Lisa Drayer reports on CNN tips to make healthy fast food, which can be a terrific primer for supermarkets, grocerants and fast fooderies. She points out that as many fast-food offerings have become healthier, vegan offerings in this category still are not necessarily more healthy. She points out that Dunkin' Donuts may be free of animal fat, but a bigger complete protein boost is found with an egg-and-cheese English muffin and a latte with skim or almond milk.
Burger King offers a Morningstar veggie burger topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup and mayo, but the condiments have a high sodium count. A garden side salad is good, but skip the croutons and dressing, which add even more sodium.
So what can a vegan do? Try a strawberry Greek yogurt parfait at Starbucks that has 14 grams of protein and provides 15 percent of your daily calcium needs. A café latte with soy milk adds 7 grams of protein and another third of your daily calcium.
Taco Bell's cheesy roll-up with tomatoes is simple and satisfying for vegetarians, but to upgrade its nutritional profile, add black beans, which boost fiber and protein.
The fruit-and-yogurt parfait at McDonald's is tasty, low in saturated fat and calcium-rich. It and offers antioxidants from the berries.
For vegetarians, the tomato mozzarella flatbread and classic salad combo at Panera Bread is lower in sodium compared with other meals with tomatoes, such as a slice of pizza, and has a satisfying amount of fiber and protein.
More and more restaurants are catering to meatless customers, which now number approximately 8 million adults in the United States, with many more trying to eat less meat in general for health reasons.
Here’s how to attract and satisfy these customers:
- Post your menus online
- Promote your vegan options in store and in social media, and include ingredient and nutritional listings
- Post your menu on Happy Cow, an app for vegans