Life on the go seems to have become the norm these days. From the moment your alarm wakes you until you’re finally able to lay your head back down, you may experience very little down time.

If your life has turned into a constant schedule, you might feel stressed, anxious and eventually turn to unhealthy eating habits. All of these combined act as a ticking time bomb waiting to go off… resulting in some serious — and permanent — damage to your health.

Eating fast food more than a couple times a week and the sedentary lifestyle that often accompanies that choice can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, increased risk for heart disease, nutrient deficiencies and other health aliments.

However, even if f you’re eating fast food regularly, it doesn’t always have to be burgers, fries, and frozen meals. You may be wondering, can fast food really be healthy?

Tips for healthier fast food:
• Try to keep your meal under 500 calories.
• Look for foods lower in fat and higher in protein and fiber.
• Bring your own sides/add-ons (like dried fruit, nuts, your own salad dressing, yogurt, etc.).
• Be mindful of your portion size. Focus on lean meats (avoid fried meats).
• Learn menu descriptions (dishes that are labeled creamy, battered, breaded, crispy, butter/oil sauces usually contain more calories).
• Stick to water or zero calorie drinks.
• Stay away from items on the menu that are described as crispy, creamy, breaded, or battered.

Foods to always keep ready in your fridge:
• Hard boiled eggs
• Veggies and hummus
• Yogurt
• Nuts
• Quinoa

Abbie Gellman, MS, RD, discusses why eating fast food on a regular basis can damage your health and healthier tips, ideas and strategies for when those times when you must eat on the go.

Healthy Fast Foods: Tips, Strategies & Ideas

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