Fast food is viewed in different ways by different consumers. Some are stuck on fast foods, unable to prepare proper foods in their houses. Others dread such foods, citing health consequences linked with the high salt and calorie content of such foods. While proponents and opponents on each side of the debate point to key reasons for their positions, fast foods are generally unhealthy and unfit for humans.
On the positive side, most fast food restaurants serve large quantities of foods, and this guarantees them of return customers. This enables them to offer more employment opportunities, an example being McDonald outlets which have offered employment chances to thousands of employees across the world, thus improving their standards of living. Fast foods come in handy for individuals whose tight work schedule does not allow them adequate time to prepare traditional food in their houses. Such individuals regularly consume fast foods from restaurants.
Fast foods significantly save on time. There is no waiting time as time is served and consumed instantly. Food is prepared within a few minutes and is ready for consumption. Some restaurants have drive-through services which allow customers to place orders quickly, which saves hours on working consumers’ busy schedules. In the current world where consumers are health-conscious, some restaurants have turned to offering healthy alternatives. Such alternatives are, however, more expensive.
The health consequences associated with fast foods, however, render such foods harmful and worthless as they reduce human lifespan. Due to high-calorie content, consumers risk suffering from such diseases as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes. Given that a significant number of consumers make poor choices regarding their diet, most of them end up consuming hot dogs, pizza, hamburgers, chips, ice cream, chicken nuggets, fried chicken, sandwiches, among other tasty but high-salt, high-calorie fast foods. Fast foods are made from high saturated fats, increasing the likelihood that such fats end up clogging arteries in consumers’ bodies thus increasing the risk of obesity and heart disease.
At times, the demand for fast foods is so high that hygienic standards are often compromised in some restaurants. In some cases, cows and pigs are hung upsides down, while chicken is cramped in stuffy, enclosed spaces, slaughtered and quickly prepared for consumption. Food-borne illnesses sometimes occur in such cases, resulting in inflated health care costs to individual families and at national levels.
Having evaluated the arguments above, it is clear that the health consequences of fast foods supersede the benefits. A wide range of research literature has proved that fast foods contribute significantly to adverse health conditions as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Such conditions cost the healthcare sector millions of dollars annually, and adversely affect the global economy. For instance, obesity is one of the most devastating health conditions that drain the healthcare sector of the United States. It is surprising that the greatest number of obesity cases is not genetic- it is linked to consumption of high-calorie foods.
In conclusion, fast foods present more problems than benefits to users. Consumers need to either avoid such foods or choose healthier alternatives, such as less salted foods although such options may cost more. Traditionally prepared food is relatively expensive and more time-consuming to prepare but it is certainly healthy. In the long run, good health is more important.
In the United States, fast food is a contributor to dietary habits, with 11.3 percent of the total calories in the typical American diet coming from fast food. Common fast food choices include pizza, burgers, fried potatoes and soft drinks. Many people who eat fast food tend to have higher fat intakes and poorer diets. Fast food does have some benefits, however, and you can consume fast food occasionally as part of a healthy diet.
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It seems like you can find fast food restaurants on nearly every street corner, and going to a drive-through or using home-delivery makes going to a fast food restaurant appealing. Fast food restaurants enable you to consume ready-to-eat, fresh, portion-controlled foods. If you want to eat healthy food but don't want to prepare it at home, you can order something healthy from a fast food restaurant. This could include oatmeal made with milk or a salad that has a variety of greens, vegetables, nuts and grilled chicken. Although fast food is convenient, be wary of purchasing unhealthy foods, such as fried chicken and pizza, simply because they are available and are appealing.
A wide assortment of fast food styles lets you experience foods from various cultures so that you don't need to spend exorbitant amounts of money at full-service restaurants. Fast food restaurants that offer burgers, chicken and sandwiches are plentiful, but fast-food restaurants that offer Chinese, Italian, Mexican and Middle Eastern dishes also are plentiful. Even though many of these international offerings may be fairly healthy, they also may be high in calories and unhealthy nutrients.
The low cost of a fast food meal compared to a meal at a sit-down restaurant can help you stay within your budget. Home cooking, though, enables you to serve healthier, less expensive meals. If you want to eat healthy foods on a budget, purchase foods such as tuna, peanut butter, dried beans, brown rice, whole pasta and seasonal produce. These nutritious items are relatively inexpensive.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires chain restaurants to post calorie counts on menu boards. You can use this information to make low-calorie decisions when you eat fast food. Restaurants that have fewer than 20 locations, such as small, family-owned establishments, do not need to provide nutritional information. When you don't have access to calorie counts, you may be more likely to eat more calories than you had intended.
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