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Fast Food: Avoid These Items Choose Healthier Alternatives

Fast Food Items to Avoid and Better AlternativesFast food has become an integral part of many people’s lives, offering convenience and quick satisfaction for those on the go. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential pitfalls that come with indulging in these popular food options.

In this article, we will discuss two fast food chains and specific menu items to avoid, as well as suggest some healthier alternatives that will still satisfy your cravings. By making smarter choices, you can enjoy the occasional fast food treat without sacrificing your health.

Panda Express: Shrimp

Panda Express is known for its flavorful Chinese dishes, but not every menu item is created equal. One item that you may want to avoid is the shrimp entrees.

While shrimp can be a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes and cooking methods. The primary reason to avoid shrimp at Panda Express is the portion restrictions.

When you order a shrimp entree, you may notice that the serving size is much smaller compared to other protein options like chicken or beef. This can leave you feeling unsatisfied and potentially lead to overeating or seeking additional snacks later on.

Another reason to avoid shrimp at Panda Express is the use of a smaller serving spoon. The smaller spoon size may subconsciously influence you to take more shrimp than you actually need, leading to an unbalanced meal.

It’s always a good idea to load up on vegetables and balance your protein intake, but with smaller shrimp portions, it can be challenging to achieve this balance. Better Alternative: The Grilled Teriyaki Chicken is a healthier alternative at Panda Express.

It provides a good amount of protein and can be paired with steamed vegetables to create a more well-rounded meal. Alternatively, you can opt for a vegetarian entree like the Eggplant Tofu, which is low in calories and offers a good amount of fiber.

Domino’s: Bread Twists

When it comes to pizza, Domino’s is a popular choice for many. However, one item on their menu that you may want to avoid is the Bread Twists.

While they may be tempting, especially with their variety of flavors like garlic and Parmesan, they are not the best option for your waistline or your wallet. The primary reason to avoid Bread Twists at Domino’s is their high calorie and fat content.

These breaded treats are often deep-fried or baked with a generous amount of oil, resulting in a calorie bomb. A single serving of Bread Twists can contain up to 250 calories and more than 10 grams of fat, which can easily contribute to weight gain if consumed regularly.

Another reason to steer clear of Bread Twists is the potential cost savings. Domino’s offers a similar product called Parmesan Bread Bites, which are bite-sized pieces of bread topped with Parmesan cheese.

These Bread Bites are smaller in size compared to Bread Twists but can still satisfy your craving for a cheesy snack. Not only are they more wallet-friendly, but they also contain fewer calories and less fat compared to the Bread Twists.

Better Alternative: If you’re looking for a healthier alternative at Domino’s, consider ordering a thin-crust pizza with vegetable toppings. This option allows you to still enjoy the flavors and convenience of pizza while reducing your calorie and fat intake.

Additionally, opting for a smaller pizza size or sharing with a friend can further promote portion control and cost savings.

The Best Deals You Can Get at Fast-Food Joints

McDonald’s: Take the Surveys

McDonald’s remains one of the most popular fast-food chains, and if you’re a frequent customer, there’s a way to save even more money. By taking advantage of the customer service surveys available on McDonald’s receipts, you can unlock valuable discounts and promotional codes.

The primary benefit of taking McDonald’s surveys is the opportunity to receive a Buy One, Get One free promotion. After submitting your survey, you’ll often receive a promo code that can be redeemed for a free item when you purchase another of equal or greater value.

This not only saves you money but also allows you to try new menu items without breaking the bank. Another advantage of participating in McDonald’s surveys is the occasional chance to win a free item.

Some surveys offer a sweepstakes entry, where lucky customers can win vouchers for free meals, drinks, or desserts. While the chances of winning may be slim, it’s still worth taking a few minutes to complete the surveys and potentially enjoy a free treat.

Better Alternative: If you’re a coffee lover, consider signing up for McDonald’s McCafe Rewards. This loyalty program allows you to earn points for every qualifying purchase, which can then be redeemed for free beverages.

By taking advantage of this program, not only do you save money, but you also get to enjoy your favorite coffee drinks at a discounted price or even for free. Starbucks: Build the Latte Yourself

Starbucks has become synonymous with indulgent coffee drinks, but they can come with a hefty price tag.

However, there is a money-saving tip that can help you enjoy your favorite Starbucks beverage without breaking the bank. The primary trick is to build your own latte.

Instead of ordering a grande Cafe Latte, which typically comes with three espresso shots and is mixed with milk and sugar, consider ordering a plain grande coffee and adding your desired amount of milk and sugar yourself. This way, you have control over the portions and can save a few dollars in the process.

Another advantage of building your own latte is the ability to customize it to your taste preferences. If you prefer a stronger coffee flavor, you can add an extra shot of espresso.

If you’re watching your sugar intake, you can opt for sugar-free sweeteners or use natural alternatives like honey or stevia. By having control over the ingredients, you can make a latte that perfectly suits your personal preferences.

Better Alternative: Consider trying Starbucks’ brewed teas. They offer a variety of options, from traditional black teas to refreshing herbal blends.

By opting for a brewed tea instead of a specialty coffee drink, you can still enjoy a flavorful beverage without the added calories and cost. Additionally, if you’re a fan of iced drinks, ordering a plain iced coffee or iced tea can be a refreshing and budget-friendly choice.


By being aware of the fast food items to avoid and knowing the better alternatives, you can make informed decisions about what you eat while still enjoying the occasional indulgence. Additionally, by taking advantage of the best deals at fast-food joints, you can save money and get more value from your purchases.

So next time you find yourself craving some fast food, remember these tips and make choices that align with your health and budget goals. McDonald’s: Substitute Sauce to Avoid an Extra Charge

Saving Money at McDonald’s

When it comes to fast food, McDonald’s is a go-to choice for many.

With its iconic Big Mac and McDouble, it’s easy to indulge in the classic flavors that McDonald’s offers. However, if you’re looking to save some money and still enjoy your favorite McDonald’s burgers, there’s a simple trick that can help.

The primary focus of this money-saving tip is the beloved Big Mac. The Big Mac is famous for its special sauce, which adds a unique, tangy flavor to the burger.

However, ordering a Big Mac can sometimes come with an additional charge due to the inclusion of the special sauce. But fear not, there’s a solution.

Instead of ordering a Big Mac and getting charged extra for the special sauce, you can simply order a McDouble and request Mac sauce as a substitution. The McDouble is essentially a Double Cheeseburger with only one slice of cheese, making it a more cost-effective option.

By requesting Mac sauce instead of the regular ketchup and mustard, you can recreate the taste of a Big Mac without the additional charge. This substitution method allows you to save some money while still enjoying the flavors you love.

It’s a simple yet effective way to get the taste of a Big Mac without breaking the bank. Just remember to specify that you want Mac sauce when placing your order, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the savings.

Chipotle: Build Your Burrito at Home

Chipotle is a popular fast-casual Mexican restaurant known for its customizable burritos. However, dining at Chipotle can quickly add up, especially if you have a big appetite or are feeding a family.

But fear not, because there’s a cost-effective way to enjoy the flavors of Chipotle without the hefty price tag. The primary idea behind this money-saving tip is to build your own Chipotle burrito bowl at home.

This allows you to have multiple meals while still saving money compared to ordering the same amount of food at the restaurant. To begin, you can start by creating your own burrito bowl base.

Cook a batch of rice and beans of your choice, then flavor them with spices like cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder to mimic Chipotle’s signature taste. You can also add chopped onions and bell peppers to enhance the flavor and texture.

Next, choose your protein. Grilled chicken, steak, or even tofu are great options that you can cook at home.

Marinate the protein with a combination of spices that you enjoy, then cook it to perfection. Slice it up and add it to your homemade burrito bowl.

Now it’s time for the toppings. Chipotle offers a variety of fresh toppings like salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and cheese.

Purchase these ingredients from your local grocery store, or make them at home if you prefer. You can also add lettuce, pico de gallo, and corn to complete your burrito bowl.

To enjoy a burrito experience, you can use small taco-size tortillas to wrap your homemade ingredients. These tortillas are more cost-effective than the larger burrito tortillas that Chipotle offers.

Simply warm them on a skillet or microwave before assembling your burrito. By building your own Chipotle burrito bowl at home, you have the advantage of controlling the portion sizes and ingredients.

This not only saves you money but also allows you to customize your meal to your liking. Plus, you’ll have leftovers that can be repurposed for additional meals throughout the week, making it a budget-friendly and time-saving option.

Final Thoughts

By utilizing these money-saving tips at McDonald’s and Chipotle, you can enjoy your favorite fast food options while keeping your wallet happy. Remember to request Mac sauce on a McDouble to enjoy the flavors of a Big Mac without the extra charge.

And when it comes to Chipotle, build your own burrito bowl at home to save money and have multiple meals. With these tricks in mind, you can make smarter choices and continue to indulge in fast food without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, being mindful of what fast food items to avoid and how to make smarter choices can have a positive impact on both our health and finances. By substituting items at McDonald’s, such as ordering a McDouble with Mac sauce instead of a Big Mac, we can enjoy the flavors we love without incurring extra charges.

Similarly, by building our own Chipotle burrito bowls at home, we can customize our meals, control portion sizes, and save money in the process. These money-saving tips empower us to make informed decisions and prioritize our well-being without sacrificing the occasional indulgence.

So, next time you find yourself craving fast food, remember these strategies and enjoy your meal guilt-free.

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