Fast Food Restaurants--Enemy or Scapegoat?

You've probably heard the story.

A New York man is suing McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's and Kentucky Fried Chicken. He claims the chain-restaurants made him fat, enticing him with fatty foods.

East Texas dietician Mandy Caid-Jefferson, with Trinity Mother Frances Health System, does not agree with the man's claim.

"I think it's pretty crazy," she said Thursday. "You know we can go out to eat, and there are better food choices at just about every place you go."

Mandy is part of a team that visits East Texas restaurants and determines what foods will receive a special Hearts D'Lite designation. All Hearts D'Lite foods are low in fat and cholesterol. Many fast food franchises, including McDonalds, Wendy's, Chick Fil-A and Subway are on the list.

At both Wendy's and McDonalds, Mandy found several items with less than seven grams of fat. At McDonald's the Mandarin Chicken Salad with low-fat dressing has less than 5 grams of fat. Without dressing, it has only 150 calories and 1.5 fat grams.

Mandy says the access pounds come when you add toppings like Sesame Dressing, which has 21 fat grams.

At McDonalds, Mandy recommends exchanging a quarter pounder for a McGrill Chicken sandwich, and skip the mayonnaise.

Swapping the burger and fries for a grilled chicken sandwich can save consumers more than 120 calories.

There are many other health food options at both restaurants and other restaurants on the list. To view the list, click on the Know More On Seven Icon."