Being hungry and out of time is something that happens to any of us. And, in such cases, it is easier to go to the nearest fast-food restaurant and eat on the run than actually take time at home to prepare something healthy to eat. After all, is there any difference between the sandwich you make at home and the sandwich you buy at a fast-food restaurant?
As it turns out, there is quite a big difference. And this difference consists of the fact that restaurants want to keep their costs down in order to maximize their profits. So even if on paper, the same ingredients are used, the ones from the restaurant are heavily processed, and they are not that fresh. Sure, you shouldn’t believe that meats from fast food restaurants are well beyond their expiration date. But it is way better to know everything about the ingredients being used.
In this way, can fast-food restaurants be a healthy source of food? In a single word, yes – but it is much more difficult than just that. And first of all, you should be aware of the caloric intake of what you are eating – 500 calories are more than enough for an adult’s meal. And how can you check this? Most fast-food chains have this information either on their website or in the restaurant. So be sure to check it out!
Then you must steer away from saturated and trans fats. While not all saturated fats are bad, trans-fats are directly connected to all sorts of diseases, including in here coronary heart disease. So instead of relying on fried or breaded meats (such as chicken fingers), order something grilled or roasted.
You should also be careful how salty your order is – while it is recommended to stay under 1500 mg of sodium per day, a simple burger with fries exceeds this limit. And since we are talking burgers and fries, they always work with a soda, right? Well, these beverages all contain added sugars, well over the daily limit of 37.5 grams for an adult male and 25 grams for an adult female.
And not just sodas or shakes contain added sugars – even the salad dressing might contain, depending on the restaurant you are visiting.
And, as everybody knows, whole foods are always healthier – but you can’t really expect that when going to a fast-food restaurant. So, in this case, you might want to skip the bacon (we know it is delicious, but it is also very harmful), the French fries (you don’t really need them), or, for that matter, the side dishes (fries, rice, mashed potatoes, and so on). If you really want something on the side, then go for the vegetables.
Lastly, if you have to visit a fast-food restaurant, always make special orders – when possible, of course. For example, go for the wheat buns or for the whole grain bread, skip the sauce or the dressing, and ask for less in order to receive more.
You can eat healthy food in a fast-food restaurant – but you have to watch out for quite a few things. And this could be difficult, especially if you are in a hurry (and you are there because you are in a hurry, after all). So wouldn’t it be better if you prepared something from home?