Most folks are aware that in general, fast food is not the healthiest choice. It’s high in calories, fat and sugar not to mention all the genetic engineering of fast food (and a lot of other foods too!). Did I mention the part about fast food (and any pre-prepared food, really) being created with addictive chemicals so that you want more? However, it’s late in the day, you are hungry, so is your family, and there is nothing to eat in the house. Just this once, you think, we will order delivery. And so it goes.
The above scenario is all too common in today’s world. No one has time to prepare food and that is what the fast food places are counting on. The less you cook, the more money they make! Though most of us likely know that eating fast food on a regular basis can be disastrous to our health, we still do it because it’s quick and easy and we’re too busy to do it ourselves.
The Top Reasons to Skip Fast Food
Trans-fats are created when hydrogen is added to liquid oils so that they stay solid at room temperature. The resulting fat is considered by many to be one of the most deadly things you can consume. A diet in trans-fat greatly increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke.
Most of us are aware that of high fructose corn syrup is in soft drink, but sugar is also abundant in fast food. Many burgers, chicken sandwiches and breakfast items contain sugar. That “healthy” McDonald’s Fruit and Yogurt parfait IS low in fat, but it also has 32 grams of sugar. Eating too much sugar increases your risk of weight gain and metabolic syndrome.
Despite its high caloric content, fast food delivers very little in the way of nutrition. One fast food meal can easily contain 1500 calories, which is way more than half of the daily calories required for a healthy adult. A Big Mac alone contains 563 calories, 33 grams of fat and 1000 mg of sodium!!! If you were to add fries and a soda, you are most likely very close to your daily intake requirements for the whole day.
Consistently eating too much sugar, fat, empty calories and sodium causes weight gain. As a society, we sit more and move less, yes, but we are putting more calories in and without any exercise, well you get the picture. One of the things I like to tell my patients is that if you want to lose or maintain weight, 20% is exercise and 80% is what you put in your mouth. The extreme amount of calories we get from fast food along with less sleep and more stress are literally killing us! Weight gain also leads to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure; that constellation of diseases is known as metabolic syndrome or syndrome X. But here’s the catch! It is completely within our power to reverse it by making wiser decisions.
I am not advising that you never eat fast food as that may not be realistic. However, prepare some foods (like proteins, soups, casserole, etc.) ahead of time and freeze so that when the day gets too busy, you have some back up readily available!
LEARN ABOUT OUR NUTRITIONAL PROGRAMS
While there are many nutritional programs out there, LifeScape vets out the science, technology and efficacy of each one before prescribing them to any patient. Our doctors and nutritionist may work with you on any number of customized programs for healthy diet, weight management, resolving dietary deficiencies or addressing inflammatory foods that may be leading to chronic conditions or illness.
Through a series of appointments, we will learn how to best help you with your nutrition and healthy eating goals. There are so many factors that influence how we eat in today’s busy world and we will do our best to help you find the healthy habits may work best for you.