Friday, October 23, 2020

Potential Risks of Eating Fast Food #Healthy2020 #fastfood #moderation #healthyeating

Fast food is a staple of modern life. Partly because it provides familiar meals that are quick, convenient, and economical. There's nothing quite like a juicy burger and hot & salty fries! That said, a steady diet of fast food can lead to a number of risks. Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing some key risks you should consider when determining how often to indulge in your love of fast food. This article may contain affiliate links.

Increasing numbers of us are eating fast food on a regular basis. Put simply, fast food is convenience food that is often prepared, cooked, and served in a matter of minutes via a chain restaurant. Some people choose socially distanced dining inside fast food restaurants, while others opt to use the drive thru. Still others order fast food to be delivered to their home.

There are definitely some perks that come with fast food: (1) it can taste good, (2) someone else cooks for you, (3) you don’t typically have to deal with much cleanup thanks to disposable packaging, and (4) you can pick up a meal when you need it with little notice -- or when you don’t have much time on your hands. Regardless of the way you purchase fast food...or why you’re choosing to eat fast food...there are some risks you accept when you incorporate this kind of food into your daily diet. Here are a few risks that may make you reassess your dietary choices!

Uncommon Risks

Not every risk of eating fast food is to your health. One uncommon risk people face when choosing fast food is using the drive thru. Every year, more than 1,000 are injured picking up fast food through drive thru windows. Be extremely careful when picking up food at a drive thru window. Don’t exit your vehicle unless absolutely necessary, and drive through the line of vehicles slowly and carefully.

Excess Salt

A common health risk associated with fast food is excess levels of salt. Many fast food restaurants add way too much salt to their food. This means their meals can contain your entire recommended daily allowance of salt -- or even exceed your daily allowance -- depending on what you’re ordering. Excess dietary salt can result in the following health issues:

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Increased risk of heart failure

  • Increased risk of stroke

  • Increased risk of kidney disease

  • Increased risk of stomach cancer

Excess Calories

Many fast food meals contain way more calories than a standard meal. If you’re not careful, you can easily exceed your daily recommended amount of calories when incorporating fast food into your daily meals. Even if you don’t exceed your daily calorie count, chances are you’re eating empty calories that would have been better spent on healthier foods -- like fruit; vegetables; or complex carbohydrates like brown rice, sweet potatoes; or whole wheat pasta. Instead, aim to follow the calorie recommendations below to ensure your meals are balanced:

  • Children aged 2 to 8: 1000 to 1400 calories
  • Girls aged 9 to 13: 1400 to 1600 calories
  • Boys aged 9 to 13: 1600 to 2000 calories
  • Active women aged 14 to 30: 2400 calories
  • Sedentary women aged 14 to 30: 1800 to 2000 calories
  • Active men aged 14 to 30: 2800 to 3200 calories

  • Sedentary men aged 14 to 30: 2000 to 2600 calories

  • Active adults over 30: 2000 to 3000 calories

  • Sedentary adults over 30: 1600 to 2400 calories

These are just a few risks you may face when choosing to include fast food in your diet. Instead, try to create healthier and more balanced meals yourself when possible!

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