Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
How to Eat Healthy Fast Food

How to Eat Healthy Fast Food

Right now, I’m surrounded by families gathered at circular tables. A low hum of conversation is interrupted by an occasional squeal from a toddler. Most people are popping bitesize bits of lunch into their mouth. Some are spearing things with a plastic fork. Sitting here at the food court, I’ve been watching them come and go for about an hour now. Some carry shopping bags, others have stuffed the bags into a stroller or cart. They stand and stare at the menus before getting into a line to order their meal.

I remember my first trip to the mall after finding out I had the hepatitis C virus. I was really sick. I was also hungry, tired, and looking for the healthiest options. If you are looking for how to eat healthy fast food, here are some good choices for you if you’re looking for ways to grab and gobble.

Go Green

If there is a salad offered, get in that line. It is always your best bet for healthy nutrition. Most places offer a bed of greens. You can get them topped with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and carrots. The trick here is to watch out for the sodium content. Just say no to croutons and cheese. Read the label on the dressing. If you use just a little bit, it can work. Ask for it on the side and dip your fork into it. Your best bet is to find some lemon or lime juice.

Kid Size

You may have a big appetite, but eating a large meal in a food court is not smart for your liver. By eating like a little one, it cuts the sodium and fat in half, not to mention the calories. You’re really just looking to hang out with friends and family. You know that nutrition is not your aim. Maybe a little something to tide you over. A kids meal always does the trick for me. It’s like a cheat, but not really.

Just Juice

More places are offering healthy options now. You can even order a custom juice that is full of vitamins for natural energy. Shakes have become more popular too. Some places offer a low fat and low sugar version. If they offer a shot of protein, all you have to do is decide whether you want chocolate or vanilla. See if they will put a banana in. That is sure to satisfy your hunger pangs.


I’ll admit to having soft serve ice cream cone whenever I’m out. It’s not just about the calories. It’s about the sodium, fat, and sugar content. You are probably better off skipping desert and opting for fruit for your sweet tooth.


You may be wondering what the big deal is regarding fast food. It’s not any single item that is the culprit. Nobody ever keeled over from eating a hand full of french fries. I don’t see people dropping over dead while dipping their chicken stick in gravy. It’s more like the combination of fried foods and sodium can create an overload for your liver and kidney.

Most chain food places have gone overboard to help people make healthy decisions while eating out. Before you order, look carefully at the menu. Ask some questions about sodium content and think about how much better you will feel if you eat light while eating out. Now that you know how to eat healthy fast food, you can save your big appetite for home cooked, nutritious food.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.