Nutritionist-Approved Fast Food and Takeout Meals
Some days, grabbing your food to-go is unavoidable. Here's how to keep the nutritional damage to a minimum.
That Mexican Spot Where You Treat Yourself to Lunch on Fridays
Best bet: Burrito bowls or salads that give you all the tasty stuff that comes inside a burrito without the high-calorie tortilla (hold the sour cream and cheese). Soft tacos are another good choice because they're baked or grilled, unlike the hard variety, which are fried in oil or lard, Bella says. And if the restaurant offers grilled fish like tilapia or mahi mahi to add to your bowl, salad or soft taco, go for it. "It'll help you get your recommended 2 to 3 servings of fish per week if you're not likely to cook fish at home," says Jennifer McDaniel, RDN, founder of McDaniel Nutrition Therapy in Clayton, Missouri, and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Stay away from: Enormous burritos that could feed your family for a week. The burritos from one popular chain clocked in at an average of 900 calories, (customers guessed they were around 630), found a 2014 study in Public Health Nutrition. It's also best to avoid anything that's packed to the brim with cheese, like quesadillas and enchiladas. Be careful with your guacamole or avocado portion, too—you want just enough to add some flavor, not a 250-calorie dollop (roughly the amount in a large scoop you'd get at a restaurant).