It’s January, and most of us have announced to our friends and family some sort of New Year’s resolution pertaining to our health. Losing belly fat and exercising may be high on the list, but eating better food should be too. If you’re a frequent customer at fast-food chains, it may seem like simply opting for “healthier” menu items could be enough to achieve better health outcomes, but the truth is, even lighter menu options at places like Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, or Wendy’s is still considered fast food—and they are still worse than a simple homemade vegetable-forward meal with whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein.
Think of it this way: In order to provide the same satisfaction you’d get from eating a burger with fries, “healthy” fast-food options have to have some way of reeling you in and keeping you coming back for more. After all, this is the fast-food business model and often includes compromising dietary guideline recommendations in favor of flavor and crave-ability. While the marketing strategies of big food chains have caught on to the fact that most people are looking for healthier options on their menus, their actual food production methods still haven’t.
The biggest danger of “healthy” fast food is that you’ve been fooled into letting your guard down and thinking that regularly consuming this food is no big deal. Sure, the calories may end up being lighter, and you’re surely consuming less fat, but calling anything you can order at a fast-food chain “healthy” is a major stretch.
Take the recent example of Business Insider journalist Kevin Reilly, who conducted an experiment in which he ate nothing but “healthy” fast food for a whole week. Yes, he did lose 7 pounds in 7 days, but at what cost? According to his testimony, he often felt sluggish, was consuming waaay too much sodium, and ended up suffering a terrible migraine after a few days on this “healthy” diet. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Here are some of the potentially dangerous side effects of regularly eating “healthy” fast-food items. Do not mistake them for actually healthy food. And for more, don’t miss 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.
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