FAST FOOD DAMAGE LIMITATION. WHAT TO EAT AND WHAT NOT TO EAT IN FAST FOOD OUTLETS.

CHECKING OUT THE SATURATED FATS.

Fast food outlets of many types now attract us to their doors to indulge in good tasting and satisfying foods from all over the world. The downside, as most of us are well aware is that most fast foods on offer are high in unsaturated fats which are identified as a major factor in increased risk of heart disease.

Fastfood outlets are not the most transparent in advising their customers of the calorie count in what they purchase and indeed, many people just cannot be bothered to consider that when at the time their priorities are for something quick, tasty and satisfying their hunger.A recent study in the USA confirmed that most fast food eaters believe there are far less calories in what they are eating than actually are involved.

AWARE OF THIS A UK NUTRITIONIST, JACKIE LYNCH, SET HERSELF THE TASK OF VISITING A WIDE RANGE OF FAST FOOD OUTLETS TO GET INFORMATION FROM THE HORSE"S MOUTH SO TO SPEAK, TO PUT TOGETHER A LIST OF WHAT IS MOST DAMAGING AND WHAT IS LEAST DAMAGING IN EACH OF THEM. IN OTHER WORDS A "DO IT YOURSELF DAMAGE LIMITATION EXCERCISE ".

THE GOOD AND THE BAD AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW.

McDONALDS.

Probably the best known of all the outlets, Mcdonalds has, for years been the outlet held up to show the best and worst of fast foodery. However, within those inviting doors there are different levels of danger in the dishes on offer. Lynch has devised two simple categories to assist the user to mitigate potential disaster at a later stage by identifying what to eat and what to avoid. The formula is used by her, not only for McD"s but also the other well known names on our High Streets and District shopping areas.

The nominations come simply as " EAT IT "or "LEAVE IT" with a simple explanation why. So to begin with let us see the results at McDONALD"S :

EAT IT.

Chicken Legend with Tomato Salsa.

Cickenburger has 80% less saturated fat than a beefburger and has more protein. Tomato Salsa is low on sugar and fat compared to other sources. The bun, being wholemeal is fibre packed and that makes the carbohydrates the complex element here Even so, at McD"s for your heart"s sake this is the one to munch.

LEAVE IT.

QUARTER POUNDER DELUXE.

Contains more saturated fat and sugar than a Big Mac. A quarter ponder with cheese should also be shunned as the cheese contains even more saturated fat than the Big Mac !

BURGER KING.

EAT IT.

OCEAN CATCH..

A star buy ! Lower in calories than other foods at BK and with added polyunsaturated fats as well. These actually aid heart health and aid cholesterol levels. Considered virtually a health food. Now you do not expect that from a fast food outlet.

LEAVE IT.

THE WHOPPER.

The real villain with over 130 calories more than the quarter pounder. High on salt as well. Only saving grace is that it is a little bit lower on saturated fats.

KFC.

EAT IT.

GRILLED BBQ RANCHER BURGER.

Oven grilled, low unsaturated fat levels than other KFC fried chicken and supplied with light mayonnaise. A white bun has lower salt than the buns at McD"s and BK.lLow salt helps keep blood pressure levels at a decent rate.

LEAVE IT.

BARGAIN BUCKET

A shared feast for 4, the amount is said to encourage eating more than would normally be consumed, so calorie count rises to be half the daily recommended intake at one sitting. Daily levels recommended are 2500 for men and 2000 for women by the way.

PIZZA HUT.

EAT IT.

FARMHOUSE {LARGE PAN}

Ham and Mushrooms aplenty and lower in saturated fats than their Vegitarian version.For further benefits choose the Italian Base.

LEAVE IT.

MEAT FEAST {LARGE PAN}.

Especially one to avoid if you need to monitor cholesterol levels. 3 slices contain 789 calories and 14.1 gm of saturated fat.

DOMINO"S.

EAT IT.

VEGETERIAN SUPREME {LARGE CLASSIC CRUST }

This veggie offering has good fibre levels and up to 50% less saturated fat than pepperoni. Also lower in salt with 3 slices clocking up just 576 calories.

LEAVE IT.

PEPPERONI PASSION {LARGE CLASSIC CRUST.

A simple calorie problem. 3slices make 684 calories with 13.2gm of saturated fat with high salt content. If you are strong willed and can stop at just one slice, then you get ayay with it.

INDIAN.

EAT IT.

LAMB ROGAN JOSH.

Tomato based with less than 50% of saturated fats than, for example, a Korma Curry, this also is low in calories. Remember though, the added naan bread and rice will double the calories ,so a side dish of Sag Bhajee is advised in place of them.

LEAVE IT.

CHICKEN KORMA.

The favourite dish of my wife, sadly Korma is high in saturated fats. Korma, plus half a naan bread with a portion of rice puts over 1110 calories on your plate plus 13 gm of fats. Sorry my dear, it is off the menu for you from now on !

CHINESE.

EAT IT.

CHOP SUEY.

Whilst high in salt and sugar, chop suey recovers by being low in calories and saturated fats. Agin adding rice adds to calories and carbohydrate levels, so a judgement call should be made by the consumer.

NANDO"S

EAT IT.

QUARTER CHICKEN BREAST WITH TWO REGULAR SIDES.

Breast meat is 5 times less saturated meat than leg meat ! A point worth bearing in mind generally. Lovers of this type of food can add Macho Peas and Coleslaw without too much danger and actually boost fibre levels.

LEAVE IT.

MUSHROOM AND HALLOUMI PITTA.

Vegetarian but high in calories and unsaturated fats, like the discredited Whopper ! Halloumi is high in salt and sugar. A serving contains close on 5 tea spoons of sugar, or 4 digestive biscuits !


FINALLY FOR UK READERS ESPECIALLY.

WEST COUNTRY PIE AND PASTY COMPANY.

EAT IT.

CHICKEN AND VEG PASTY.

Eat this and you will not slim down but the white meat and vegetable combination add fibre and antioxidants to this temting and traditional form of fast food. Pasties were developed in Cornwall for Tin Miners to lunch on when down in the bowels of the earth. The pastry enclosed the food inside and allowed the miners to eat without risk of Tin Poisoning, as they were able to hold the food to eat and discard the part of the pastry where their hand had been.

LEAVE IT

STEAK AND SALMON.

If red meat , rich cheese and a pastry wrap are your fancy then it is all here.So too are saturated fats aplenty with 50% of your daily salt intake for good measure. If you must, stick at a medium pasty, though large ones are also available. Not recommended as any regular food unless the consequences are of no concern, in which case on your own head be it. At the same time, one every now and then can be thought of as a treat as with all fast foods. It is only when fast foods become the usual rather than the occasional, as they clearly are for many these days, that they become a danger.

FISH AND CHIP SHOPS.

JUST EAT THEM !

Brought up in such an establishment, I extoll the virtues of our national dish. I have never had a weight problem either, but modern thinking urges caution and moderation. Plaice is richer in Omega 3 than my favourites cod and haddock. Beef dripping is, for me, the best cooking oil but it is higher in unsaturated fats than other oils like rapeseed. These days salad is recommended to replace chips but it is not the same and though mushy peas add to the protein and fibre content, they are frowned on in siome quarters as a health hazard when combined with fish and chips. I tell you though, there is nothing better than fish and chips eaten walking home at night and out of a greaseproof paper wrapped in newspaper. Health and Safety these days means no newspare allowed but the memories remain.

So there you have them, and I think Ms Lynch desreves congratulating for showing us that whilst we need to think about what we put into our stomachs that reasonable sense plus the type of information she has provided will be a benefit to all who wish to take advantage of the information and will know that all fast food outlets are not necessarily the Devil"s Kitchen provided the consumer knows what they are doing when they order.

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