Fast Food can be Healthy Too!

by | Nutrition

Have you ever thought “I’m so in the mood for a Big Mac today”? After which you are immediately flooded with a feeling of guilt and that little voice in your head tells you to stop while you’re ahead. So you do the “right thing” and dutifully nibble your bland salad of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and Italian dressing while fantasizing about the fatty, but satisfying bites of the Big Mac you could be savoring at the moment.

If this has happened to you, I’m here to tell you next time put down the salad and have a burger. There’s nothing wrong with occasionally satisfying a craving. The trick is knowing when to give in and how to give in.

Fast food doesn’t have to be the forbidden fruit. Agreed, it’s not the healthiest choice for everyday consumption since the meals are prepared with highly processed ingredients and lots of fat and salt. The French have a saying: joie de vivre,which means the joy of living. If once or twice a month you want to have a greasy slice of pizza, or a fast food burger and fries or extra crispy fried chicken, do it! What’s the point of living if you are never going to enjoy the pleasures of life?

Of course, everything in moderation. When once a month turns into twice a week, or worse, once a day, that is when you are entering the danger zone. Chances are if you regularly indulge in a homemade fresh burger on the grill, a slice of homemade organic margherita pizza or a crispy baked drumstick at home you are not going to crave the less nutritious fast food option. Actually you may eventually find the fast food version wanting after you get a taste of the real thing.

That said your friends are all meeting at the local pizza place to discuss the plans for Misty’s bridal shower. Instead of lecturing them for an hour on the dangers of saturated fats, join your friends. Here’s where that joie de vivre meets moderation. Go to the pizza place have yourself one slice of pizza. Fill up with a small side salad and a glass of water. This way you have not deprived yourself of your friends’ company or a healthy lunch.

Same goes for a lunch meeting at the nearby diner. Your boss is big on BBQ pork ribs and asks you to lunch. This is your big chance to make a great impression. Surely you’re not going to risk it by getting picky about where or what you eat for lunch. So go to the restaurant have two individual ribs and the side of mashed potatoes. Forgo the sugary drink and opt for hot tea or water. It’s okay to eat until you’re no longer hungry and take the rest home with you for another meal. Just don’t get barbecue sauce on your shirt!

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Donna Jones is an experienced and passionate health professional who has devoted her life to helping others stay fit and healthy. She retired after many successful years as a fitness instructor and remains a much-valued member of her local community.