Can you eat fast food salads with Medifast?
Sometimes I have people contact me and ask if it’s allowed or allowed to eat a carefully chosen fast food salad as their “lean and green” medifast meal. Every now and then I do this and find it perfectly acceptable in a pinch. However, the key is to select very wisely. Some fast food salads are quite diet and some load you with as many calories and fat as a hamburger and fries from the same restaurant. I’ll take a closer look at this (and tell you which offers I like) in the next article.
Consider what Medifast’s “Lean and Green” criteria are when choosing your fast food salad: When making your selection, you will want to remember exactly what you are looking for. The daily “lean green meal” consists of 5 ounces of lean protein and three servings of low-glycemic vegetables. A salad can accomplish this wonderfully, but only if you choose one that has all three of these components without any extras. Of course, you want to keep fat, carbs, and calories low, but many of the offerings stay within these guidelines.
Many fast food offerings load their salads with fried meats, bacon, croutons, and cheeses. And you can really get in trouble with their bandages. But, if you look closely, there are several good and viable options. Several companies offer options with grilled lean meat and only vegetables for the basic diet.
Some of my favorites include:
1. McDonald’s Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken: This one has grilled chicken, dark green leafy lettuce, and grape tomatoes. It has a bit of cheese, but you can remove it or order a special salad without it. Also, I use my own spray dressing to save a lot of calories and fat.
2. Taco Bell Chipotle Steak Taco Salad (from The Fresco Menu): This salad is great, but you have to modify it. Obviously, you can’t eat the rind and you can’t add the tortilla chips and cheese. You should also ask them to hold the rice. But the lean steak, lettuce, tomatoes, and sauce are fine in my experience. I put fat-free sour cream on the side and use the sauce for my dressing. It is still very tasty.
3. Wendy’s Mandarin Chicken Salad: This one has a good variety of greens, carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli. I omit the tangerines because the carbohydrate and sugar content is too high. But the chicken and toasted almonds stick around. Again, I use my own spray salad dressing because they are invaluable for saving fat, carbs, and calories.
Four. Kentucky Fried Chicken Grilled Chicken BLT Salad: Of course, you will have to omit the bacon in this one. But the lettuce, tomatoes, and grilled chicken are perfectly fine.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are the ones I like. However, any offering that has basic low-glycemic vegetables and lean protein should work. Just remember to skip the unwanted extras like croutons, bacon, cheese, pasta, and heavy toppings. As I’ve mentioned, those spray dressings are invaluable. They are tasty and only a few sprays really cover the salad and give you the flavor you are looking for without the grease of some of the toppings that contain more of the bad stuff than burgers from those same restaurants.