Fast Foods and What They Do

Image courtesy of New Atlas

Image courtesy of New Atlas

Linsey Austin and Hope Taylor

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Fast food: America’s most popular kind of food. All from McDonald’s to a restaurant. Convenient and cheap, with a super great taste, but it’s also super bad for your health.

According to the Center for Disease and Disease Control and Prevention, 36% of adults and 17% of American youth (under 19) are obese. What causes this?  Most of the fast foods have high levels of sugar and fats which are directly associated with increasing weight. You can always find a McDonald’s or Sonic near your home and can also get food easily delivered to your house. This makes it a convenient option than making food at home using much healthier ingredients.

Also, eating fast foods can result in your memory and cognitive function to fail. Greasy bacon burgers and yummy large milkshakes. That sounded delicious, didn’t it? It might but it can be high in saturated fats. “It’s been long established that saturated fats can negatively impact the heart, but there’s also research that suggests high saturated fat intake may negatively impact brain function and memory,” says Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD.

There are healthier options when it comes to fast foods, though it isn’t a perfect solution. When you go out, don’t put extra salt on your fries, when ordering a pizza: add veggies instead of meat or get thin crust instead of deep dish, and if you order a salad: don’t overdo the dressing. When it comes to going to a Mexican restaurant: choose a burrito without rice, and with plenty of vegetables and with lean protein (beans or chicken) or choose tacos with lean protein (fish, chicken, or beans) and plenty of vegetables. For a topping pick just one of the following: cheese, sour cream, or guacamole. Or if you go to a hamburger restaurant: choose a grilled chicken sandwich (ask for no mayonnaise) with a side salad and lite dressing or apple slices. When choosing a salad, put plenty of veggies in it, with lean meat, and a small amount of dressing (on it or on the side). When going to a fast food place or a restaurant think of healthy options such as these or just cook a healthy meal at home.

Even though they work as a quick snack, fast foods aren’t a healthy or a permanent solution. Try to keep your fast food intake to a minimum.