What is Fast Food Doing to Our Health?
Spoiler: nothing good! Fast food is linked to the rising levels of obesity and disease around the world.
With more than 10 percent of the world's population now obese, we are seeing widespread health problems and disease around the world. This is a marked increase in obesity in the last 30 years - and many researchers are linking the rise of obesity to the uptake of fast foods around the world.
Fast foods are typically high in: calories, saturated and trans fat, sugar, simple carbohydrates, and sodium (salt).
Fast foods tend to have an even worse impact on children and youth – children with a sustained excess energy imbalance intake of just 2% (eating just 2% more than they need) results in the development of obesity over time. This is like eating less than two French fries or one-fourth of a can of soda.
And while Canada does have some regulations about what can be advertised to children, most regulations don’t include fast food – and most fast food has a target demographic of children and youth.
But none of this is a secret – so why do people continue eating fast food?
“Many people believe unhealthy foods cost less, and healthier foods often cost more. People eat what they believe they can afford. But there are so many affordable, healthy, and easy options if you look.” – Lora-Lee, The Healthy Owl
While fresh, healthy foods can cost more, consistently eating healthy meals won’t break the bank.
Fast food is so inexpensive because it is made in bulk, and with low quality ingredients. Remember – it’s called ‘fast’ food for a reason, and that’s because the ingredients need to be able to be cooked very quickly with little precision.
For low-cost, healthy options, try lentils and grains that can be bought in bulk and cooked quickly, or try buying your fresh fruits and vegetables in season or locally (frozen fruits and veggies are a great option too!). Adopting these practices will help bring the per-meal cost down drastically.
Now, here at The Healthy Owl we understand some days you just don’t have time to prepare a meal – whether for yourself or your family. But don’t reach for the fast food! We have amazing low-cost and high nutritional value options that you can just grab and go:
Fast, healthy, and less than $10.00
Roasted Portobello & Brie Gourmet Panini (GF available)
- roasted portobello mushroom, brie, red onion, & baby spinach on a multi-grain kaiser grilled to perfection $7.25
Chickpea Salad Wrap (DF) (V) (GF available)
- with spinach and tomatoes in a zero trans fat and cholesterol free whole wheat wrap $6.95