Fast Food: Eating on the Run

Fast-food and take-out restaurants are everywhere. You will even find them in hospitals and schools. According to food industry statistics, fast-food restaurants serve more than 60 million North Americans every day.

Fast Food: Eating on the Run

Some critics blame the growing reliance on fast food and the supersizing of portions for the fact that more than 50% of adult North Americans are overweight. And while many fast-food establishments offer some lower-calorie, more-healthful fare, the overwhelming majority of the foods we eat at fast-food chains—the burgers, fries, hot dogs, fried chicken, and pizza—are loaded with fat, salt, and calories, and have very little fibre.

Fast Food Fat

Most fast food is high in saturated fat. Fried foods—especially French fries—also tend to contain significant levels of trans fats, the man-made fats that are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid and stable. Trans fats are now believed to be as bad for your health as—or even worse than—saturated fats.

Fast-food chains like McDonald’s and snack-food manufacturers like Frito-Lay have made commitments to reduce trans fatty acids and saturated fats in their products and to introduce more-nutritious menus or food items.

Many fast-food establishments have added a variety of healthier choices to their menus, including salads, grilled foods, baked potatoes, soups, whole-grain buns, fruit cups, low-fat frozen yogurts, and juices. Some chains also provide a nutrition analysis on their websites or make copies available in their restaurants to help nutrition-conscious diners eat healthfully. And if you log on to www.fatcalories.com you’ll find nutritional information on foods from a number of different fast-food chains.

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