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Fast Food Vs. Healthy Food Essay

944 words - 4 pages

The controversy of whether fast food is better than home-cooked food has been long in question. There are many common attributes between the two. The first noticeable similarity is that they both provide a variety of choices. There are a number of selections available in fast food restaurants as well as at home. However, the main concern which is healthier and pose less risk to you.
There are currently 160,000 fast food restaurants in America which has more than doubled since 1970, and 50 million are served daily. (3) Coincidently, 33.8 percent of the U.S. population is affected by obesity and 19 percent of children and adolescents are also affected. It's no mystery that one of the major ...view middle of the document...

Fast food costs relatively little and tastes good, but the negative effects on physical health last much longer than these immediate concerns. With the high-calorie meals come more fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar -- and therefore fewer vitamins, minerals and other nutrients -- than in healthier foods. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans reports that these eating habits create nutritional deficiencies along with weight gain. Ordering without restraint will have negative effects on your weight as you routinely take in more calories than you can expend. The health problems that stem from overweight and obesity alone can severely limit lifestyles and shorten life spans. (4) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a direct link between sodium intake and negative effects on blood pressure, and note that Americans consume most of their sodium in processed and restaurant foods. (3)
If you eat healthy, you are more likely to get enough of the nutrients, like fiber, calcium, vitamin D and potassium, which many Americans do not consume in sufficient amounts. Whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts provide fiber; low-fat diary products and green leafy vegetables provide calcium; fruits like bananas, apricots, strawberries, avocado and cucumber are good sources of potassium; and fish, eggs, fortified milk and orange juice contain vitamin D and vitamin C.
Eating a nutrient rich meal that is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and e, carotenoids and flavonoids helps your body fight diseases. Well balanced meals also ensure that your body obtains immunity boosting nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc and vitamins b-6, A, D and B-12. Unhealthy foods increase toxicity level in your body, and fatty foods weaken your immunity. (6)

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