No, it isn’t an oxymoron; Fast food nutrition. Although it is true you should not overindulge in fast foods, an occasional trip to the vending machine or chain restaurant isn’t going to cause adverse affects for most people. Like anything else, moderation is what you have to practice with fast foods. The reason so many people eat fast food is because we are on the go. Soccer practice, work, shopping…time is precious. So we pop into a Burger Barn or a Nugget Station to get some food on the run.
Fast food offers us food quickly and affordably. Actually, it’s downright cheap most of the time. What you need to keep in mind is that it is cheap because they do not usually use the leaner meats and they serve ice cream shakes instead of milk. (To be fair, however, some chains are starting to provide healthier choices.) So, while you may be getting some nutrition, you are also getting a lot more fat, sodium and sugar than you need. Fast food meals are going to happen; you just have to balance them out with healthier foods. If you know you will be going to a fast food place that night, serve uber-healthy foods for breakfast. Whole grain cereals and fruit would be a good choice.
Also, check the food nutritional information at your favorite fast food places. Now, granted, the reason most of us go there is because we are in a hurry. That means we probably do not have time to browse through the nutritional pamphlets they have available. That’s fine, but sometime when you have a few minutes, go online and go to their website. On every fast food chain website there is a tab for nutritional information. Click on that and see what kind of fats and sodium content you are getting.
Fast food nutrition can be as simple as choosing the grilled or broiled chicken sandwich instead of the double cheese burger. Skip the fries and also opt for tea or bottled water instead of the soda or milk shake. You may want to ask them to cut the amount of condiments they use in half too. Normally the sauce and catsup are falling out of the sandwich anyway because there is so much and the condiments only add not so good things to our diets. If you simply must have fries, split them with a family member and don’t get jumbo sized fries.
Fast food nutrition is do-able. It just takes a few common sense changes on your part, especially if you go to fast food places more than once a week. There are many not-so-healthy choices at fast food places but there are some healthier choices too. Always try to choose the healthiest alternative to high fat that they offer. Remember you still are going to get nutritional value from a fast food place, but you have to learn how to make the best choices to increase your intake of healthy foods vs. fatty and unhealthy foods.