There’s a reason why fast food is so popular. It’s convenient, filling, cheap, fast and is packaged attractively to appeal to all age groups. Unfortunately, eating fast food isn’t the healthies option as its brimming with calories, sodium and fat.
Regular consumption can lead to a variety of health realted problems, both on a physical and psychological level. How is it that we can take advantage of the attractive prices fast food eateries have to offer while still making conscious healthier choices?
The correct answer would be: almost impossible. A single Quarter Pounder set from McDonald’s contains up to three days worth of saturated fat. One way to control your food choice is to read up the nutritional content of meal choices at your fastfood restaurants and only eat according to your nutritional and calorie needs. You can also find this information on the web.
It doesn’t make sense to order a full blown deep fried meal and then a Diet Coke because you’re looking to “lose weight”. The Diet Coke doesn’t help you lose weight, not having fast food does. Even if you choose to have salads, try to avoid high fat dressings and fried toppings. Instead go for salads and sandwiches with fresh veggies with reasonable variety, grilled toppings (grilled ham or chicken) and lighter dressings.
For some reason, Malaysians tend to douse their salads and sandwiches with plenty of mayo or ketchup which overwhelms the flavour of the actual contents. When asked, they replied, “I should get full value for what I paid!“
CUSTOMIZING YOUR MEALS
Most restaurants allow you to customize your meals so make sure to inform the waiter beforehand. Instead of having your vegetables fried, you can request for them to be steamed or blanched if possible. If you don’t want creamy sauces in your salads, get them to replace it with olive oil or white vinegar instead.
ORDER A DRINK
Hydrate yourself with plenty of water. We’re not asking you to fill your hunger pangs with water but because plain water costs almost the same as other flavoured drinks, we tend to order the latter because, well again, it’s value for money. If you really can’t bear the taste of plain water, try adding a squeeze of lemon to it or have some teas (without sugar!)
So you’ve saved time by getting your meal fast but don’t chug down on your food! Chew slowly and thoroughly so that your body digests your food better and makes you feel more satistfied as you are mindful of the whole process of eating.
Many fastfood allow you to upgrade your servings from Regular to Large at a very small charge. While you may think that its value for money, it may result you in eating several meals in one sitting. Stick to regulars. A penny saved is a penny earned after all.
You shouldn’t avoid eating proteins or carbs altogether simply because they’re fattening. Always note that they’re unhealthy because of the way they are prepared and not their nutritional content.
For example, foods that are higher in calories and unhealthy fats are usually deep or pan fried, batter dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy or doused in cream sauce. Add more vegetables to your menu and lean meat. It’s the fat that melts in your mouth making every bite tasty so don’t complain when they go to your hips, you made that conscious choice!