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Old 03-18-2010, 08:11 AM   #1
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Default healthy vs healthier junk food


The Double-Edged Sword of “Healthy” Fast Food

Tom Venuto

What’s on the menu at fast food restaurants lately? Ironically enough, the answer increasingly is… “health food!” Even more incongruous, many fast food joints are advertising their food for weight loss. Healthy weight loss food at Taco Bell and McDonalds? Is this a positive move to be applauded, is it a big corporate money grab or is it a double edged sword?


By swapping some of these items with their regular (and higher calorie) menu items, you’d take in fewer calories and less fat. If all else remained equal, this could help you lose weight. For people who refuse to give up eating at fast food restaurants, this is arguably a positive thing.


The big mistake almost everyone is making, even fitness and nutrition professionals who have been blogging about this lately, is that while they are agreeing that it’s nice to have low calorie items on the menu (especially with calories posted), they are calling these low calorie fast food items “healthy choices.”

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Old 03-18-2010, 09:06 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting this article…I am in total agreement with the overall message. Most of us are smart enough to know that not much that comes from McDonald’s is healthy. There are the really unhealthy things and the slightly less unhealthy things…take your pick. But there are some out there who might get suckered…thinking they can get healthy and lose weight while still keeping that 5 times a week drive thru habit.

I would also like to see more basic, one-ingredient menu items…baked sweet potatoes would be a great option. Also, how about beefing up those salads with more than iceberg lettuce? Lol.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:22 AM   #3
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Great article - thanks for posting!
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

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Old 03-18-2010, 09:33 AM   #4
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Don’t kid yourself - it’s not only not healthy, it’s not healthier – it’s lower calorie junk food.
So true, so true. It drive me absolutely crazy hearing about these so-called 'healthy' choices because while they are lower in calories they're not that much lower and they're still junk food. Urgh. I think what bothers me most is that a year ago (before my lifestyle change) I would have completely fallen for these 'healthy' foods and then wondered why I was still gaining weight. Oh well, at least I'm educated now.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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I could not agree more with this. Lower calories does NOT mean healthy... it just means lower calorie. I definitely think this is a ploy fast food restaurants use to pull uninformed trying-to-be-health-conscious people into their stores. I honestly don't believe fast food chains care about the consumer's health or expanding bottom; it's all about the store's bottom line in the end.

McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Breast Filet (wrap): Chicken breast filets with rib meat, water, seasoning (salt, sugar, food starch-modified, maltodextrin, spices, dextrose, autolyzed yeast extract, hydrolyzed [corn gluten, soy, wheat gluten] proteins, garlic powder, paprika, chicken fat, chicken broth, natural flavors (plant and animal source), caramel color, polysorbate 80, xanthan gum, onion powder, extractives of paprika), modified potato starch, and sodium phosphates. CONTAINS: SOY AND WHEAT. Prepared with Liquid Margarine: Liquid soybean oil, water, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils, salt, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, soy lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color). (and don’t forget the 800 mg of sodium).

HOLY CRAP! Shouldn’t chicken breast be just one ingredient… chicken breast?! Isn’t that generally what healthy, whole food is – one ingredient?
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