Monday, January 04, 2010

Fast Food for Your Health

I bet you if I titled this article “Fast Food Kills” you probably wouldn’t have even attempted to look at it, but all you fast food junkies are here to see if in some small way I was going to justify eating at Mickey D’s, right? Well……………………..NO!

Let’s take a look at an average American meal at a fast food establishment such as McDonald’s (I just can’t call a place that serves what they serve a “restaurant”). A meal consisting of 1 Big Mac, 1 order of regular fries and a vanilla triple thick shake to wash it down. According to our food pyramid, it sounds like we have the makings of a solid meal here, right? We’ve got our meat from the burger, our dairy from the shake, bread & potatoes come from our bun and fries and some vegetables from the lettuce (which is ice berg and provides 0 nutritional value) and tomato.

Now, let’s evaluate what this meal entails as far as calories and the macronutrient breakdown. Not adding in any additional condiments like ketchup to dip the fries and extra “fixings” that may be added, this meal consists of the following:

Big Mac: 33 grams of fat, 47 grams of carbohydrates and 24 grams of protein = 580 kcals

Small Order of Fries: 10 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein = 209kcals

vanilla Triple Thick Shake: 12 grams of fat, 76 grams of carbs and 11 grams of protein = 430 kclas.

Total for this meal: 55g of fat / 140g of carbohydrates (mainly simple) / 38g of protein, totaling a whopping 1,219 calories!!!!

If you are one who frequents Mickey D’s or their equivalent, hopefully you are sitting back in your seat and thinking WOW! Do I eat that many calories at one time? Do I consume that much fat (which by the way totaled over 20 grams of saturated fat)? Do I eat that many useless carbohydrates at one time?

What most people fail to realize is that not only are they consuming way too many calories, but that most of what they eat provides very little in the way of any nutritional value. I learned a long time ago that eating healthy means more than just “not eating junk”. Your body needs to consume nutrient dense foods daily to assist in fighting diseases such as type II Diabetes, heart disease (the #1 killer in America), stroke, cancer, etc. By ignoring these facts and having the opinion that “it won’t happen to me” increases the possibilities of acquiring a disease due to poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Considering the likelihood that this would never happen to you has made these diseases intangible in your mind, merely a “scare tactic” to encourage you to eat for your health. Hey, we all where the big “S” (referring to Superman) on our chest at times and think that we are indestructible to some degree, but the reality of it all is that we are not and as soon as you realize that proper eating and exercise will benefit your overall health you will be better off.

Don’t keep trying to out run the bullet, it very well may catch you one day………

Fred Fornicola