When we think of fast food, most of us know it isn’t the healthiest option. But, it might shock you to know that some choices are downright dangerous. Nevertheless, when your lifestyle is hectic and you want to grab something quick to eat, fast food can be a logical option. So, we’re helping you out by highlighting three items you should definitely avoid, as advised by nutritionists speaking to The Healthy.
Burritos: A survey conducted a few years ago by Moe’s Southwest Grill discovered that 72 per cent of millennial respondents ate two to three burritos in a week. They are filling, contain salad and protein, but sadly are also packed full of salt, which is bad for blood pressure. Burritos also contain artery-clogging saturated fat, and calorific simple carbohydrates that would take significant gym time to burn off. “The burritos at Chipotle are a humongous calorie bomb,” said clinical registered dietician Alicia Romano. The portion sizes – even ‘small’ options – are much bigger than health organizations’ recommended portions. And that’s without added sides and sauces!
Muffins: It’s easy to grab a muffin for breakfast on your way to work. Or it might be a spur-of the-moment extra with your coffee order. Because they’re healthy, right? “Bran, matcha, and chai are buzzy words that people immediately associate as being healthy,” said registered dietician Ilana Muhlstein. But sadly they aren’t. Baked goods, including all sorts of muffins, contain lots of saturated fat, not to mention different sugars, including fruit sugars, which can lead to diabetes and weight gain.
Frappuccino: There’s no denying Frappuccinos are delicious, but drinks such as these sneakily pack a tonne of sugar into your diet. “If you buy a tall hazelnut Frappuccino at Starbucks, you can drink it in under five minutes with a complete lack of satiation,” says Ilana. “It has 45 grams of carbohydrates, it’s purely added sugar and artificial ingredients.” So sadly, it neither fills you up, nor provides nutrients.
But worry not: you can still enjoy all these things, with a little extra planning and a few simple tweaks. Homemade burritos using a small tortilla, packed with avocado, grilled chicken and low fat yoghurt only take five minutes to make (if the chicken is cooked beforehand). Or, opt for a burrito-style salad from the menu instead, holding the fatty sauces and croutons.
Find a recipe for some yam-based muffins, which are lower in carbs, and bake them with blueberries to add sugar. Batch-cook them for the freezer, then simply grab one before you leave for work and blast for a minute in the microwave while you make your coffee.
Most coffee places offer lighter alternatives that are just as delicious. For example, you could try Starbucks’ shaken iced teas, or the nitro cold brew with caramel foam.
Until then, we wish you happy, healthy eating!