Fast food: Is the taste worth the risk?

As a student, have you ever felt like you don’t have much time for anything? Especially eating? Do you feel as if, more times than not, you’re running to fast food restaurants because you just don’t have enough time to sit down and eat a healthy meal? If you do, you’re not alone. Many students rely on these types of foods, for nourishment, every day.

                  Even though these establishments supply a quick and easy meal, a majority of the items on their menus are not healthy and nutritious by any means. For example, foods like cheeseburgers, fried meat sandwiches, French-fries and sugary soft drinks are the worst for you, but are the ones that the majority of people purchase the most. Matt Piccone, a nutritionist at Cumberland County College, shed some light on what ingredients are in the foods served at fast food restaurants. The foods that are served are high in salts, sugars, carbohydrates, cholesterol, saturated and trans-fats that are harmful for the body. These ingredients do not provide the body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.

                  The ingredients in this type of food may be very appealing to the taste buds, but they can cause many risks that outweigh their delicious flavors. Some of the short-term, negative, health effects that are brought on by these foods can be; the lack of energy, constantly feeling sluggish, water retention, bloating, stomachaches and gas. The long-term, negative, health effects can be; issues such as obesity, high cholesterol, clogged arteries, various heart problems, various stages of diabetes, and many other issues that will make life very difficult in the future.

                  There are many other ways that students can find a quick and easy meal, that won’t harm your health, and will give you energy to sustain you throughout the day. Piccone, gave some great tips on how to create those quick and healthy meals we need to have a balanced diet. The first piece of information Piccone suggested was, “People need to learn how to cook. It’s important because it helps them learn more about what they’re making and also they can prepare healthier meals. It takes more work but it helps you in the long run.” By cooking meals ahead of time and prepping them for the week, students that are constantly on the go can have meals already prepared and will not have to rely on fast food restaurants to supply them with something to full their stomachs.

                  If students cannot make time in their busy schedules to cook and prepare meals, there are ways that they can make healthier choices outside the home. In many fast food restaurants menus, they do have healthier choices besides the normal cheeseburger. Piccone suggested choosing fast food establishments that prepare food such as a baked potato or a grilled chicken sandwich, which have less of the harmful ingredients that deteriorate the health of the body. Also, doing research and finding fast food restaurants, which have a healthier menu, such as Subway, can be a great idea when trying to create a healthier diet.


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