All you need to do is drive down any main street of a small, medium or large city, and the fast food outlets are all lined up next to each other and across the street from each other. The obvious reason why there are so many, is because the vast majority of the population is keeping them in business. At one time stopping off for a quick bite was out of the ordinary and more for convenience and not a regular daily meal. That has now changed. A large percentage of the population eat three meals a day at fast food outlets. Which includes breakfast: a bagel or breakfast sandwich and coffee. Lunch : a burger, fries and a soft drink. Dinner: pizza, burritos and a cola drink. What is alarming is that people that live off of fast food outlets are ingesting a large number of empty calories in the form of trans fats, sugars from syrups and high calorie additives to make the food taste better. Fast food meals are now the norm in many North Americans lifestyle.
When they are made, these foods normally start out with higher amounts of fats and less nutritional value. They are also frozen and thawed before cooking. adding to the deterioration of their nutrition value. Fast food outlets have figured out that adding batters and other additives make their products more tasty. All of this adds extra calories to these foods which leads to consumers ingesting more than they require in a day, which leads to gaining unnecessary body fat. This causes a host of health issues. Fast foods, and lack of activity are the two main reasons why more than 66% of the North America population is considered obese.
What Are Fast Foods?
Fast food has become the popular alternative to a home cooked meal for several reasons. The definition of fast food is: food that is mass produced for sale at a commercial outlet, a takeout window or a pushcart. The attraction to fast food is the speed at which a meal is served, and the affordable prices. Fast food came into being with masses of people, commuters, hourly workers, and professional types, needing a quick and easy meal to accommodate they’re busy lifestyles. These groups didn’t have time to shop for fresh food and cook their meals at home. Efficiency and speed of service helped the fast food industry to grow by providing a quick and easy meal to the hurried professional or traveler. As the industry developed, it catered to the time constraints of the individual, and it has grown into a multi-billion dollar a year business. Fast food is pre-cooked, and it comes in commercial sized packaging to help serve the masses. Historically, fast food began in Britain with fish and chip shops and grew exponentially in the 1950s with the advent of drive-in restaurants where waitresses served patrons in their cars.
Why Are They Not Nutritious?
We all know how satisfying a greasy burger can be when hunger pangs are wreaking havoc with our bodies, but what nutritional value does fast food provide for the consumer? While fast food is inexpensive and convenient, it lacks the proper ingredients to satisfy our bodies needs. Often, fast food is made from cheaper ingredients to help keep costs down. Fatty meats, refined grains with added sugar, and fats are the basis of most fast food. Fast food contains higher degrees of sodium (salt) that act as a preservative for foods that have the prepared and frozen for distribution and sale. Many fast foods contain saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol that are health risks in waiting if too much fast food is consumed on a regular basis.
Why Do Fast Foods Contain Empty Calories
Calories are the fuel that drives the human body. Consume the right calories from fresh nutrient dense food and you will have robust energy and a healthy lifestyle. Consume the wrong calories and you will be ingesting less nutrients (and a higher calorie count) depriving your body of the right energy you need to function at 100%. Empty calories are the root of many fast foods. The biggest distributor of empty calories is the fat fast food industry. Based on the composition of fast food-as mentioned above-fats and added sugars provide little or no nutritional value for the person consuming the meal. Due to the intense competition in the fast food industry to keep fast food prices down, nutrition value is sacrificed. Poorly constructed fast food entrées and snacks cause weight gain and nutritional problems when consumed.
Is The Trend Changing From Unhealthy Fast Food To Healthier Fast Food?
As a result of increased competition, in the fast food industry, there has been a change in direction to serve more nutritious offerings. However, when we examine the makeup various meals, I come to the conclusion that fast foods are inferior in nutrition value than fresh cooked foods prepared without additives or frying.
If we are going to take our health seriously, then we must consider the nutritional value of every morsel of food that we put in our mouth. The food we eat is no different than the quality of the gasoline we put in our vehicles. No one would risk destroying their car’s engine by filling up with dirty gasoline-why would they treat their own body (which is their metabolic engine) with any less regard?
John Cardillo is Hamilton’s premier expert in everything fitness, gym marketing strategies and scientifically backed body building strategies!