Remember the movie “Super Size Me”? One message in this movie was if we think the key is to stop eating the burgers, think again. The bigger issue for a heart-healthy and obesity-reducing America is to stop drinking the soft drinks (aka high fructose corn syrup drinks) and eating the fries (aka insulin spike sticks). Can you imagine what fast food would be like without these two staples? We can. Not as unhealthy.
Did you know that the typical can of soda contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar? Imagine eating that in one sitting. Unlikely. We know that sugar is very bad for our health, causing obesity, diabetes and a host of health-related problems.
And before we blame only fast food restaurants for our sugar intake, consider a recent study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago who found that children consumed twice as much soda at sit-down restaurants. This was likely due to the ‘free refill’ policy at many restaurants (there has been a disturbing trend of this happening in some fast food restaurants as well).
Ok, so we just don’t have high sugar drinks and avoid those high glycemic foods like fries and we should be fine, right?
Well, it gets worse. When it comes to restaurants, certainly the ingredients are critical but another major factor is sanitation. Not all restaurants are created equal in this regard. There have been numerous serious health incidents at restaurants. Proper food handling and periodic food inspection help steer restaurants in a safer direction, but all too often they are neglected. There are far too many instances of restaurant employees and general conditions in restaurants being sub-par when it comes to sanitation.
Unfortunately for everyone who loves to eat out, if you want to make the healthiest choice, choose quality ingredients and eat at home more often. If we did that, we would get at least three great benefits: more families working together on learning and creating healthy meals, a healthier population and positive changes in the restaurant industry to earn back our love of eating out.
Have you cut down on your sugar intake? Do you drink more water than sodas now? Let us know in the comments!
– The Alternative Daily