The Healthiest Menu Items at McDonald's, Starbucks, Ballgames and More

family at a fast food restaurantfamily at a fast food restaurantBy Joy Bauer, RD

When you're on the road, your restaurant choices are often limited to what's at rest stops. The menu's just as restrictive when you take in a ballgame. And while you can fill your belly fast at those eateries and stadiums, they don't tend to be the healthiest places. To stay slim, try these picks from nutrition expert Joy Bauer, RD. Photo by Getty Images

At McDonald's

Joy's choice: Sometimes when I'm on the road with my kids and they're restless for a quick lunch, we'll hit the drive-through and order a bunch of grilled chicken snack wraps (the Honey Mustard and Chipotle BBQ are just 250 calories each!). Every once in a while I'll order the salad with grilled chicken and lowfat dressing.

Stay-slim secret: If you're craving a burger, just stick with a plain one stacked with lettuce, tomato, onion and a squirt of ketchup, mustard or BBQ sauce. Lose the top of the bun and you'll save about 80 calories.


Related: See 50 surprising foods under 100 calories.

At Starbucks

Joy's choice: This may sound boring, but I'm a black coffee gal. Can't stand the plain stuff? Stick to lattes and cappuccinos with skim or soy milk. If you're craving an indulgent low-cal treat, try a tall Frappuccino "light" (hold the whipped cream), which has 165 calories and 3 g fat. As for tea, any unsweetened variety will do. My pick: Tazo Shaken Iced Passion Tea.

Stay-slim secret: Decide what to order before you go. Go to Starbucks.com/Menu (click "Nutrition") for a calorie-count tool.

The passion tea is infused with hibiscus, known to lower blood pressure.

Related: Slim down fast with these easy exercise drills.


At the Sandwich Shop

Joy's choice: These places are great because you can easily customize your order. My healthy favorite: a turkey breast sandwich on whole-grain bread with Dijon mustard, piled with vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, roasted peppers, pickles, onions and avocado.

Stay-slim secret: Requesting mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce or hummus instead of mayo cuts an extra 80 to 100 calories.


At the Ballgame

Joy's choice: Typically, I eat beforehand…or sneak in my own snacks. When I'm with my family, we'll often share a large bag of elephant peanuts: 28 peanuts are just 160 calories and full of protein. The shelling process slows down munching.

Stay-slim secret: You can enjoy your favorites-in the right amounts! Four snacks under 200 calories: ⅓ large soft pretzel (160 cal), cotton candy (110 cal), small cup frozen yogurt (150 cal), large handful of Cracker Jack (120 cal).

Fitness tip: Make the seventh-inning stretch the seventh-inning walk. Every move counts!

Related: Try the 10 healthiest afternoon snacks.


At the Diner

Joy's choice: I'm an omelet lover and can happily eat eggs for any meal. Try an egg-white omelet stuffed with vegetables. Request whole-grain toast and fruit salad in place of potatoes.

Stay-slim secret: Diner salads tend to come already tossed with about 6 Tbsp of dressing-that's about 600 calories! So ask for the vinaigrette or house specialty on the side and drizzle on a few teaspoons.


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