Make Better Choices When Forced to Eat Fast-Food
by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer
I was out recently with some friends and we stopped at a fast food joint. I hate fast food joints, but sometimes everybody else wants to go there, so you just have to make the best of it and find something at least somewhat healthy.
If you’re forced to eat fast-food, here’s a tip to make sure that you’re not doing much damage to your body…
ALWAYS AVOID the soda and anything deep fried including french fries, hash browns, and anything breaded like chicken nuggets, chicken patties, or breaded fish sandwiches. These are all absolutely soaked in deadly trans fats from the industrial hydrogenated vegetable oils they use to fry all of these items.
Note: Even though some fast food restaurants have vowed to not use hydrogenated oils loaded with trans fats any more, they are still using highly refined processed oils, which are still inflammatory and negatively affect your health (and waistline).
Remember, as I’ve said before, I’ve seen studies indicating that as little as 1 gram of artificial trans fat per day can have serious degenerative internal effects in your body such as inflammation, clogging and hardening of the arteries, heart disease, various forms of cancer…not to mention packing on the ab flab. That’s as little as 1 gram!
Consider that a typical fast-food meal of a breaded chicken sandwich (or fish sandwich), along with an order of fries can contain as much as 10 grams of trans fat! Add on a cookie or small piece of pie for dessert (which are usually made with deadly margarine or shortening), and now you’re up to about 13 grams of trans fat with that entire meal.
If 1 gram a day is slowly killing you, imagine what 13 grams is doing! And that was only one meal that you ate. Some people are consuming 20-30 grams of artificial trans fat per day, and not even realizing what they’re doing to themselves internally. Please realize that nobody, I mean NOBODY, is looking out for your health, except for YOU.
Anyway, back to the topic of how to avoid this stuff and eat a reasonably healthy meal on the rare occasion that you’re forced to eat fast-food. As for drinks, avoid the sodas…they’re nothing but heavily processed high fructose corn syrup which will surely end up as extra belly fat. And yes, that mean NO DIET SODA either! This stuff is pure evil to your body. Here’s an article I did about why diet soda makes you fat.
Your best bets for drinks are always water or unsweetened iced tea. You get the added benefit of the antioxidants in the unsweetened iced tea (but stay away from any sweeteners).
At breakfast, the best choice is an egg, ham, and cheese on an english muffin (not on a croissant, which is full of nasty trans fats!), or a fruit & nut salad.
At lunch or dinner, the best choices are a grilled chicken sandwich, the chili, a grilled chicken salad without croutons (again…croutons = more trans), or even just a plain cheeseburger. This doesn’t mean these fast-food items are truly healthy and organic, but they’re the best options you have at most fast food places.
The main take-away point from this little fast-food article is that the nastiest stuff at these fast food joints are the sodas and fries, and any other deep fried items. If you stay completely away from those items, you’re at least making better choices than 95% of most people.
For any of you that have seen the movie “Super-Size Me”, you saw how eating fast food every day absolutely destroyed that guy’s health, but did you happen to notice the one guy that was the king of eating big macs (or some kind of burger)? I don’t remember what kind of burger it was, but basically this guy has eaten these fast food burgers almost every day of his life for the past 30 years or something like that.
Did you notice that he stated that he almost never eats the fries or soda, even though he eats the burgers every day? And he’s not necessarily overweight. Now I’m not saying that fast-food burgers made with their refined white bread and low quality beef and cheese are the healthiest thing, but the point is… it’s the fries and sodas that are the real health disaster.
Alright, so next time you’re out at one of these places, remember these tips and choose smart!
Personally, I can’t remember the last time I ate at a fast food joint like mickey D’s or BK. If at all possible, I’ll try to find some corner deli with fresh salads or sandwiches instead of fast food.
By the way, if you haven’t heard yet, McD’s has added a nutrition label to all of their food wrappers now. Remember that as little as one gram of trans may cause some internal harm and now you can actually see how many grams of trans fat you’re eating right on the food wrapper. That might change your mind about finishing it.
For a fully comprehensive program on losing as much body fat as you want by following a smart, scientifically designed training and nutrition program, check out The Truth about Six Pack Abs.