Fast food is one of those subjects that seems to provoke a lot of debate in people – those who eat it and those who advise us against it. But the industry is booming, and there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of new fast food outlets opening...so it can’t be all bad, can it?
The Advantages Of Fast Food
Well, the obvious advantages of fast food are its speed and its cost. If you’ve had a hard day at work, and worked late, the last thing you might feel like doing is throwing together a meal from scratch, no matter how the TV chefs wax lyrical about the advantages of fresh ingredients. So it can feel like a Godsend to be able to throw a ready meal in the oven, dial a pizza or pick up a chicken bucket on your way home. No, it’s not ideal but it meets a need!
The cost can also be one of the advantages. If you live alone, it’s often cheaper to buy a meal for one at the supermarket, where they are often on special offer, or order a takeaway. Burgers and fries from a fast food restaurant are notoriously cheap. If you have a family, of course, existing on fast food could prove to be one of the disadvantages, as it would be rather more expensive to feed a whole family.
Some fast food isn’t bad for your health at all either. Frozen meals can come additive-free and be available as healthier options. There are more and more healthy options available on fast food menus for health conscious consumers to choose from. Even a takeaway can have healthy menu options – if you know how to work the menu and go for steamed rice instead of fried, plenty of vegetables, pizza with less fatty meat and cheese etc.
The Disadvantages Of Fast Food
The disadvantages of junk food and ready meals are screamed at us on a daily basis by the media. Obviously, if you are looking after your health, you need to be aware that fast food as a rule contains more fat, salt and calories that you really should be taking in on a regular basis.
The occasional treat won’t hurt at all, and eating fast food in moderation is not a problem, but moderation can be difficult when faced with ‘super sizing’ and ‘deals’ that encourage you to buy more than you initially intended just to get a few pounds shaved off of the bill. Don’t be tempted into the ‘buy one get one free’ pizza deals – most people neither want or need extra portions.
Super sizing seems to have gone the way of advertising to kids in fast food restaurants, but beware the portion sizes in takeaway food that you order in. The containers of rice and noodles that you get from a Chinese or an Indian takeaway are enough for two to three people to share, so if you eat one all by yourself you’ll take in a massive amount of fat and calories ...and probably give yourself indigestion too.
Family meal deals can also be a problem, as you usually end up with more food than you need and there’s always someone there happy to finish it off. Give the extra large pizzas or chicken buckets a miss and only order what you really need.