Now a days lunch boxes replaced by mouthwatering, ready to eat and easily available Pizzas, Burgers, Fries, Subs or Cold Drinks. These fast foods are best fit when you are hungry and looking for ready to eat food. It also satisfies your temptation for time being but keep in mind that fast foods are loaded with lot of sugar, bunch of calories, too much sodium and bit extra fat. McDonald, CCD, Burgers King, Subway or any other fast food chain offers no of options for lunch, snack or dinner. Most of them are unhealthy and expensive too rather than cooking at home.
Fast Food at Glance
Some food chain or restaurant claims that they serve healthy food. This is not always true, let’s take one example; Cheese is rich source of protein and calcium, however the cheese topping you ate with Pizza or burger likely to be made from non-dairy ingredients and heavily processed. By this way they makes more profit. The same is applicable to eggs, chicken or meat.
Typically the fast food is high in trans-fat, lot of sugar, sodium and calories and low in necessary nutrients such as vitamin and minerals.
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What is Best Fit?
Although fast food is not healthy, but it doesn’t mean that you need to avoid it, you can consume it in moderation in order to keep the nutritional balance. The below mentioned tips and recommendations might help you to make fast food choices healthier.
Almost everything you eat at fast food restaurant has added sugar. Right from ketchup, BBQ sauce, dips, salad dressings, cookies to burger has extra sugar. This adds empty calories to your waistline, hence added sugar is the biggest problem of fast food. To minimize the adverse effect of it, limit dips, sides, sauce, ketchup in your meal.
Calorie Count less than 500
Normally we need 500-600 calorie per meal, however average calorie count of fast food meal is close to 900 calorie. Almost 300-400 calorie EXTRA per meal, too much for our body. What you are supposed to do is read all nutritional information posted on food chain website or available at that location and place the order having less than 500 calories per servings.
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Sodium is vital nutrient in order to perform various internal processes. But the EXTRA sodium has more side effects so try to limit its intake. Read the label information before you place an order. As per American Heart Association, an adult need 1500mg sodium per day, so plan your sodium intake accordingly.
Watch your drink:
Added sugar and EXTRA calories majorly comes from soda drinks and shakes. An average large soda drink has 300 calories and 76gm of sugar whereas shakes can add whooping 800 calories and 120 gm sugar. I guess above statistics is good enough to change your mind set about soda drinks.
Buy one get one, Jumbo sized, Super-size or Value sized meals are the buzzwords used by food chain restaurants to attract more customers. Always keep watch on small portion size only.
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Fries Out, Grilled In:
Fries such as French fries, crispy chicken and processed meat should be avoided. Instead of that chicken breast or turkey is preferred one.
Bring your Toppings
Fast food do not have vital nutrients such as vitamin and minerals. If you plan ahead, bring the toppings like apple, pear, cottage cheese, nuts, dry fruits, yogurt, carrot etc. This will help you to balance nutritional need.
Fast food are good source of calories, sugar, soda and trans-fat, on top of that they always have nutritional imbalance, so try to have it occasionally.