Fast Food Healthier? Ha!

If you think there still aren't healthy options at most fast food joints, you're right.  CBS News in New York reports that in the last 14 years not a lot has changed.  Offerings are no more nutritious than they were when we first started worrying about it, according to a new study.

Though fast-food chains have improved their meat, saturated fat, and caloric intake levels, they have seen a huge rise in their dairy and sodium levels, according to the study.

Included in the study were McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Arby’s, Jack in the Box, and Dairy Queen. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study found that "the nutritional quality index of fast-food meals went from 45 out of 100 in 1997 to (only) 48 in 2010."

Most families visit one of these chains at least twice a week, the study also found. Thankfully, my son isn't big on fast food so we rarely go, though I must admit we went through a period a couple of years ago in the summer where we ate there just about every day.

But recently when I read that someone had left frozen chicken nuggets out on the counter at a McDonald's and they melted into a liquid, that pretty much put him off  (and me, too) fast food for good.

Dr. Lisa Young writes at The Huffington Post that though some healthier items have been added to menus, portion sizes on others have only grown larger -- "bigger burgers, burritos, pizzas, and sandwiches."  Some single-serving items still have more than 1,000 calories. "For example, Wendy's Baconator Triple burger contains approximately 1,300 calories and Burger King Triple Whopper contains 1,140 calories," she notes.

Though Weight Watchers says if you can the mayonnaise, you can slash about 100 calories off that.

So, what to do?  Choose a single burger over a double, forget the cheese, skip the french fries or go for the small size, add a salad, drink water instead of soda, and chew your food slowly.  But then, what's the point?


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