Fast Food Nutrition: High Levels of Fat and Calories that Lead to Weight Gain

The typical fast food meal consists of some animal protein staple, fried, with refined white bread, a side item, also fried, and a drink sweetened and full of artificial flavor and colors. It is indeed a convenient meal and it can be filling. The problem is that is is chock full of unhealthy fat and calories, and really do nothing for the body overall besides add more toxins that the average human body already has inside it.

We have been conditioned to think we can get away with eating these types of meals on a regular basis, and be in relative good health. After all, most burgers have lettuce and tomato on them, and potatoes are supposed to be good for us, even if they are fried. Those sugary drinks have water in them, and keep us from being thirsty, especially in the summer heat, right?

Unfortunately, that is all wrong. A typical burger has anywhere from 25 to over 100 grams of fat, and can have over 2,000 calories! Especially if you add some cheese or bacon, or some dressings, like mayo or ranch, to it.

Calories are a measure of the amount of energy in the foods we eat. Taking in calories is not a bad thing unless it is in access of the recommended amount a person needs per day, depending on their specific needs. It is best to not consume more than that. The focus should be on taking in the essential nutrients to fuel the body, rather than high calories for proper nutrition.

Although not set in stone, a 2,000 calorie diet is supposed to be the recommended amount the average person is to get in one day. A person would have to eat one of those burgers and nothing else to meet the recommended requirement, which of course means eating nothing for the rest of the day. This is highly unrealistic.

Ingesting fat is not a bad thing either, in fact your body needs healthy fats to function. But, the problem is that fast food contains an abundance of unhealthy fats. There is a difference in the fats found in a fast food burger and fries, and those found in fruits and veggies. We do need fats in our diets, as they are essential for cell development and for transporting vitamins to various parts of our bodies. But we have to choose the healthy fats in order to have healthy bodies, and there just aren’t many in fast foods.

There are a number of different types of fats. Unsaturated fats come from plant foods, and are considered “good” fats. They are found in olive and coconut oils, fish oils, nuts and seeds. Saturated fats mostly come from animals and animal products, and are considered unhealthy. They become toxic when heated, and too much can lead to joint disease and birth defects. They may also play a large part in the development of cancers. So that cheeseburger loaded with bacon and dressing really isn’t a good food to have for lunch. Even though those fries may be cooked in canola oil, eating them is giving your body more fat in a day than you need.

Fats sit in the body to cushion our organs and help us keep warm, which is fine. But too much leads to clogged arteries and an overworked heart. We eat for fuel and energy, but we have defeated the purpose when we allow ourselves to get overweight by eating a lot of calories and unhealthy fats.

So next time you find yourself reaching for that fast food meal, stop and think about the health implications that come from eating fast food on a regular basis. It’s not worth it!

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