Dining Out Guide: Tips for Eating Healthy

Fast foods and eating out are a part of most of our lives because of our hectic schedules and busy lifestyles.  When visiting your favorite fast food restaurant there are healthier or better choices that are less in calories and lower in sodium and fat, which is important for our hearts and our waistlines! 
Arm yourself with knowledge. Almost all of the fast food or chain restaurants have their menus online with the nutrition analysis.  Use this to make the best choices when visiting your favorite place.  Remember the beverages that you have with your meal may contribute to your overall calories, especially if you get the “super sized” option.  Most restaurants offer alternatives to fries, like a salad or fruit, this will save you calories, fat and sodium.  The fact is we are going to eat at these establishments, so we should make the healthiest choices as possible. 

Watch the video below featuring GMC dietician, Amy Tella, giving us some healthy alternatives to fast food options.


Everyone thinks “it’s chicken, it must be healthier than beef”, but you can rack up the calories like anywhere else!
  • Regular Chicken Sandwich -  430 cal/17g fat/30g pro/1410mg sodium 
  • Small Fries -  300 cal/17g fat/4g pro/140mg sodium
Eat This:
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich - 290cal/4g fat/29g pro/1030mg sodium
  • Fruit cup - 70cal/0 fat/1g pro/0 sodium 

By choosing the grilled vs the fried chicken you’ve almost cut ½ your calories and 75% of the fat.


McDonalds is known for super sizing everything.  This is one of the biggest obstacles when eating out, portion size. 
  • Big Mac - 540 cal/29g fat/25g pro/1040mg sodium 
  •  Medium Fries - 380 cal/19g fat/4g pro/270mg sodium
Eat This:

  • Cheeseburger - 300 cal/12g fat/15g pro/750mg sodium 
  • Side Salad - 20 cal/0 fat/0 pro/0 sodium

Moe’s has great choices, but watch out for the toppings/condiments like cheese, guacamole and sour cream. The calories and fat can stack up quickly.  Remember the tortilla as well!

  • 12 inch chicken burrito with pinto beans, rice, guacamole, cheese, sour cream - 854 cal/35g fat/51g pro/1277mg sodium
Eat This:

  • Chicken streaker (no tortilla) with pinto beans, guacamole, cheese - 384cal/21g fat/38g pro/769mg sodium

Panda Express
A lot of the choices are fried, which adds on fat and calories, but their menu has a fair amount of choices that are less than 250 kcal.
  • Orange Chicken - 420 cal/21g fat/15g pro/620mg sodium 
  • Fried rice - 530 cal/16g fat/12g pro/820mg sodium 
Eat This:
  • Kung Pao Chicken - 240 cal/14g fat/15g pro/900mg sodium 
  • Steamed rice - 380 cal/0 fat/7g pro/0mg sodium

We’ve all seen the commercials of the celebrities that have lost weight-eating Subway.  They do have a lot of lower calorie and fat choices.  Most of their menu items are higher in sodium because of the lunchmeat.

Both are 6-inch sandwiches with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers on wheat or white bread
  • Meatball marinara with mozzarella cheese - 315cal/21g fat/24g pro/1050mg sodium
Eat This:
  • Turkey breast with American cheese, light mayonnaise, pickles - 245cal/12g fat/20g pro/1110mg sodium

If you need help developing a nutrition plan or simply need advice our certified dieticians at the the Diabetes & Nutrition Education Center can help. Call 678-312-6040 to make an appointment.


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