Fast food can be addictive for the same reasons that we mentioned earlier. It is so much easier to order a meal and have it within literally two minutes rather than prepare a salad or cook a dish. Your breakfast of hash browns and sausage can quickly turn into breakfast-lunch combo and then to a whole day feast. It doesn’t help that fast food is also practically in every corner of the urbanized world, making it all the more hard to resist.
Let’s get this straight: fast food is not balanced nutritionally. Most fast food is fried, deep fried, smothered with sauces, slathered in salt or loaded with sugar. There are many empty calories that contribute to weight gain but not very much in nutrition. Fast food breads and pasta products are usually made from refined white flour as opposed to the healthier whole grain. French friends and other similar items are packed with hydrogenated fats that are loaded with trans fats, contributing to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. The same goes for the burger patties. In order to attract customers, sugary colas are also provided in a meal, many times in ridiculously sized cups.
The competition is also in who can give the biggest serving. This means monster portions and super sized food combo meals. What’ scary is that even young children end up buying these huge servings of food that does nothing for their health and instead starts them on the path to obesity. Children will usually follow the lead of their parents who have a habit of eating at fast food restaurants, people who do not know the value of proper nutrition. The sad thing is that children who start off early in the habit of dining regularly on fast food will find this habit hard to break as they get older.
Increasingly, children who regularly eat fast food have been shown to acquire diseases that are in the past usually just associated with adults. Diseases like type 2 diabetes (which is strongly linked to obesity and inactivity), asthma and fatty liver disease. Adults on the other hand are at a higher risk of having stroke, cardiovascular disease, and cancers.
If you’re still regularly eating fast food, pause and think about what this is doing to your body. How many times do you eat fast food in a week? Think about the deprivation in essential nutrients that your body is experiencing because of this and how much fatty deposits are already in your body and arteries.
Minimize your fast food intake by cooking more meals at home, preferably in batches for convenience. You don’t have to dine in an expensive restaurant to have a tasty, satisfying and healthy meal—you can prepare this for yourself at home. If you don’t want to cook regularly, cook a big batch and reheat portions throughout the week. It would also help if you make this into a family affair.
You don’t have to give up fast food altogether, you can view it as a treat rather than your regular activity. Don’t eat fast food for more than once a week, and limit it to once a month ideally.