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Myth or Fact: You Should Never Eat Fast Food

Jul 8, 2010

Fast food has a terrible reputation. Usually even when you do find yourself getting food from such a restaurant, you may eat while battling feelings of guilt--like you "failed" somehow by indulging in this food instead of taking the time to make a home-cooked meal out of organic ingredients. However, the myth that all food of this type is always a horrible choice is just that...a myth.

It's Not All Bad

Fast food franchises are aware of the negative stereotypes associated with their offerings, so most of them have made an effort to include healthier options on their menu. Choices like salad (with vinaigrette or no dressing), yogurt, fresh fruit salads, bottled water, ice tea, whole grain breads and grilled chicken can make healthy selections when you're in a hurry. Just be careful, particularly if you default to these restaurants often, that not a lot of salt, high-fructose corn syrup or other unhealthy additives are used in the preparation. Check the restaurant's websites or menu guide before you order.

Careful Selections

If your tastes occasionally stray from the healthy alternatives on the fast food menu, you can still make your selections healthier than they would otherwise be by carefully selecting what you add and subtract from the dish. Get rid of the mayonnaise without question, as mayonnaise is high in trans fat. If you need more flavor, opt for vinegar and oil or a vinaigrette, which goes well on any sub with veggies and even some burgers, too. Eliminating the cheese is another great way to cut back on calories, and putting as many fresh vegetables on your burger or sub as possible can help you get vital nutrients even as you indulge. When interested in fish or chicken, opt for those without sauce and without breading. Grilled chicken can actually be a healthy choice, especially if you cut out the bun.

An Occasional Treat

Even if you don't choose from the healthy menu offerings or you don't follow the tips to make the less healthy options healthier, you don't have to experience a guilt trip every time. Fast food is perfectly fine as an occasional treat. The easy way to lessen the negative impact that these foods can have to your health is by eating balanced, healthy meals the rest of the time and exercising regularly. The more often you work out, the more calories you'll burn and the more often you can splurge every now and then. Just be careful to watch yourself and make sure that you're in complete control. If you've battled addiction to fast food before, it can be easy to fall back into an unhealthy lifestyle. Try not to indulge in the unhealthy options if you've failed to keep up with your exercise routine or you aren't making a point of eating healthy most of the time.

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