While our culture in America has been built on convenience; fast food depicts the lifestyles we lead. In the US we idolize our time and not the fuel that runs our body or the nutrients that feed our brain. Our schedules are jam packed with dance, soccer, tutoring, business meetings, church groups and more. The idea of a home-cooked meal with the family at the dinner table has sadly been lost. Not only have we lost time to bond with our family but all to quickly we are losing our health as well. So while we think we are saving time and even money in some cases at a fast food drive-through or take-out from Chick Fil A the real truth is we are losing both.
The N.I.H has posted that “eating at fast-food restaurants more than twice a week is associated with weight gain and insulin resistance (Diabetes) in otherwise healthy young adults or children.” The truth is that obesity and diabetes cost us more in health bills and time lost being sick than it will ever save us. Many of you are thinking well….I only eat it once a week; or I choose from the healthier menu items. So I searched for myself is there a healthier choice at a fast food restaurant? Is there something safe I would feed my kids? I researched the most frequented fast food joints MacDonald’s, Wendy’s and Chick-filet.
I was not surprised but saddened to find Sugar mainly High fructose Corn Syrup, MSG (also called hydrolyzed yeast or yeast extract) and rancid oxidized oils (canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil) in all the restaurants and in all the menu items. Not excluding salads in which I found to have the most additives and chemicals. Sugars, bad fats and toxins in our foods have been linked to childhood sicknesses, headaches, ADD/ADHD etc. and are the key players feeding the obesity epidemic in the U.S.
“You are what you eat and what you digest!” Be an educated consumer watch what you put in your mouth because the repercussions or benefits will always surface. Below are just a few examples of ingredients in chicken nuggets….blue=sugars, Red=carcinogen, yellow=bad fat (leads to diabetes, cancer and obesity)
Chicken Breast, Water, Corn Starch Modified, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Whey Protein Concentrate, Battered and Breaded : Wheat Flour, Water, Wheat Flour Bleached, Salt, Corn Starch Modified, Spice(s), Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Dextrose, Corn Flour Yellow, Yeast, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Spice(s) Extractive, Flavor(s) Natural & Artificial, Xanthan Gum, Cooked in Vegetable(s) Oil (Soybean(s) Oil, Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Soybean(s) Oil Hydrogenated, Flavor(s) Natural [Vegetable(s)], Citric Acid, Dimethylpolysiloxane)
McDonalds Chicken McNuggets®:
White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning [autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid], sodium phosphates, natural flavor (botanical source). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, bleached wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, dextrose, corn starch.
Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
100% natural chicken tenderloins, seasoning (salt, autolyzed yeast, maltodextrin, spice, natural flavor, chicken fat, garlic powder, sugar cane syrup, onion powder, paprika, molasses, sodium diacetate, tomato powder, silicon dioxide [anticaking agent], sugar, oleoresin paprika [color], citric acid, smoke flavor, caramel color), seasoned coater (enriched bleached flour [bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening [baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate], spice, soybean oil, color [paprika]), milk wash (water, egg, nonfat milk), peanut oil (fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent added).
So what is the solution to our time constraint problem?
Healthier options for faster food are:
1.Salad bars at the Grocery Store
2. Panera bread offers organic/hormone-free meats
3.Chipotle offers grass-fed meats in their meals
4. Bring your own salad dressings to avoid MSG and High Fructose Corn Syrup
5. Pack lunches and dinners to go
6. Plan ahead