The North American landscape is heavily dotted with fast-food and take-out restaurants—even in hospitals and schools. Some critics blame our affection for supersized portions of fast food, which is typically high in fat and calories, for the fact that more than 50 percent of adult North Americans are overweight. Though most fast-food establishments offer some lower-calorie, more healthful fare, the overwhelming majority of the foods we eat at fast-food chains— burgers, fries, hot dogs, fried chicken, and pizza—are loaded with fat, salt, and calories.
Even some of the healthier sounding options, such as salads or smoothies, can contain more calories and fat than traditional choices if they contain a creamy dressing, cheese, breaded meat, or lots of sugar. Your best bet is to avoid fast food restaurants as much as possible but if you must eat on the run, these suggestions can help you find the healthiest choices: Hamburgers. Choose a basic hamburger, no cheese, no mayonnaise, no bacon. While it may not sound as delicious, your Calgary orthodontist will thank you for making smarter health choices.
They are usually slightly lower in fat and salt than the skinny ones because in an entire order of fries, there is less surface area for the oil to cling to. Tacos. A regular beef taco with lettuce in a hard taco shell has about 180 calories, with 10 g of fat. Stick to one taco, with only the regular toppings. Pizza. There’s no question that pizza ranks at the top of many people’s list of favorite fast foods. Unfortunately, it is also a major source of fat.
One 14-in (35 cm) commercial pizza could have about 22 to 36 g of fat or more. When eating pizza, stick to one slice. And load your pizza with vegetable toppings. They have the least calories and fat and the most nutrients. Lean meats like chicken and ham are better choices than fatty sausages and pepperoni. While you’re at it, ask for more sauce and less cheese.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- Supposedly healthy fast-food options such as salads may be loaded with calories because of dressings and toppings.
- Additions such as mayonnaise and cheese dramatically increase the amount of fat and calories in fast-food sandwiches.
- Stick to the smallest size of fries.
- Limit yourself to one taco or slice of pizza; there’s plenty of calories in each.