Saving 500 Fast Food Calories: 8 Tips for Healthier Options

Sometimes you may just need the convenience of a fast food restaurant. As a study highlighted in today’s Cancer Research Update points out, you’ll be faced with more choices than ever. One of the study’s findings was that consumers had over 50 percent more menu items in 2010 to choose from compared to 14 years earlier.

So if you’re watching your calories to maintain a healthy weight – which reduces your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases – here are eight tips to help you quickly navigate the abundance of options. In just one visit, it’s not hard to save 500 calories or more in one visit, while making your meal more nutritious.

1. Avoid entrees that top the list in calories and fat
Estimated Calories Saved: 350-500
McDonald’s: Order a cheeseburger (300 calories, 12 g fat) instead of the Cheddar Bacon Onion Third Pounder (790 calories, 41 grams of fat)

Taco Bell: Go for the Fresco Steak Burrito Supreme® (340 calories and 9 g of fat) instead of the XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito Beef (880 calories, 42 grams of fat) Continue reading


Cut the Salt, Keep the Flavor

You may love spicy foods while a friend prefers milder flavors. But we all have different taste sensitivities and perceptions. In the American diet, many of us have one taste in common: a preference for and high consumption of salty foods.

Limiting your sodium is important to reduce your risk for high blood pressure (and likely stomach cancer). You don’t have to sacrifice flavor when you cut back on salt! Here are seven tricks I’ve found that help:

1. Go Slow: Our bodies quickly become accustomed to salt so cut back slowly, starting with holding back on the salt shaker at the table. The American Heart Association recommends that all Americans aim for <1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. Slowly reducing your intake to this amount over the next month or two will allow your taste buds to adjust so you can enjoy the natural flavors of foods. Continue reading


Six Websites for Weight Loss and Good Health

AICR’s October eNews article features 7 phone apps for good health and cancer prevention. If you’re trying to lose weight, tracking your food intake is one of the best ways to get started – it holds you accountable for what you eat and allows you to see areas for improvement. You might realize foods (or drinks) that seemed harmless, like your daily coffee with cream and sugar, can really add up in the calorie bank.

If you want to track your intake on a computer, here are six great websites for weight loss. These sites are either personal favorites or ones that have successfully helped clients of mine manage their weight.

Getting Started: Determine your daily calorie goals. This varies for everyone but you can use an online calculator like this one for an estimate or go to a health professional (e.g., a registered dietitian). Many of these sites use a similar calorie calculator when you sign up for an account.

1.     Myfitnesspal.com – At this site you enter what you’ve eaten and those foods are subtracted from your daily calorie goals. It’s rare that I can’t find something I have eaten on this website! It has just about everything, ranging from individual foods to common restaurant meals. You can add customized recipes and set your home screen to display the nutrients you care most about (e.g. calories, carbohydrates, protein, sodium, and fiber). Continue reading