Health

Healthy Fast Food Breakfast

Americans love fast food, but eating too much of it can be an express route to poor health. Most fast food is loaded with calories, fat, salt (sodium) and sugar. Many menu items also lack important vitamins and minerals.

Anybody who has seen the film “Super Size Me,” in which filmmaker Morgan Spurlock gains nearly 25 pounds after eating nothing but fast food for one month, knows the potential health dangers of these meals.

Generally, people are better off avoiding fast-food restaurants altogether. However, millions find this impractical in a busy world where convenience is key. The occasional fast-food meal is unlikely to present serious health risks. However, even semi-regular visits to the drive-through can wreak havoc with your physical well-being.

Fortunately, you can make choices that will improve the nutritional quality of your fast-food meals.

Don’t ‘super size’ your waistline

Your choices dictate whether or not your fast-food experience will be healthful. Try to avoid poor selections. For example, a single meal consisting of a double cheeseburger, large fries and a shake contains enough calories, fat, sodium and sugar to easily exceed a person’s recommended daily allowance.

High-fat, fried and breaded items are particularly bad for you. Other items to avoid include:

  • Cheeses and cheese sauces
  • Many sauces, including mayonnaise, tartar and “special” sauces
  • Sour cream
  • Gravy
  • Croissant breakfast sandwiches
  • Cheeses and cheese sauces
  • Many sauces, including mayonnaise, tartar and “special” sauces
  • Sour cream
  • Gravy
  • Guacamole
  • Croissant breakfast sandwiches

If you must eat these unhealthy foods, try to order smaller amounts. Think single patties instead of triple patties, or small fries instead of jumbo. You can even order a child-sized hamburger if it’s available. Whatever you do avoid any temptation to “super size” your order. While taking advantage of this gimmick may feel good in the short run, it has long-term health consequences.

Good Alternatives

Fortunately, many fast-food restaurants have started offering ever-growing numbers of healthful items. By choosing food with better nutrient content, you lower the overall content of substances that are harmful in large amounts. In some cases, this may mean switching to a different fast-food restaurant than the one you normally frequent.

For example, order grilled or roasted lean meats instead of high-fat or fried foods. Turkey is leaner than hamburger, and lean roast beef has fewer calories than a breaded chicken or fish sandwich.

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