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Your Choice – Make it Count

Value-limited fast food, on-the-go meals and sugar-sweetened beverages are the most common options available. To shift this trend we need to try new things and make new choices. Following are a few tips and things to think about the next time you need to quench your thirst or energize your body on-the-go.

Beverages with Benefits

  • Choose water first! If you feel thirsty, water is the best way to hydrate your body
  • Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day
  • Add a splash of citrus or 100 percent juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink
  • Drink water, low-fat or non-fat milk or other unsweetened beverages (e.g., unsweetened tea, unsweetened flavored water, etc.)

AND

  • When you do opt for a sugar-sweetened beverage, go for the smallest size available!

Better Fast Food and On-the-Go Meal Options

  • Order items with more vegetables and choose leaner meats (e.g., skinless chicken) that are grilled, broiled or baked
  • “Undress” your food - be aware of fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, etc. You can also order your food selection plain, so you can add a packet of ketchup or mustard yourself, controlling how much you put on your food
  • The typical fast food meal “single” serving is enough for two meals. Therefore, opt for the smaller versus larger portion size
  • Fast food tends to be very high in sodium, therefore avoid adding more salt to your food. Also, keep in mind certain items can be special ordered without the extra sprinkling of salt
  • Check out the free downloadable fast food restaurant menu guides to help you evaluate your best options in advance

Food and Beverage Choices - Things to Think About

Is this beverage or food item really a value?

  • Is it high in nutrients to energize and replenish your body?
  • Does it have ingredients (e.g., high in fats, sodium and sugar) that could increase your risk of diseases (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, etc.) and impact your health and well-being?
  • Is there a better-for-you alternative available?

What food and beverages have you already consumed today? **It’s never too late to make your next choice a better choice.

  • Why do you think you need something to drink or eat?
  • Are you eating or drinking because you are bored?
  • Has hanging out with your friends become associated with eating or drinking certain foods or beverages?

What foods and beverages give your body the best nutrients and energy to sustain your activities (e.g., walking, dancing, playing sports, etc.)?


SOURCES:

Rethink your drink. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
HELPGUIDE.Org

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