Nutritionist Shares 5 Fast Food Mini-Swaps To Make Your Meals Up To 60% Healthier - Exclusive

For those with certain dietary restrictions or health needs, making adjustments to your meals can help ensure those needs are met. And that's even true if you're hitting the drive thru — a few minor tweaks can go a long way to making your meal considerably healthier. "Although many fast food restaurants offer healthy choices, you can still just make some mini swaps of your favorite items and still be eating healthier," notes Jamie Feit, MS, RD, owner of, in an exclusive interview with Health Digest. She shared five helpful tips for readers looking to make their fast food meals healthier by subbing a few key ingredients.

For example, many fast-food establishments have their own unique spin on the classic cheeseburger. Feit states that by leaving off one main ingredient, there are heart health benefits to be gained. "Just by omitting the cheese, you will have a 30% decrease in fat consumption," she explains. "Consuming large amounts of saturated fat [is] known to raise LDL cholesterol. This is dangerous for heart health." By subbing in a hamburger in place of a cheeseburger, Feit says this can help lower one's intake of saturated fats — all while still tasting delicious. "This is the best strategy," she declares. "The hamburger will taste just as good loaded with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and pickles."

Healthy suggestions for sides and meats

Feit mentions that changing up the size of some of the fast-food items we enjoy can also have health benefits. Using a side of French fries as an example, Feit explains that choosing a small order of fries over a large order can reduce one's intake of carbohydrates by roughly 60%. "A small order of fast food fries contains about 26 grams of carbohydrates. A large order of fries contains about 72 grams of carbohydrates," she says. "Carbohydrates give us energy, but also can be detrimental if too many servings are consumed per day."

Alternatively, Feit goes on to explain the health benefits of swapping one's choice of sandwich meat at fast-food deli restaurants. "A turkey sandwich at Subway has 3 grams of fat and 790 grams of sodium, while a meat combo contains 10 grams of fat and 980 grams of sodium," Feit tells Health Digest. "Excess sodium consumption can affect blood pressure and fluid shifts in the body." For those looking to keep their sodium intake low, Feit highlights how that turkey swap can help support this goal. "By swapping out turkey as a healthy alternative for mixed cold cuts, you can decrease fat by 30% and sodium by 20%," she says.

Suggestions for healthy beverage swaps

Feit also offered suggestions for how to boost the health factor of various fast-food beverage items, such as coffee. "Coffee drinks are popular and delicious, but the calories and sugar content can really add up," she notes. "Excessive sugar consumption can cause insulin resistance, inflammation, and weight gain." Offering an alternative, Feit states, "Swapping out for a latte with plant-based milk will save you 20% in calories and choosing a shaken espresso with plant-based milk can decrease your calorie consumption by 30%."

Lastly, for those who are either interested in — or in need of — keeping their sugar intake low, Feit suggests opting for a water or seltzer to accompany your order rather than soda. "Diet soda is full of chemicals and regular soda is full of sugars," she declares. "Swapping out soda for water or seltzer helps to clean out your body, [and] keep you well hydrated."

You can find out more about healthy eating at Feit's website,, or connect with her at You can also find her on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook.