Fast food is cheap, convenient, filling, and to many of us it tastes good. If you are eating out, a fast food restaurant is often the cheapest option, but unfortunately not a healthy one. Eating just one fast food meal can pack enough calories, sodium and fat for an entire day or more. Eating fast food on a regular basis can lead to a host of different health problems, both physical and psychological. Still, in a bad economy the quick-and-cheap temptation can often be hard to resist. As an informed customer, though, you can make healthier choices and still enjoy the price and convenience of fast food restaurants. Making healthier choices at fast food restaurants is easier if you prepare ahead by checking guides that show you the nutritional content of meal choices at your favorite restaurants. Free downloadable guides help you evaluate your options. If you have a special dietary concern, such as diabetes, heart health or weight loss, the websites of national non-profits provide useful advice. You can also choose to patronize restaurants that focus on natural, high quality food. If you don’t prepare ahead of time, common sense guidelines help to make your meal healthier. For example, a seemingly healthy salad can be a diet minefield when smothered in high-fat dressing and fried toppings, so choose a salad with fresh veggies, grilled toppings and a lighter dressing. Portion control is also important, as many fast food restaurants serve enough food for several meals in the guise of a single serving.