Diet Tip: Fastfood can’t be that bad, can it?

Eunice Mesick

Eunice Mesick

Have you ever wondered how many calories a fast-food meal can really add?

Hi, this is Eunice from Diet Center.

Researchers from the University of Alabama analyzed the intake of patrons of several popular fast-food chains. They found that fast-food meals were the highest in calories and fat compared to other meals on the same day. The fast-food meals averaged 1,050 calories, 41 grams fat, and 2,150 milligrams of sodium! The total calories, fat and sodium amounted to more than the rest of the day’s calories combined.

Researchers also found that people who eat fast food three or more times a week tend to consume even more calories and fat than people who only eat fast food occasionally. They also found that the more people eat at fast food restaurants, the higher their body weight is.

That might make us wonder: “What if I order a salad?”

Most people think that salad is a safe bet when eating out, especially at fast-food restaurants. However, some salads are almost as unhealthy as a greasy burger. One researcher looked at 34 salads from the largest national fast-food and sandwich chains. Only 2 of the salads were rated “outstanding” for its high fiber, low saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and calorie content. One of the salads was as high as 640 calories and 49 grams of fat!

This doesn’t mean that we should skip selecting salads. We need to be aware of what we are eating. Most fast-food restaurants have nutritional information available online or in pamphlets. However, most will probably be low in fiber and high in fat. Leave off the sour cream, croutons, bacon bits, guacamole, and extra cheese. Ask for fat-free, low-calorie salad dressing. To help meet fiber needs, we can supplement our diet with Diet Center Fiber Capsules or Fulfill Drinks.

You might wonder does fiber really make a difference?

Fiber helps us feel full and satisfied, which can help prevent overeating. One huge benefit is that fiber can help us cut down on calories from food we consume. A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that fiber can help us lose weight by reducing the number of calories we absorb.

Researchers found that women who double their fiber intake from 12 to 24 grams, absorb about 90 calories less from fat and protein daily. Men who doubled their intake from 18 to 36 grams of fiber absorb about 130 fewer calories. This effect varies greatly between different people.

The average American consumes 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day. Try to increase your intake to meet the intake levels recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board (adults aged 50 and under: men 38 grams, women 25 grams; adults aged 50 and over: men 30 grams, women 21 grams).

If you’re struggling with weight loss, call me at 928-753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave. in Kingman.

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