Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Conclusions from Man vs. Fast Food

It was great to be able to have a few days to take a look at the fast food industry. The Man vs. Fast Food event last week was one of information gathering and food tasting. The opportunity to present an option to what you can eat at fast food establishments was a challenging one for me. The goal was easy. What can active people that want food that is not high in fat, calories, carbs, and sodium do when the are "stuck" with fast food options? I found out that there are menu choices that can work and also some items that need to be avoided completely. Was there a fast food establishment that outdid another? Yes. Am I going to recommend a place for you to go for your meals? No. The visits to McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, and Sonic were very informative. You need to make your own choices.

Conclusions that I could make from my 5 day trip into the fast food world would be:

Look carefully at the menu options before you order. Many fast food places have their menus online so do your homework on several so that you know what to order when you are presented with the problem of ordering fast food. Look at the key things that are very important in our active diet. Check out the sodium content, fat amounts, calories, carbs , and portions. It was amazing that the more the protein increased the size of the menu item did too. Want high protein? Order the super size of anything and of course there will be more protein. Come on, that's not rocket science. there will also be more sodium, calories, and fat. There were menu combinations that were ok. A small hamburger and a salad with low fat dressing was a good option. some salads alone had more negatives than other items on the menu. Dressing? Not good.

There were several things that impressed me though. There is an effort out there in fast food land to make us aware of just what we are eating. They don't order the meals, we do. It's a two way street. Yes, they could improve their menus. In some cases they are. But it is our responsibility too. A couple of places had the Allergens listed for each menu item. That is way cool! There are also different portion sizes for things. Take advantage of that.

Think before you order. What we take in as food needs to be fuel that we can burn in a positive way for our active needs. High fats, carbs, calories, and sodium only add to a savings account of trouble.

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

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