Healthy Fast Foods: What's the Best Option?
Healthy Fast Food: What's the Best Option?
Did you know that certain foods are ideal for a fast? These so-called “clean” foods help you lose weight, keep the pounds off, and feel great. Healthy fast food can be found almost anywhere these days - from veggie kebabs at your local Greek restaurant to grilled chicken sandwiches from your local fast food joint. You can also find healthier options when dining out with friends or family. Fast food is everywhere today. But what kind of fast food is the best choice? Here’s an overview of the pros, cons, and potential health risks of all types of unhealthy fast food, from burgers to ice cream and fried chicken.
What is Fast Food?
Fast food is a type of restaurant food that is prepared using ingredients that have been ground or blended to make them quickly available for sale. It is typically less nutritious and less safe for consumption than home-cooked meals. Many fast foods are high in calories, fat, sodium, and sugar. They may also be high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium due to the use of ingredients such as beef tallow, bacon, lard, and chicken fat in the frying process. Many contain preservatives, artificial flavorings, and colorings in order to extend the shelf life and prevent loss of quality.
Read More: A Guide to the Healthiest Fast Food RestaurantsSee also:Nutritional Yeast: What It Is and How To Use It
Why You Should Eat Fast Food
Eating healthy can be expensive and time-consuming. But with some fast food, you can get in, get out, and get back to your busy schedule in no time. It’s fast, it’s convenient, and it’s healthy. That’s why you should eat a little fast food every now and then. Eating fast food occasionally won’t harm your health or cause you to gain weight. In fact, it could even help you lose a few pounds. Studies have found that people who eat fast food once a week tend to weigh about one to three pounds less than those who don’t eat it at all.
Health Benefits of Eating Fast Food
- Fiber - Many types of fiber found in whole fruits and vegetables are absent from many fast foods. Fiber helps you feel fuller and helps your body eliminate excess sodium and fat from your body by keeping your intestines clean and regular, preventing constipation, and preventing certain types of cancers. - Protein - While many fast foods are high in sodium and saturated fat, some are also a good source of protein. This essential nutrient helps build and repair cells, assists in the formation of your body’s hormones, and is required for tissue growth and maintenance. - Iron - Some vitamin-rich fruits, vegetables, and legumes contain very little iron. But some meats, poultry, and seafood do. Fortunately, two thirds of the iron found in a typical American’s diet comes from red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. - Vitamins - Many types of fast foods are high in Vitamin-rich fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Cons of Eating Fast Food
- Excess Salt - Sodium is an essential nutrient in the body, but too much of it can cause water retention and increase your risk of developing high blood pressure. Certain types of fast foods are very high in sodium. For example, a large McDonald’s hamburger has almost 3,000 milligrams of sodium while the same amount of fresh, unprocessed spinach only has 1/2 a gram of sodium. - Excess Fat - Some fast foods are high in saturated fat and trans fat, which are both associated with an increased risk of heart disease. - High Calories - Fast foods are typically high in calories. A 3-inch sub contains almost 1,000 calories, almost half of which come from fat. A small popcorn chicken meal from Popcorn Hut contains 1,500 calories, almost half of which are from fat. - High Carbohydrates - Many types of fast foods contain a lot of carbohydrates. - Too Much Salt, Fat, and Carbohydrates - Consuming too much of any one type of nutrient can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesitySee also:Banana Nutrition: How To Make A Banana Last Longer
Which Foods Are the Best for a Fast?
- Lean Meats - Lean cuts of red meat such as top round, sirloin, round tip, and flank steak are best for a fast. These meats contain almost no fat and are a good source of protein. - Lean Poultry - Lean poultry such as dark chicken, turkey breast, and white-meat chicken are a good choice for a fast. These meats contain almost no fat and are a good source of protein. - Fish - A good source of protein, fish such as tuna, salmon, pollock, and cod are also low in fat and sodium and contain no cholesterol. - Fried Vegetables - Fried vegetables such as carrots, celery, and green beans are a great choice for a fast meal. They are low in calories and contain fiber which helps to keep you regular and maintain your bowel health.