Fast food is pretty controversial. It has some advantages like saving time and money, but also some drawbacks, most of them related with one’s health condition. The popularity of fast food is on the rise in more and more countries of the world. Many people consider it a convenient source of food especially given the fact that the modern man is always in a hurry. This type of food is prepared and served very quickly and it can be excellent for busy people or for single persons who don’t have time or desire to cook. Even though it certainly comes with a bunch of advantages, there are also disadvantages of fast food which need to be considered carefully. Undoubtedly, the main advantage of fast food is the fact that it saves time. Home cooked meals don’t only require the actual time for preparing the food, but also time spent shopping and washing the dishes.
Such problems simply don’t exist when going for fast food. This is also an excellent choice for people who don’t like or don’t know to cook or for single people who don’t feel like cooking for one. Fast food is definitely cheaper, especially for people who live on their own. When cooking for a single person, you almost always end up with more food than necessary. Fast food on the other hand comes at a lower price than home cooked meals. Even though the main disadvantages of fast food are health related, people on a diet can also find good options in the menu of most fast food chains. There are salads to choose from and whole wheat breads. Some fried products also have boiled alternatives. When it comes to drinks, one can skip the sugary ones and go for fresh juices or low fat milk. Fortunately, fast food is not very rich in desserts, so there is no temptation. People can also customize their orders and exclude unhealthy ingredients like mayonnaise for instance.
Fast food opponents argue that there are many disadvantages of fast food for the health condition of the consumer. This type of food is richer in salt, fats, oils and artificial substances than home cooked meals. This increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Unfortunately, obesity is on the rise and it is strongly connected with the popularity of fast food. While the body definitely needs salt and fats, the amount of these ingredients in fast food is too high. Additionally, the cooking method of fast food usually implies frying which destroys most nutrients. The adverse effects of the fats, sugars, chemicals and salt in fast food are definitely enhanced by a sedentary lifestyle. In most of the cases the people who eat lots of calories from fast food don’t burn these calories because they don’t exercise enough.
The result is that the extra calories transform in fat and lead to obesity. Disadvantages of fast food are not only related with the health condition. If fast food is cheaper for a single person, things change when an entire family consumes such food regularly. Enemies of fast food also come up with the argument that eating ready to serve food reduces the quality time that a family can spend together cooking and eating. Ordering and eating in a fast food restaurant is very quick and people don’t take the time to enjoy food and to chat while eating.
While there are undeniable benefits of fast food, there are also aspects which should worry regular consumers. As always, moderation is needed in consuming this type of food. Occasional visits at a fast food restaurant are not as harmful, especially if they are combined with plenty of physical activity. However, a sedentary lifestyle and constant consumption of fast food can lead to health problems.
More than 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the United States itself, and over 8000 KFCs in 80 countries, only goes to reflect the popularity of fast food all over the world. Food that is prepared and served quickly is termed as ‘fast food’. Such type of food suits perfectly into the fast paced life of a working individual. There is nothing more than ready-made food that a hard-working professional living in the city away from family could ask for. However, those who are against fast food highlight the adverse effect that it has on our health. Despite all the debate about the advantages and disadvantages that fast food has, the industry is flourishing. Is fast food good or bad? The most evident advantage of fast food is that it saves time.
In today’s fast-paced life, there is nothing better than getting a ready meal. No matter how much the chefs praise the benefits of fresh food, at the end of a hard-working day, when one returns home all tired and hungry, a pizza or a burger can be godsend. Besides the time an individual has to spend in the kitchen, cooking a meal also requires one to make a trip to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for the dish. Then there is the added effort and time consumed in washing and peeling the vegetables. All this makes eating fast food score more preferably over cooking a meal for a busy individual. Besides time, cost saving gives fast food an edge over the meal prepared in the kitchen. If one lives alone, then it is cheaper to buy a meal at the supermarket instead of cooking it at home. Also certain fast foods like fries and burgers come pretty cheap. Fast food does raise health concerns. However, if careful, you can find some options on the menu of a fast food restaurant that could be healthier.
Salads are a smart choice. Go for bread products that are made from wheat bread. Opt for lean meat. If you could choose between the fried and boiled options, order the boiled preparation. Avoid ordering carbonic drinks when you are thirsty. Go for fruit juices, low-fat milk, diet soda. Is there anything better than plain water to quench your thirst? These days, nutrition information of the food served (and ingredients used) is displayed in the menu card. You could always resort to the ‘make to order’ option that certain fast food outlets offer, where you could restrict the use of ingredients that are not healthy. As dessert does not play an important role in the fast food meal menu, you can keep yourself away from delicious and tempting sugary dishes. Usually, fast food is higher in soya, fat, sugar, oil, fried meat, salt, cheese, mayonnaise and obviously calories.
The greatest disadvantage of fast food is the adverse effect that it has on one’s health. It is a fact that fast food is more unhealthy than home-cooked meals, as it contains higher amounts of unwanted nutrients like salt, fat and various types of additives (artificial chemicals). It may contain harmful bacteria too. Frying destroys most of the essential nutrients from the food. Very small amounts of vegetables and fruits are normally present in fast food. Moreover, ‘serving larger portions’ when most people don’t need extra portions has led to several health problems. We require a small amount of salt to maintain the health of the cells and tissues. Fast food being rich in salt, adversely affects the heart health and the overall health of an individual.
Such type of food is an important contributor to obesity in the American population. Obesity is on the rise, and a direct link is being cited between fast food and obesity in children. Given the sedentary lifestyle that we lead today, the excess fats and calories that we take in with fast food is not used up completely. The result is that these accumulate in our body as fat deposits that cause complications like cardiovascular diseases and other related diseases of the heart. With obesity come other problems like high blood pressure and diseases of the joints. It is like a chain reaction set off by fast food and carried forward by our unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, a recent study has shown that people who live within walking distance of a fast food restaurant are at 13% higher risk of suffering from strokes than those who live a considerable distance away.
The greater the number of people at a meal in a fast food restaurant, the larger is the bill. Eating at fast food outlets is economical only for a single person. Going out to a fast food eating joint with family once in a while won’t matter much. However, frequent visits to such restaurants with one’s family can become quite an expensive affair, besides being unhealthy. Fast foods joints are also being seen as a factor that is making a number of families spend less and less time together. Family meal time is something that is considered as an opportunity for all the members to come together and share their experiences.
However, the fast food centre is quickly eating into this quality time. This is especially true about youngsters for whom a fast food centre is a good place to hang out with friends and peers. Fast food is an invention of the modern times. Ready-made food being served fast and right in front of us is like a blessing after a hard day’s work. However, like everything, it has its own pros and cons. Citing a few points about the advantages of fast food does not mean that I am denying its drawbacks. It is a fact that high amounts of fats and salt in fast food are raising concerns about their adverse effect on health. However, by making some smart choices while placing the order and also resorting to an active lifestyle, we can definitely minimize the drawbacks of fast food.
In this fast paced world, where people have busy routines and busier social lives, it becomes difficult for working individuals to take time out to prepare food or wait for their meal in lavish restaurants. They turn to fast food to save time not really thinking what it does to their health in the long run. It is understandable that such eating habits can sometimes be unavoidable given individual circumstances but it is still worthwhile to understand fast food advantages and disadvantages.
Fast food or junk food refers to the type of food prepared and served to the customers at very short notice, hence the term “fast food” and since it is so unhealthy it is called “junk”. To make food “fast”, most of the fast food is prepared beforehand and is then preheated or precooked when an order comes up.
The popularity of fast food chains all over the world especially among the working individuals and teenagers is undeniable. Chains like McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut do loads of business on any given day. However, there are certain things you should know before you dig into that greasy burger you enjoy so much. Here are some fast food advantages and disadvantages for you.
Advantages of Fast Food
Let’s kickoff this list of fast food advantages and disadvantages with some advantages first. While the advantages of fast food for health are on the lesser side, there are things that make it worthwhile.
1. Saves Time
They wouldn’t call it fast food if they weren’t known to save time and energy. People do not have to go to the grocery store to buy ingredients and then come home to prepare their meals. For someone who doesn’t cook, a lot of time and energy goes into the thankless job of washing meat and vegetables, cooking and after all is said and done, washing the dishes.
The convenience that fast food provides is undeniable.
2. Saves Money
Now, I know this may sound silly but hear me out. Most fast food is economical compared to fine dining. Even extravagant home cooked meals can be heavy on the pocket in comparison to fast food. By not wasting time on the preparation of food, you can utilize your time on other more profitable endeavors. This may sound a little ignorant, but hey we have to chalk up some fast food advantages, so give it a pass.
3. You can make a Healthy Choice
Fast food has a reputation for containing unsafe food preservatives, bad fat and high calories. This may be true to a certain extent but it is the 21st century. People nowadays are more health-conscious than ever before. Many fast food joints like Subway are aiming to produce healthy food options.
“Fast food – a modern approach to food consumption that provides food service within reach.”
Catchy isn’t it? Fast food joints are spread all over the world, open and serving anytime of the day. Fast food deliveries and drive-thrus are a vital part of our society. People can enjoy their food while working, driving or watching a movie in the comfort of their homes (because well, cooking is just too old school).
5. A variety in food
No article on fast food advantages and disadvantages would be complete without us talking about this. The fast food choices being offered these days is just mind blowing. So many different flavors, from different cultures and taste palates. You can pick a different fast food item for every day of the month and you’d still have countless things to try. Kinda get’s the taste buds excited, doesn’t it?
Disadvantages of Fast Food
1. Unhealthy Food Choice
Even though many fast food joints are now offering healthier food choices, most of the fast food is still quite unhealthy. Most fast foods like french fries, burgers, pizzas have high salt and calorie content.
Likewise, beverages and desserts like cakes, shakes and ice creams contain sugar in high quantities which may cause an increase in blood sugar leading to diabetes. We also know that the body loves to store carbohydrates as fatty deposits.
Since, fast food is so healthy (no it’s not), fast food joints like to offer upsizing their meals and drinks. Man by nature is quite greedy. Most just cannot let such an opportunity go, opt to upsize their meals and eat more than they can digest. This leads us nicely onto our next disadvantage of fast food.
Historically, fast food is known to be very fattening because of its high calorie content. The cooking process of most fast food items specially the really mouthwatering ones involve a lot of grease use. This is pure unadulterated unhealthy fat. Eating such junk food leads to obesity and therefore the obesity problem in America.
Obesity is a common medical condition in most countries with a fast food culture. Not only is obesity bad for your physical appearance it can lead to a slew of health problems including heart disease and reduced life expectancy.
3. Adverse Effects of Additives and Preservatives
Most fast food contains food additives and preservatives. A lot of these additives and preservatives are harmful for the human body. Some of the preservatives have been known to contain carcinogenics and can lead to cancer. French fries and pizza may contain sodium in high quantities. If too much is consumed, this can cause issues in the cardiovascular and kidney function.
4. Low Quality of food
Fast food is a fast turning food item that needs quick preparation time. Hence most of the restaurants are involved in making fast food in bulk which naturally lowers the quality of the food.
There have been more than one case of fast food restaurants being busted for being unhygienic. It is quite easy to comprehend that some fast food restaurants may not take appropriate measures to wash and prepare the vegetables or meat due to time constraints.
5. Hampers Quality Family Time
Fast food advantages and disadvantages would not be complete without us talking about its social effect.
Family meal time has always been seen as an opportunity where members of the family gather to spend some quality time together while eating and chatting. With the emergence of fast food joints, people are now spending less time together since they can just order in and continue to eat while doing what they were doing.
6. Bad eating habits in kids
Fast food may be a fun treat for kids at times but visiting a fast food joint too often is not advisable. It can lead to the formation of unhealthy eating habits among young kids and teenagers. Youngsters have always enjoyed the unhealthy but fascinatingly tasty fast food. They are more inclined to eat fast food junk like pizzas, burgers and fries. Once a habit develops turning them to healthy alternative to fast food may be harder than you imagine.
Fast Food Advantages and Disadvantages – Conclusion
In this fast-paced world fast food is very much a permanent part of our lifestyle. To sum it up, the argument for fast food advantages and disadvantages will never end. If someone wants to eat fast food, there are always justifications for it. What is vital is to make healthy food choices. You can be a little careful ordering in. Order a salad, a grilled sandwich in bran bread or boiled/mashed potatoes instead of french fries every once in a while.
If you are weight conscious you need to get off junk food fast. You can try the 21 day no junk food challenge. No junk food challenge results have been quite amazing for most and it could really do wonders for your weight and overall health. Moreover, it is important to be active and workout. If you can’t quit eating fast food, at least minimize its harmful effects.