Order This, Not That: Mall Foods

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‘Tis the season for holiday shopping but don’t let a hectic trip to the mall lead to a Santa-like physique. Use our tips for more figure-friendly shopping snacks.

Order: Fresh and Light

When it comes to tackling the food court, most malls offer the usual suspects of the fast food world. Use our guides make the smartest choices at McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway and Wendy's.

A salad with vinaigrette dressing (on the side) or a small cup of soup are usually the most sensible options. Check your local mall's website ahead of time to see which chain restaurants they feature, then download the nutrition info from the company's website.

Not: Buttery and Sugary

While the smell of butter-drenched pretzels and over-sized chocolate chip cookies are calling out to you, these classic mall goodies can pack in more than 350 calories each. That pretzel also contains more than 40% of the daily recommended amount of sodium, while the cookie boasts 17 grams of total fat and 8 grams of saturated fat. The show-stopper just might be the ooey-gooey cinnamon bun, coming it a holiday-wrecking 880 calories and 36 grams of fat each!

Think sipping on a smoothie or festive coffee drink is better? Think again. A medium-sized smoothie or whipped cream-topped gingerbread latte will also pack in more than 300 sugar-filled calories.

Best Bets

Come prepared! Try to eat a satisfying meal before shopping and bring along a granola bar or trail mix for munching. If mall foods are a must, opt for kid-sized portion or grab a bottled water, coffee or tea to keep your hands and mouth occupied.

Tell Us: What mall foods do you crave?

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Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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