If there is one thing that everyone should avoid whenever possible, it is fast food. Even the healthiest people shouldn't frequent the drive through, which means that people with chronic health conditions like chronic kidney disease should stay far away. That being said, sometimes fast food is unavoidable. Maybe you are on the road and find yourself with no other option, or you are on the go for lunch and are unprepared. Or maybe you're just really craving the drive through, no matter how bad it is for you.
Whatever the reason is, it is a good idea to be armed with an idea of what to order if you find yourself in this type of situation. While fast food options, even at their healthiest, are not very healthy, there are usually some options that are better than others. A lot of fast food restaurants have even started providing healthier options.
Here are some ideas for fast food options for renal patients:
Most fast food restaurants have a grilled chicken option. Keep in mind, however, that some fast food restaurants pump additional sodium and preservatives into their products. Make sure to ask them to not salt the chicken before cooking it. You can order your grilled chicken on a sandwich with lettuce and mayonnaise, or on a salad.
If you're going to eat a fast food hamburger, you will have to make some modifications to make it a little more kidney friendly. Again, ask the restaurant to prepare your burger without salting the meat before cooking. Be conservative about your toppings. Stick to lettuce, mayonnaise, and mustard. One slice of tomato is fine but don’t eat pickles, bacon, or any sauces due to high sodium content.
Most fast food restaurants aren't going to have a broiled or grilled fish option, but most do have a fried fish sandwich of some sort. This probably isn't the best choice, but one sandwich every now and then is unlikely to hurt you too much. Omit cheese, pickle, and tartar sauce when ordering your sandwich, and stick to mayonnaise instead.
Fast food restaurants are becoming good about offering multiple salad options on their menus. These are great healthier alternatives to many of the other options on the menu, but you still have to be careful about what you order. Many of these salads have a lot of hidden sodium and other potentially dangerous ingredients, especially in their toppings and dressings.
Be wary of most fast food taco restaurants, as they typically use a lot of pre-made, processed meat products that have a ton of ingredients that could be dangerous. When ordering from one of these places, choose soft flour tortillas instead of corn, and limit your toppings to lettuce, onion, and a small amount of hot sauce if needed.
With any of these fast food options, watch your serving sizes and don't go overboard. Remember that overdoing it can ultimately cause you discomfort. Stick to one sandwich and a side salad. Fast food certainly isn't healthy for you, but if you take care of yourself it is nice to splurge every once in a while. For more tips click here.