Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Counting Calories

There seems to be a lot of focus lately on forcing restaurants (more specifically fast food chains) to list the nutritional value of the food they sell; total calories, total fat, total sugar, etc. The hope is to get people to make healthier choices, or at least give them the option to.

The question is though, is there really a healthy choice to be made at any of these fast food joints?

Sure most of them have what they claim to be "healthier meals" available on their menus, whether it's a salad or a fat free muffin or whole grain bread instead of white, but how healthy are they really. Yes a salad is a better choice than a double cheeseburger with fries, but after you add the seasoned croutons and dressing to the mix you've added a boatload of unwanted fat, calories, and carbs; and that doesn't take into consideration the bacon bits or deli meats and cheeses that can top some of the salads.

Will these laws push people towards making truly healthy meal choices, or are they just swaying people towards the least unhealthy of the many unhealthy meals?

The truth is there is very few if any healthy choice to be made at a fast food restaurant. Just because that sub (or hoagie depending on where you're from) is on a "whole wheat" or "multi grain" roll doesn't change the fact that you are still consuming a lot of unhealthy overly processed refined flour (fast digesting carbs) with no real nutritional value. These foods do nothing more than cause an unhealthy spike in your insulin levels, leaving your body malnourished and soon to be hungry for more...nutrition that is.

What we should do is pass a law that forces grocery stores to post the nutritional values of produce, then at least people would not only be amazed at the health benefits to natures finest, but would possible sway people away from the processed foods that fills the average shoppers cart.

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