Since the 1960s, we have spent more and more of our money and time eating at fast food joints. Of course, there are ketogenic options within the fast food world. The options are limited, but they are there. And, obviously, the options for poor food choices are vastly greater.
Unlike a lot of folks, I don’t blame fast food restaurants for our problems. Fast food isn’t responsible for the increasing epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic disorders. Lots of people like to paint it so, however. But they are wrong.
I have nothing against fast food, a lot of it is delicious (as far as I remember). The problem I have is that turning to fast food isn’t the problem, it’s the symptom of a problem.
The problem is time. We don’t have enough of it (at least we probably think we don’t). For one reason or another, for the past 50 years, we’ve had less and less time, so we chose the convenience of fast food over the time consuming effort of buying ingredients and making meals. Of course, as you can see in the chart, we still spend the vast majority of our eating time at home. The fact that fast food has been increasing as a source of nutrition isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a neutral thing. The bad thing is that we choose convenience over health.
This isn’t a condemnation of anyone for choosing to eat a fast food joint. It’s simply a observation. The question we should be asking is how does the convenience affect our health in the long run? Depending on what we choose to eat, I’d say the affect would be detrimental.
While it’s possible to eat well in a fast food restaurant, it’s not likely to happen unless you stay focused on your fat loss and health goals.
The problem with fast food isn’t the meat. It’s the bread, fries, bad oils, and soda that make it bad. Especially the oils.
Since the late 90s, and the crusade to remove trans fats from our food, fast food chains have been struggling to find a substitute oil to fry with. They used to use lard or tallow, but Ansel Keys and his cholesterol mafia got those removed. Then they used coconut or palm oil. But the soy bean lobby was successful in getting those banned in the court of public opinion, because they are high in saturated fat. So, since they can’t use the trans fat oils now, they have to turn to the wonderful world of chemistry.
Without getting too technical, the oils that fast food restaurants use are…mysterious. They are relatively new, and they are relatively unknown as to how they effect our health (HINT: It ain’t gonna turn out that they are beneficial, so that won’t be a surprise ending). These new oils, when they are heated up, undergo repeated chemical changes. These changes form chemicals similar formaldehyde and other toxic substances. That’s just not good.
But it’s not all bad. If you have to eat at a fast food restaurant, choosing no bun, no fries, water, and, to a much lesser extent, salads (no dressing) will allow you to stay ketogenic. If it’s a chicken restaurant, try to get dark meat, grilled, skin on.
And avoid condiments. With the exception of some hot sauces and mustard, condiments are basically sugar.
But none of that is as healthy as making your own food. I just want to remind you, this isn’t a guilt trip. Life is hectic. We do what we can to get through the day. But if you have the opportunity to figure out your schedule, and build in some time to make your food, you should.
Preparing your own meals is very rewarding. It’s also the primary way to ensure you know exactly what is in your meals. It’s also a nice way to pass along good habits to your kids. It’s also likely less expensive over the long run.
So, let’s recap, fast food isn’t evil. It’s not the problem. You can still eat correctly at many fast food joints. It’s better to make your own meals at home.
So what do you think?