Today, people are so used to speed and convenience as part of their lifestyle. Almost everything’s digitised now to make your desire available at the click of a keyboard. Demand has become higher, and the service is now faster, which is one of the reasons why fast-food chains are continually on the rise. The ease of ordering and the efficiency of production mean that availability of comfort foods is 24/7, even though we’re all aware of the health issues of too many deep-fried favourites.
Munching on a burger or piece of pizza isn’t going to ruin your health, but binging on fast food is one of the leading causes of obesity, heart diseases, and other medical conditions.
The good news is fast food snack doesn’t always have to be sneaked past the nutritionists. You can go on a trip to your favourite pizza or burger joint in Singapore and still enjoy a healthy meal.
Here’s how you can ‘healthify’ your fast food experience:
1. Go for grilled, roasted, or steamed food.
Most burger chains use large amounts of cooking oil that cause a lot of the food they serve to have high levels of saturated fats. Many fast-food restaurants offer items hot off the grill or fresh from the oven. These are the best alternative to fried patties and deep-fried chicken.
Order side dishes like steamed veggies, baked potatoes or fresh garden salad as a healthier alternative to the usual fried side dishes served in most restaurants
2. Pick whole chunks of meat.
Sometimes, you can’t resist a burger. The cheaper burger stalls and fast-food restaurants cook patties made from fatty meat that is ground and combined with preservatives, including salt. They contain a high level of saturated fats that leave you exposed to greater risks of cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol, and cancer.
Some fast-food joints offer meatless burger patties, but as an alternative, consider a piece of meat like a chicken breast.
3. Watch the amount of sodium intake.
Pass on the fries and other food high in salt. It is important to consider your sodium intake. The daily RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) for sodium is 2,000 mg. A meal with burger and fries already hits the RDA’s halfway mark.
Too much sodium increases the risk of heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, and several other health complications.
4. Pass on the upsize.
Aside from limiting the serving size to the recommended minimum, say ‘no’ to any offer of an upsize. Do not give in to the temptation of having your meals upsized and upgraded even if they say you’ll make better savings that way.
Most fast-food chains include upsizing and upselling during staff training as this generates additional income. They are more concerned about their bottom line than your health’s expense. Giving in to the sales pitch can lead to an ‘upsize’ in your waistline and perhaps your blood pressure.
5. Ease on the condiments or do away with it if you can.
Condiments like mayonnaise or chilli sauce contain saturated fats and sodium. Use them sparingly – even those lower-calorie, fat-free condiments have high sugar content in them. Otherwise, you’re just filling up your body with fat, sugar, and salt.
It boils down to the choices you make. Fast food isn’t evil; it is up to you to consider your health and show restraint. Keep the burgers under 350 Kcal and a fast food meal below 500 Kcal. Always choose to go the healthy route. Your body will thank you for it.