in a more on-the-go mode, and with that comes the need for fast and convenient food! Often in these circumstances people turn to fast food joints. Despite their lack of healthful options in general, which can be especially problematic for people with diabetes, there are some options out there to make these restaurants work for you! So whether you are in the midst of road trip season, or just wanting some options for quicker dining, read on below to get all the do’s and don’ts of fast food eating!
French Fries: This common side dish brings no nutritional value to your meal, and is full of simple carbohydrates that will go straight to your blood sugar. This can be especially problematic when paired with sugary dips like ketchup or honey mustard.
Tortilla Dishes: Think nachos, tacos etc. Tortillas and chips are a simple carb that spikes blood sugar. Nachos are often the worst culprit, holding enough calories for an entire meal, but often eaten as a snack.
Fast Food Desserts: As is common with desserts, these fast food treats such as cookies, cakes and pastries contain no nutritional value. They are full of excess amounts of sugar, and are never a great choice for anyone.
Burgers: Buns and sauces are full of sugars and simple carbohydrates that spike blood sugar levels. This is especially true of specialty burgers that include things like onion rings that add to the overall carb count.
Fried Chicken & Nuggets: Although delicious, the breading for fried chicken as well as nuggets is full of carbs. Considering that these dishes are most often combined with dipping sauces that are full of unexpected sugars, it is best to steer clear.
Milkshakes: These desserts masked as drinks are really never necessary in a meal, and are chock full of sugar. The whipped cream topping and candy mix-ins make this an even worse choice.
Soda: Typically one of the main drink options available, fizzy drinks are all around bad for everyone. They contain significant levels of sugar and can be very addicting.
Burger Joints: Eat a burger without a bun, or get a lettuce wrap burger if it is available. Pick veggies or fruit on the side to replace fries, or if you are really craving fries choose baked sweet potato fries. You can also order a salad in place of a burger, and pair your entrée with an unsweetened iced tea.
Sandwich Shops: Skip the bread! Most sandwich joints these days offer lettuce wraps which means you get the same delicious sandwich without the extra carbs from bread. You can also do a ‘You Pick Two’ style meal with half a sandwich and a healthy cup of soup to reduce the carb count.
Mexican Food: Rather than opting for tacos or burritos that are tortilla heavy, select a burrito bowl and add in a lot of vegetables. Also avoid (or at least don’t over indulge!) on the free chips and salsa at your table.
Chicken Joints: Pick grilled or baked chicken instead of fried options. Get veggie sides, and go easy on any sugary dipping sauces.