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Fast Food No Nos

Aug 17, 2007
Ok, let's face it; we all eat fast food at one time or another during the month. Some more than others, but most everyone eats fast food at least once a month. If you don't eat fast food it has to be a full blown boycott on it, because the fast food companies make it so convenient to eat. It seems like everywhere we go fast food chains are offering fresh, hot, tasty food for the price of a few dollars, or less. It is not easy to stay slim eating fast food unless you have a movie star metabolism, however it is possible to limit the damage the food does to you by making smart selections when you choose to indulge your hunger with fast food.

One great way to make smart choices on where to eat, and what to get, is to do a little homework. You don't need to be a nutritionist to discover that one fast food chain has double the sodium in their French fries then the competition's French fry sodium levels. Just doing research like this can literally cut your sodium intake in half for the day. You can take the sodium example, and apply it to calories, cholesterol, and any other ingredient that you prefer. Most fast food chains offer nutritional charts on their websites that will help guide you to this pertinent information.

If time does not allot for a sit down with the nutritional menu at your favorite fast food restaurant, then go with this general rule of thumb: less is more. If you have less food at a fast food restaurant, you will have more health benefits for it. If you eat larger quantities of food you will definitely be worse off then if you'd just had half of what you ordered.

Also, take advantage of the new lower calorie choices which most all of the fast food restaurants are now offering. Most of them have some form of salad with a lite or reduced calorie salad dressing available. Many of them also have other choices such as fruit cups or baked potatoes (watch out for the butter and sour cream) which can be substituted for French fries.

Many of the fast food restaurants are now offering grilled chicken where they only had fried chicken in the past. By choosing grilled instead of fried, you can still get a fast food sandwich with most of the trimmings (you may want to leave off the mayonnaise or heavy sauce) and still stay in the healthy zone.

Another idea is to get your sandwich and when it comes, don't eat the bread or bun. You might want to do this especially if the bread has been smeared with a lot of mayonnaise or has had butter spread on it and "toasted". Both of these have probably trippled the calorie value of the bread.

And...a really big one is even though the fast food restaurant advertises and the clerk does his or her best to push you, don't "super size" your meal. It may seem like a better value, but in the long run while you may be paying less money for your food, you are paying a much greater price with your health. More of a good thing is good, but more of a bad thing is just bad!

Here's one more hint which will help you eat healthier when buying your food at a fast food restaurant. That's not eating in your car. I know, I'm guilty of it myself and I know I shouldn't do it. But sometimes I'm just in a hurry and don't have time to either go into the restaurant and sit and eat or take it back to my office or home.

It seems that when I eat in my car, it is easier just to eat whatever I ordered as fast as I can so I can be on my way. Heck, sometimes I eat while I'm driving. It's just not good practice to do this. Because you are in a cramped area as well as being pressed for time, you can spill some of the food or beverage on yourself. Also, it's hard to just eat the meat and veggies out of your sandwich and trying to balance a baked potato is really ridiculous. So what do you do...you know, you opt for the high calorie, high sodium, high fat meal and eat it as quickly as possible and hightail it out of there.

I'm sure you've heard most of these lessons before, but the older you get the more problems you have and the more important it is to heed these suggestions. Using your mind, and activating some deep down restraint will help you intake less toxic food, and stay healthy so you can live for a long time to come.
About the Author
Della Franklin is a business owner, successful IT Systems Manager & Internet Marketer. She counts 10 years experience as a teacher as well as being a Certified Network Engineer, cook, wife & mother. See more about her at http://www.foodielooksatfood.com or http://www.dogwoodsquare.com
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