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Fast food nutrition facts
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The dangers of eating out at a fast food restaurant
There is a lot of information coming from FDA requirements to list nutrition facts on packaged food. Now it is mandatory that fast food restaurants provide fast food nutrition information on their websites and in their stores. With many people juggling work and home life, there is little time to prepare meals with good nutrition and appropriate food calories, so eating out has become a way of life. Many families come to think of the fast food restaurant windows as the kitchen. Many people are battling obesity, but seem to be losing the fight. Fast food and nutrition are not commonly used in the same sentence. Many health organizations and officials believe that eating out at fast food restaurants contributes heavily to the obesity rate. They encourage weight loss programs and healthy eating. The lack of fast food nutrition information in the past has prevented people from actually knowing how many calories or how much fat was in their food. Consumer education is the key to weight loss, good nutrition, and avoidance of high cholesterol.
What is bad about fast food?
It is widely noted that fast food restaurants, such as Domino’s, Church’s Chicken, Burger King, McDonalds, Carls Jr., Chick-Fil-A, and Dairy Queen serve foods that are full of calories, fat, and carbohydrates. People are being educated regarding the calories from fat, cholesterol, sugar, saturated fats, and sodium contained in fast food. Fast food nutrition information has become as important as the nutritional information listed on items bought in grocery stores. Eating fast food on a regular basis can contribute to high cholesterol, diabetes, and weight problems. Now we are beginning to know why as we study the fast food nutrition information available. The food calories alone are staggering when you look at the nutritional information provided in the fast food nutrition facts. Saturated fats have been directly linked to heart disease, sugar to diabetes, and sodium to high blood pressure. A steady diet of these non-nutrients can lead to many health problems.
Diets and weight loss
Because of our increased knowledge of the health implications and the danger of obesity, many people are on diets of one sort or another. The Sonoma diet and South Beach diets are considered to be quick weight loss diets. They promote healthy eating and weight loss along with exercise. Food calories are counted and eating out is discouraged if you want to practice healthy eating. Weight loss can only be achieved if you skip the fast food restaurants that offer food high in saturated fats and calories. Nutrition information must be used to achieve healthy eating and you must make good choices to have good nutrition. Now that nutrition facts are being provided for fast food establishments, it makes people aware of how many food calories they are actually consuming. Schools offer food science and nutrition courses to promote healthy eating and general body health. Many local gyms offer the nutrition facts of various foods as part of the total exercise program for weight loss or physical body toning. If there is a dietician on staff at the gym or at school, he or she will help you make good choices in your food selection. Don’t be surprised if they recommend that you prepare most of your food. There are efforts to educate consumers on how to eat out without sacrificing good eating habits. Part of this education is to use caloric food guides. Software programs on your computer offer weight-related tests to see how you measure up, guides to fitness, and nutritional information on the foods you prepare and also the foods you eat when you go to a restaurant. There are fast food nutrition guides to point you in the right direction.
Alternative dietary choices
Some restaurants such as Boston Market and Arbys advertise that there is more protein in their food and less fat. Burger King touts its char-broiled hamburgers over McDonald’s grilled hamburgers. There is advertising competition among the fast food restaurants to show that their fast food is least harmful to the consumer and even lists nutrition facts to prove that it is good for you. If you are determined to have a meal at a fast food restaurant, you need to consider the food calories and low fat choices that may be offered. McDonalds, among others, is presenting a low fat menu that proposes to offer you good choices when eating out. Counting food calories is only part process of eating healthy. All the nutrition facts, including fat grams, must be considered when eating out, especially at a fast food restaurant.

Some salad bar restaurants, such as Sweet Tomatoes, can be a healthy eating alternative. You must be careful of the pasta salads, dressings, and the desert bar. Moderation and avoiding foods high in cholesterol, saturated fats, sugar, and salt is the key to healthy eating out.

Many fast food restaurants are now offering low fat menus and advertising that they are switching from saturated fats to non-saturated fats in the preparation of their foods. Since there is great concern and awareness among consumers about the nutritional value of the foods they eat outside their homes, the fast food restaurants are under a lot of scrutiny and pressure to comply with consumer expectations.

There are Asian restaurants that offer low fat meals with good nutritional value, high fiber, and protein. The only thing you need to watch is the salt in the dressings and condiments. There are healthy lifestyle restaurants that present foods low in fat and carbohydrates. You will find foods that have not been prepared with the usual creamy or cheesy dressings. The focus is on the natural state of the food, rather than on the processed preparation.

If you frequently eat out at fast food restaurants, you should consider the nutritional information they now provide. Fast food and nutrition are not necessarily unobtainable. You must use the fast food nutrition information to make good choices that are low fat and do not contain an overabundance of food calories. It is possible to do that if you carefully pay attention to the details listed.
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