Dr. Oz's Drive-Thru Diet

Dr. Oz shares how to make the right choices when it comes to fast food. Try his suggested menu items and three “road rules” to follow no matter where you dine.

Dr. Oz's Drive-Thru Diet

We all know the best way to a healthy meal is to prepare it ourselves. Whenever possible, you should eat fresh, home-cooked meals, sticking mostly to fruits, vegetables and grains while limiting your meat intake. Of course, the realities of life mean sometimes you need to eat on the run. Most fast-food menus feature high-fat, high-calorie processed foods that not only pack on the calories but also damage our bodies, eventually leading to diabetes and heart disease.

But just because your meal comes from the drive-thru doesn’t mean you have to punish your body. Here, Dr. Oz shares 3 fast-food meal suggestions. They should be less than 500 calories, contains no trans-fats, and have less than 1,000 milligrams of sodium.


Fast-Food Breakfast

Avoid the fat-laden breakfast sandwich we all know (and may secretly love) and make a healthy choice. Pick up a breakfast sandwich with egg whites and American cheese on whole-wheat or whole-grain bread instead.

Fast-Food Lunch

No need for a double or triple-stacked burger. Opt for a fast-food salad with grilled chicken and apple slices. Don’t overdo it on the dressing, and you could even tack on an additional (healthy) side!

Fast-Food Dinner

It’s tempting to chomp on chicken nuggets after a long day, but your body will thank you for choosing a quarter white, skinless rotisserie chicken, steamed veggies, and sweet corn. You’ll avoid the artery clogging, deep-fried chicken and instead enjoy low-fat roasted chicken that won’t leave your tongue coated in grease.

Now that you’ve got a sample menu to help you make healthier drive-thru choices, here are 3 ways to cut down calories and fat no matter where you place your order.

Road Rule #1: Start with a side salad or soup.

Start every fast food meal with a side salad or even chili! You’ll get far more nutrients than you would from most other drive-thru dishes. Plus, you’ll fill up faster, allowing you to shrink down both your normal burger order and your waistline!  

Road rule #2: Add your own flavor elevators!

Most of us turn to salt to punch up the flavor in our meals. Of course, that same salt wreaks havoc on our arteries, leading to all sorts of problems like high blood pressure and even heart disease.

Instead of salt, ketchup or mayo, try keeping a “flavor elevator” in your glove box. Red pepper flakes, sriracha (a Thai hot sauce) or garlic powder all make great salt alternatives, punching up flavor while cutting back on sodium. And if you forget your flavor elevator at home, just ask for a packet of hot sauce.

Road rule #3: Chew for 10!

Fast food refers to how fast you can get it, not how fast you should eat it! A 2009 study looked at the effect of chew time and bite size on satiety and overall caloric intake. The study found that both taking small bites and increasing the chew time significantly decreased the overall amount of food the subjects ate, likely because smaller bites with more chewing allows you to really blast your taste buds with flavor. So, take small bites and chew for at least 10 seconds. You’ll eat less and savor the flavors like never before!

Read 10 more tips for eating smart in the fast food lane.

Your Parent Has Dementia: What to Talk to Their Doctor About

Make sure all their doctors are aware of all the medications she is taking.

Q: My mom is 94 and has dementia. She is taking a whole medicine cabinet-full of medications and I think they actually make her fuzzier. How should I talk to her various doctors about what she is taking and if she can get off some of the meds? — Gary R., Denver, Colorado

A: Many dementia patients are taking what docs call a "polypharmacy" — three or more medications that affect their central nervous system. And we really don't know how that mixture truly affects each individual person.

A new study in JAMA Network that looked at more than 1 million Medicare patients found almost 14% of them were taking a potentially harmful mix of antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Ativan, nonbenzodiazepine benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics such as Ambien or Sonata, and opioids. And almost a third of those folks were taking five or more such medications. The most common medication combination included an antidepressant, an antiepileptic, and an antipsychotic. Gabapentin was the most common medication — often for off-label uses, such as to ease chronic pain or treat psychiatric disorders, according to the researchers from the University of Michigan.

Keep Reading Show less