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The Best Healthy Fast Food Options for Seniors

Fast food is a staple of the American diet and way of life. As the U.S. battles an increasing obesity epidemic, fast food is front and center in the lives of many Americans today. It's easy, convenient, and great for those that are on-the-go with a busy lifestyle. 

Fast food can also be convenient for seniors who find getting up and cooking homemade meals difficult. At Senior Helpers in Milford, our home caregivers intimately understand the challenges of healthy eating. 

While there is certainly nothing wrong with the occasional fast food meal, developing a dependence on fast food as a main dietary staple in your life can cause a myriad of health problems that can only worsen with age. These problems can include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

When you do choose to get fast food, finding healthier options is possible if you just know where to look. Understanding that there are healthier options can empower you to make wiser food choices and live a healthier lifestyle. It’s important to note lower calories does not necessarily mean healthier food. However, at fast food restaurants, meals with higher calories are typically indicative of unhealthy levels of fat and sodium. 

Here are some of the best healthy fast food options for seniors when it comes to some of America's most popular chains.

Burger King

For breakfast, indulge in a BK Breakfast Muffin Sandwich (Egg & Cheese) for only 220 calories or a Quaker Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar Flavor for only 270 calories. Keep in mind that additional sugars and condiments can add fats, sugars, and other additives to your meal that you will need to account for.

The healthiest options at Burger King are delicious sandwiches. The Hamburger (for 240 calories) or the Premium Alaska Fish Sandwich (for 360 calories) are among the healthiest options on the Burger King menu. The Spicy Chick'n Crisp Sandwich is also only 300 calories. This includes no toppings like mayo or other favorites. If you like condiments on your meals, keep in mind that they will add more fat to your meal that you should account for.

Subway

The Veggie Delite is one of the healthiest sandwich options served on the Subway menu. A 6-inch (1/2 of a sandwich) served on 9-grain bread contains only 250 calories and only 2 grams of fat. There is no saturated fat. The vegetables are a healthy choice that is full of vitamins and nutrients. The whole grains and fiber in the bread will help you keep full for longer. Assuming that you don't add salt, it's also one of the heart-healthiest options on the menu.

Chipotle

Chipotle allows customers to customize their meals to include healthier options. Choosing more vegetables and proteins will help make your meal more filling and healthy--without all the added salt, fat, and calories that cheeses, sour creams, and other toppings might bring. 

One of the healthiest options offered at Chipotle is the Sofritas Burrito Bowl complete with tofu (high in protein) and brown rice (rather than white rice) topped with romaine lettuce. This meal only contains 365 calories, as well as 10 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of saturated fat. Keep it light on the sauce to keep the sugars down.

McDonald's

McDonald's is a classic American favorite and a fast-food staple. They have also rolled out many more healthy options on their menus in recent years to accommodate those trying to live a healthier lifestyle. 

For breakfast, some of your best options include the Egg White Delight McMuffin for 280 calories or the Fruit & Yogurt Parfait for 150 calories. Both options also provide protein and fiber, and contain little-to-no fat. The healthiest lunch/dinner options McDonald's offers include their plain Hamburger (250 calories) or their Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich for 380 calories. For salad lovers, there is the option of a protein-packed (37 grams of protein) Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad or a Side Salad to go with a sandwich. Limit the dressing and you are loading up on vegetables and healthy vitamins and nutrients your body needs. 

Taco Bell

Many people won't think of Taco Bell as a place to find healthy fast food options. However, their Soft Chicken Taco is actually one of the healthiest choices you can find on the menu! A chicken taco in a softshell comes out to around 170 calories and 8 grams of fat, which includes only 3 grams of saturated fat. Go light on the sauces and condiments to keep the chicken taco as healthy as possible. 

For vegetarians, the Bean Burrito is a healthier option on their menu as well. A Bean Burrito is 380 calories with 11 grams of fat, with 4 grams of saturated fat.

Wendy's

Wendy's is offering healthier options for eating these days, too! Some of your healthiest choices include the Jr. Hamburger Deluxe for 300 calories and 13 grams of protein or a Jr. Cheeseburger for 280 calories and 16 grams of protein.

Salads are another great option for healthier choices. Try the Apple Pecan Chicken Salad for 570 calories and 36 grams of protein or the Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad. It contains 590 calories, however it has 41 grams of protein. These are large, hearty meals that can keep you full for hours. Asking for dressing on the side helps keep the extra saturated fat at bay.

These are some of the healthy fast food options for seniors at the top chains. You don't need to avoid fast food altogether, but you do need to limit how often you eat it and make wise decisions when choosing fast food.

At Senior Helpers in Milford, we care deeply about keeping you and your loved ones healthy. Contact us for more information on our consistent senior care in Milford, Stoughton, Franklin, Walpole, Webster, and Foxboro.