- Food and Cooking
Reasons to Never Eat Fast Food Again
Fast food chains have grown at an extremely fast rate in the last 50 years. Fast food is easy, somewhat inexpensive, and is much easier than the process of preparing a meal at home. Advertisements we see for many fast food chains portray a healthy, beautiful individual smiling while consuming a giant cheeseburger or taco of some sort. How could fast food not be so appealing to us? With all of the benefits it provides to the busy pace of our lives, not to mention the tastiness, it is hard for many Americans to find a reason not to patron the nearest drive thru.
Many things are often too good to be true. Such is the case with fast food. While it does make life simpler by saving us time and effort at a reasonable price, the negative side of fast food chains far outweighs the positive. Here are several of those negatives.
Most people have learned through movies or competitive advertisements that places such as McDonald's and Taco Bell can lead to obesity. Still, people choose convenience over health one day after the next. We are encouraged to eat 2000 calories a day or less. This is hard to do with fast food meals. We all know a Big Mac has a lot of calories, but what about when you add in the fries and drink? A Big Mac burger has 590 calories, a medium order fries has 450 calories, and a regular medium soft drink has 210 calories. That equals 1250 calories for one meal. Most people eat at least three meals in a day. It is hard to stay under 2000 at that rate.
Many may be fooled by places who claim to be health oriented chains. Take Subway for example. A six inch cold cut combo has 370 calories. That may not seem bad, but throw in chips and a drink and your right back up in Big Mac range. They also lure you into getting the 12 inch option. Most men can eat a 12 inch. That would give you a whopping 740 calories (without cheese or dressing). The same is true for many other so called “healthy options” in fast food restaurants.
The issue wouldn’t be so bad if the food offered actually contained nutrition. Calories are bad, but not getting proper nutrition can be just as bad or worse. Try to think of any typical fast food chain that offers an array of vegetables or fruit. It shouldn’t be that hard to think of even one or two. The food offered at these places does not provide us with any of the nutrition we need from foods like fruit, vegetables and dairy products. They are just fillers that make us want more. We are sacrificing our own health for the convenience of fast food. This is a serious problem and is causing a record number of obesity and heart related problems in adults and kids alike.
It was mentioned earlier that fast food is reasonably priced for what you get. Well, that is true if you order on the dollar menu everywhere you go. Used to, one could get a combo meal for 3 or 4 bucks. Today, it is hard to find a combo meal for less than $5. Some places have taken it to the point of charging up to $8 for a meal. That is unheard of.
The majority of people who eat fast food at least once or twice a week are middle class Americans. If a family in this category has four people and the average price of the meal is $6 a person, they will end up paying nearly $30 for a meal with little to no nutritional value. In comparison, the same family could have bought a loaf of bread, lunchmeat, a head of lettuce and chips for around the cost of one person’s meal at the fast food chain.
Assuming the average family spends $30 a week on fast food, they will have spent $120 at the end of the month. That would equal out to nearly $1500 over a years’ time. Personally, I would rather have the cash and be in better shape. Yes, many will say that the cost of eating out is not nearly as much of a concern as is the time and effort of cooking. But cooking doesn’t have to be as complicated as we portray it in our minds to be. There are millions of recipes online, many of which can be made in less than 20 minutes. It takes nearly 20 minutes to sit in a drive thru and wait your turn. Use your money more wisely. Don’t waste it on a subpar meal worth not even half of its cost.
Everyone has stress. Fast food adds to that stress. When we eat foods that contain little to no nutrition, we do not repair our bodies properly. This leads to a lack of ability to cope with everyday activities that may bring stress, like work and school. Part of the reason is that the lack of nutrition leads to a tired, lagging feeling that makes us less energetic and sluggish.
Aside from energy and stress, the lack of nutrition brought on from fast food consumption also gives us negative mental feelings. This is also brought on by a lack of exercise, but the food doesn’t help the cause. Again, we do not have the proper nutrition needed to produce positive feelings that make us feel good about ourselves. Many foods that are high in fat and sugar have even been linked to certain forms of depression.
Not only do these foods add to feelings of sluggishness and depression, they can also cause us to develop a dependency on the food. Like alcohol, cigarettes, or any other drug, tasty food is often seen as a solace in dealing with stress or related problems. Not only is this a psychological disorder, it can, and often does lead to serious physical problems. Developing dependencies on anything will typically lead to a host of other related health issues. Food is no different. We must take the step to choose nutrition over filler foods at the drive thru. Doing so will help us feel better about ourselves and enhance our mental health overall.
I understand that many people who don’t eat much fast food still suffer from the issues mentioned above. Nevertheless, fast food restaurants and health related problems grow at a rate that is eerily similar. It is undoubtedly a factor in millions of deaths each year. We can all be in better shape, save money, and increase or mental health if we will at least reduce our fast food intake. When children grow up in a household that eats out regularly, they begin to see that it is the norm for society and will make the same decisions as they get older. Children should not be set up for problems associated with fast food when they are unable to make the choice for themselves in their youth.
My hope is that we can all help get the world back on the right track and live better lives in general. We must be fooled no longer by the allure of a nation filled with unhealthy conveniences like fast food chains.