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How To Eat Healthy ...even at McDonald's

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We’ve all been there: Hours into a summer road trip your stomach is gurgling. You need to continue making good time but hope not to fill your car full of travelers with junk.  And yet, more often than not, your only option is fast food. Well it may help to know that nutrition experts sometimes find themselves short on time too. And when they do, even they sometimes turn to the notorious fast food king: McDonald’s. But that doesn’t mean they make poor food choices. They don’t fear the red-haired clown! And you don’t have to either. Nutritionists have provided the go-ahead to eat burgers, fries, and even bacon. Yes, bacon. There are actually some real health benefits tucked behind the bad reputation of McDonald's. And here, we’ve compiled a short list of nutritionist-approved options to keep in mind the next time you’re on the road. 1.  Need A Burger? (Nutrition Expert: Toby Amidor, MS, RD)  If a hamburger is your thing, Toby recommends grabbing a good old-fashioned Kid’s Meal! Feast on a hamburger, a side of small fries, a bottle of water and a clementine. In total, the meal only has 390 calories and comes in at just 13 grams of fat. That’s a win! If that doesn’t do it for you, Toby also boasts about the McDouble. That bad boy only has 380 calories and contains two hamburger patties, cheese, ketchup, mustard, onions and pickles! 2.  Play It Safe with a Salad (Nutrition Experts: Libby Mills, MS, RDN, LDN; Amy Shapiro MS, RD, CDN; Lauren Minchen, MPH, RDN, CDN)  Salads seem like an obvious choice at McDonald’s and quite frankly, they are! Libby suggests a simple Side Salad with grilled chicken topped with a low-fat balsamic vinaigrette or family recipe Italian dressing. She loves the fact that the meal is a great source of iron and protein to assist in making you feel fuller for longer while only coming in between 290 and 460 calories. Amy is a little more creative in finding ways to cut calories. She even recommends getting ice cream! Amy goes for the Premium Southwest Salad with grilled chicken. She suggests that you ask them to hold the cheese and tortilla strips and have them use only half of the dressing. The beans and the corn provide a solid source of fiber. Couple that with the low calories of the salad. Amy also says to order-up a Reduced Fat Vanilla Kids Ice-cream Cone! All of this is just 335 calories! Lauren is all about the Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with grilled chicken. Seeing a pattern here? Grilled chicken is an absolute must to keep your salad healthy while gaining the benefits of protein. Lauren goes on to say that the salad is a great source of fiber which aids digestion. This meal clocks in at only 300 calories. 3. Snack Time (Nutrition Expert: Jim White, RD, ACSM HFS)  Snacks don’t have to be junk. When going through the McDonald’s drive-thru, reach for a cup of the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal. Be sure to ask them to hold the brown sugar, cream, raisins and craisins. Jim loves that the snack comes in at only 150 calories and will likely tide you over to your next meal. This is because the high level of carbohydrates will take much longer to digest than a typical sugar donut or pastry on-the-go snack option. It’s an obvious and healthy choice! 4. Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner (Nutrition Experts: Jim White, RD, ACSM HFS; Dave Zinczenko)  If you need a full chicken meal in a pinch, Jim suggests theGrilled Chicken Fillet. Now he does suggest that you order it without the bun and mayonnaise dressing. And losing those drops the total fat to a measly 7.5 grams and the sodium to only 450 mg. For a side, go with a nice Side Salad with a Mandarin Orange to top it. You’ll be surprised to hear that all of this comes to just 165 calories! Need bacon in your life? Yeah, I thought so. Dave goes with the Premium Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT sandwich. That big guy has 450 calories. Avoiding the crispy chicken variations eliminates 160 unnecessary calories and 13 grams of fat. The low calories of the grilled chicken invites you to enjoy the deliciousness of bacon without tipping the scales. 5. Break for Breakfast (Nutrition Expert: Christine M. Palumbo)  Christine may be your new best friend! She goes straight for the Egg McMuffin and a coffee with all of the delicious ingredients intact. The sandwich only has 300 calories while boasting 17 grams of protein. She doesn’t even go for the egg white version because the whole egg provides vital fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Christine wants you to go have an Egg McMuffin. We think you should too! The health experts are going to McDonald’s too! Just start to make a conscious effort to order some of these healthier options. You can still get the greasy satisfaction you crave, just in smaller quantities and from the right sources. Follow the advice from these nutritionists and you’ll be sure to say “I’m Lovin’ It!” By Pat DeRiso Source: Yahoo Health

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