Fast Facts on Fast Food
Learn the facts on fast food and how to curb the fast food temptation
Fast food is tempting for so many reasons. It’s both aptly named and delicious, which suits our busy schedules. It’s convenient to just stop for a minute and pick something up on your way to work for breakfast, or on your way home for supper. Then there are invitations to eat lunch out with your co-workers, or take lunch meetings. And when you hit the 3 o’clock wall a bite of something sweet and doughy sounds just right. Without realizing it, you could be eating fast food several times a day, every day.
The risks of including fast food as a regular part of your diet rests in ingredients and portion size. Calorie counts on menus are a good start to making better choices when you do eat out, but remember that in the long run calories are only one component of making healthy choices. Vegetables contain calories, but these are more valuable to your overall nutrition than calories in fried chicken. When you’re reading the menu and taking calories into account, also consider how much sugar and fat your meal will contain. Ingredient lists are not always readily available when you eat out, and if they are we don’t often take the time to peruse them. A can of pop can easily have 32 grams of sugar which is around 7 teaspoons. Consider how much larger than one can of pop your fountain drink is.
Portion size is the next thing to consider when eating out. The key to good nutrition is in the term Balanced Diet. Ordering a burger combo with fries puts a lot of carbohydrates on your plate, a bit of protein, and not a lot of vegetables. Having salad instead of fries is a good alternative, particularly if you choose a vinaigrette dressing, but that salad may still not be enough vegetables to keep you energized, or feeling full. For example iceberg lettuce will provide your body with better energy than onion rings, but it has far less nutritional value than romaine. If you eat a large portion of your combo you may find yourself energized soon after, but not for long. Foods that take longer to digest, such as whole grains, low fat proteins (lean meats, nuts, and seeds), and vegetables are processed by your body at a slower rate than sugar, salt, and refined carbohydrates to sustain your energy supply.
Denying yourself your favourite fast food treat forever isn’t reasonable, so eat out smart. Being informed about proper nutrition you can make better choices. You can add more vegetables to your burger or sub, substitute a salad for fries (or go halves on both with a buddy!), and make a point not to overindulge when your meal exceeds healthy portion sizes. Bring water with you and skip the fountain drink, and include lunches with your weekly grocery shopping.
You can count on MVP Meals to provide you with healthy, pre-prepared meals to get you and your family through the week. We also have diet-specific meals available to suit both your busy schedule and health goals. Menus focus on nutrition and healthy portions so you don’t have to!