Fast food has become associated with unhealthy choices and fatty meals. However, most fast food restaurants have begun to offer healthier options over the past few years. Still, you need to do a little work and thinking yourself in order to ensure the meals you choose at a fast food restaurant are good for you. Here are five tips to help you do just that.

Stick with the salad, but with caution.

Many fast food restaurants have added a few salads to their menus. These can be a light, low-calorie choice as long as you customize them properly. Say no to fattier, heavier toppings like bacon, ranch dressing, and cheese. Pick a light dressing, like a vinaigrette, and have your salad topped with other veggies like celery, carrots, and onions.

Pick broiled over fried chicken.

If you're eating at a fast food chain that specializes in chicken, then you're in luck. Most chicken restaurants that traditionally served fried chicken now serve grilled or broiled chicken, too. This chicken is typically seasoned with spices, lemon juice, and other healthier ingredients, so it has flavor without all the fat. Enjoy a sandwich if you feel like treating yourself, but do without the mayonnaise. Or, for a lighter option, just ask for the chicken wrapped in lettuce.

Choose a healthy side.

If you want to treat yourself a little, but not go overboard, consider picking something traditional, like a small burger, as your entree. But pair it with a healthy side, such as a fruit cup or sauteed veggies, rather than French fries or a biscuit. If you're on a more strict diet, you could pair the healthy side with a broiled chicken sandwich as discussed above.

Drink water.

When people dine out, a good portion of the calories they consume come from their beverages. Soda may be delicious, but it's not a healthy choice. Diet soda has its own problems, too. The healthiest choice for your fast food meal is a nice, tall glass of water. Green tea with no added sweetener is a nice choice as well, if your restaurant has it.

Minimize the condiments.

Many fast food options lend themselves to dipping and drenching in various sauces. If you skip these sauces, you'll save a lot of calories. If you absolutely cannot do without the sauce, opt for mustard. It's lower in calories than mayonnaise, barbecue, and other popular sauces.

For more ideas, contact a company like Tastybox.