To Eat or Not to Eat?


| 6 Comments

mcdonalds.jpg

Fast Food chains.  Whether healthy or unhealthy, I believe almost everyone at Penn State, and largely this country, has experienced one of them at one point or another.  With this countries growing obesity problem, it is no secret that millions of people make the choice to eat at unhealthy fast food chains on a daily basis.  The fact that McDonald's proudly parades the sign "Over 99 Billion Served" is disturbing to me and others, but that is a blog for another time.  For this blog, I'm here to tell you which fast food chains are more unhealthy than others, and why people who eat at unhealthy fast food chains frequently, and I include myself in that category, should switch to eating at the healthy fast food chains. 

According to Urbanspoon, there is an excess of 1073 food chains in densely populated states, on average.  Over 170 McDonalds's lie on the island of Manhattan alone.  So which ones are worse than others?  After doing extensive research on health.com, among other major websites, it depends how you look at it and what you get at each place.  For those that would dub the worst individual item on a menu as contributing to the worst chain of restaurants, then christianpost.com will tell you that Pizza Hut's Triple Meat Italiano Large Pizza would take the cake at 1280 calories and 3070 mg of sodium.  For those disciplined enough to go to McDonald's and get a salad with grilled chicken, congratulations, as you are not eating that unhealthy. 

Every place has its good and bad.  Even a place like Subway has items such as its Italian B.M.T, which contains 3000mg of sodium and 16g of saturated fat.  So just because you are eating at a place like subway does not by any means conclude that you are eating healthy. That goes both ways.  Just because you to a place like Burger King or Wendy's does not mean you can't get a tangerine chicken salad, which has about one tenth the calories, fat, and sodium that their triple Baconator does.  However, there are a few places that are bad just about all around.  Places like KFC, Dairy Queen, and Sonic make it incredibly hard to go there and not walk out more unhealthy then you went in.  Long John Silvers is the worst on that list, as they deep-fry just about everything there.  Those are the places you want to stay away from altogether.  Then, there are good fast food chains.  Places like Panera Bread, Chipotle and Noodles and Co., which while they still offer some unhealthy options, are predominately nutritional.  Those are places I hope this blog helped convince people to go to, rather than the unhealthy fast food chains that I previously mentioned.  Even a Chipotle Burrito packed with just about everything you can find at Chipotle is still better than a SuperSonic Double Bacon Cheeseburger with 1370 calories and 27 percent of a person's daily carbohydrate diet intake.  

To conclude, I guess I'm saying to just be mindful of what you eat and where you eat it.  According to health.com,  just because you are eating at Subway does not mean what you are eating is better for you than a Big Mac.  Just because you are eating at McDonald's does not mean that a salad there is worse than one of Panera Bread's Sticky Cheese Honey Bun's. 

Sources:

1.http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411588,00.html

2.http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-most-unhealthy-meals-served-by-americas-fast-food-chains-51368/

6 Comments

"To eat or not to eat" is always my main problem. Though I know that the fast food is not good for our health, it really help me a lot when I have no time to get a formal meal. So your info about that "Long John Silvers is the worst on that list, as they deep-fry just about everything there". And also there are good fast food chains, Places like Panera Bread, Chipotle and Noodles and Co., which while they still offer some unhealthy options, are predominately nutritional. It told, even when we choose to eat the unhealthy fast food, we still have the chance to select healthier one among the unhealthy food. However, I want to mention the reason of why the fast food is not good. According to study, eating too much fast food is considered to be a leading cause of obesity, hypertension, and heart disease. As you posted in the blog, fast food contain more calories, and more unhealthy fat, what's more fast foods are high in sodium. Think that if you eat 220 more calories a day, you will gain one pound of extra fat in your body in two weeks time. That means, 24 pounds in one year. That is a lot of weight gain. So, the better way is don't visit those restaurants more than once a week. Here is an article about the effects of junk food, if you'd like to read:
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/fast-food-facts-effects-of-fast-food.html

To be honest with you,the very strong opinion I've got along with the time I spend here in American is that I simply can't escape eating fast food.Back in Tibet,no foreign fast food takes footstand there,though some small Chinese-operated fast food stall flourishes.It's quite alarming to mention that just on Manhattan Island,more than 170 McDonald's can be found,which means that within a mile from any arbitrary point on that CBD area,you have multiple McDonald's to go.Close enough for workplace or home?Equal quality among all McDonald's chains!There we go.This ingrained trend of eating in fast food restaurants,from my point of view,is tough to be removed,because almost every educated person knows that America is the landfill of fast food junkies.
What we have to do with it?Mind your own beeswax!We can't sway others' preferences, and personal health is held to our own chest.Eat healthy is not a slogan-based program but an individual-based one.

Seth, this is great! People have such a negative image of fast food restaurants today and rightfully so. However, some people are downright ignorant about what they are putting into their bodies. People get tunnel-visioned about fast food and where they eat. You make a perfect point with subway. Subway offers many nutritious sandwiches, however there are just as many unhealthy creations. Just be conscious of what you are eating. Just because Jared or Michael Phelps comes on a subway commercial telling you they lost weight by eating their subs doesn't mean they are healthy. It all depends on what you get. And on the opposite side of the spectrum, you can get some pretty healthy things at some of the notoriously unhealthy places.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-worst-sandwiches-and-wraps shows the best and worst choices in terms of health from many fast food chains.

this is a very interesting topic. I think even if you go to the healthiest place you can still eat junk food. for example subways , they do sale healthy food but most people by the time they finish making their sub have added dressings, and cheese, salami, and at the end of the day it has just as many calories and fats as a burger in Mcdonalds. The united States is crowded with fast food restaurants, and you will be surprised that sometimes there is healthy where u least espected, but at the end of the day is up to the person to eat healthy.

Jason and Alex, I loved that you have discussed my points exactly. I believe that half the problem in the country with people who do have problems eating fast food is knowledge. I love that you mentioned Jared and Michael Phelps commercials. That is a perfect example of what i am trying to say. People will see that and say well if i eat subway all the time, maybe i can lose weight like them. FALSE! If you eat the healthiest choices subway has to offer, then you can get on the track of losing weight like they did. If the eat the double meat steak and cheese from subway, you will most surely be on the track to gaining weight.

If fast food is so bad for you, why does it taste so good? I feel like the Philosoraptor saying that, but it's true! Why are places geared towards healthier eating, such as Subway, making sandwiches that pack so many milligrams of sodium and fat? What about salad places, that literally drench the wonderful, leafy greens with so much dressing? I think that restaurants putting the caloric content on the menu in a visible place (much like Panera's been doing for years) might help deter people from consuming their food. What is it like in California, where calories are required by law to be visible on all restaurants' menus? Is there less of a problem with obesity in areas like that where the calories are prominently displayed? What about in other countries, where even though there could be American fast food chains, with completely different menus than their American counterparts?

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