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- Fast food has become a staple in the lives of Americans
- One double cheeseburger contains over 38 grams of fat
- Chronic stress and consumption of fatty foods can lead to an increase in abdominal fat
Fast food can make you fat, if you eat it often enough. When we speak of fast food, we refer to the foods that are prepared quickly or even prepared in advance before the actual time of consumption.
Nutritionists are quick to declare that these foods are damaging and a contributing factor in increasing body weight.
A typical example of fast foods include the ones served in franchised chains and other fast food restaurants such as burgers, tacos, pizza, hot dogs, chips, and fries.
Undeniably, these foods are delectable and are always available to satiate our hunger and cravings. Start comparing health coverage to make sure you have the right coverage today!
Why fast foods are fattening?
Doctors claim that fast foods have one thing in common: they contain large amounts of trans fats (trans fatty acids) which are usually formed when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils in making the food more solid.
This is usually listed in the ingredients list as hydrogenated oils. Soft drinks are also considered fast food because of its high fructose corn syrup, which is a proven ingredient for weight gain.
Dietitians recommend 2,000 daily calories, but a meal consisting of fries, hamburger and soft drink already constitute an approximate of 1,400 calories.
So if you eat a fast food meal at least twice a day and consume soft drinks three times a day, then don’t be surprised if the result shows on your waistline.
Moreover, nutritionists say that these foods score low in terms of nutritional value. Trans fats plus high-fructose corn syrup equals vitamin deficiency and sluggishness which in turn may cause low desire for exercise. Unfortunately, the combination of all these factors may lead to obesity.
Do portions matter?
With competition among fast food chains and restaurants increasing, some resort to larger portion sizes to attract more customers. Hence, people are becoming accustomed to portions that are already larger than normal.
However, these large servings constitute more calories causing weight gain for regular clientele.
People gain weight when they consume more calories than they burn. Portion sizes do not matter if the foods taken are within the required servings and the recommended calorie limits.
In the case of fast food and soda, strict monitoring of calorie count is suggested to avoid getting fat. Moreover, short-term studies reveal that people tend to eat more when they are provided with bigger portion sizes.
What constitutes fast food?
Double-patty hamburgers top the fattening food contest conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient database. One sandwich with condiments adds up to about 580 calories and 32 grams of fats.
That does not include the additional slice of cheese and two bacon strips which could amount to about 230 calories and 13 grams of fats.
Not to mention that a soda is still needed to digest that supersized hamburger. If you opt for a 32-ounce soda, you have already consumed the recommended 2,000 calories for the entire day at a single meal!
Tuna is a healthy choice, but when it’s made into a sandwich and combined with high-fat mayonnaise, then its nutritional value plunges. It becomes even fattening when extra dressing is added to it, plus extra cheese and bacon.
A standard tuna submarine sandwich is loaded with about 580 calories and 28 grams fat. Moreover, this calorie count does not include the calorie contents of the extra dressing, cheese, and bacon.
In addition, a taco becomes fattening because of its ingredients such as fried beans, cheese, ground beef, sour cream, and avocado. One large serving offers 570 calories and 32 grams fats.
Why are fast foods still popular despite being fattening?
It’s no secret that fast food is unhealthy and fattening, yet it continues to be popular among Americans. But why? Due to the ever-changing economy, fast food is more affordable than the food it takes to prepare food at home.
In addition, it’s easy to grab something from a fast-food restaurant when you are in a hurry and need to eat on the go.
Thirdly, since more families have both parents working, or in the case of a single-parent home, it’s easier to grab a burger than to prepare dinner after a long day at work. What could be easier than pulling up, ordering your food and driving away without ever setting foot out of your car?
Why do some people get fat easily while others don’t?
Professor Barry E. Levin, M.D. at the New Jersey Medical School explaining that there are people who respond very well to the leptin and insulin hormones so they don’t gain weight despite their overeating.
However, there are also others who are less responsive to these hormones, thus making them at risk of gaining weight and sometimes becoming obese. When you’re under chronic stress, these hormones crave for foods high in sugar or fat which in the end, result to abdominal fat.
The key to staying fit is to eat fast food in moderation. If 90 percent of dietary choices are healthy, then it’s perfectly okay to indulge yourself every once and a while at your favorite burger joint.
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