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Is There Such a Thing as Fast, Healthy Food?

October 26, 2022

Mountaineer News

Wellness Wednesday's

In these days where many of us are rushing just to keep up with everyday life, reliance on fast food has become the normal. However, there’s a difference between fast food and fast healthy food. Many commercial fast foods are often lacking in the necessary nutrients for health. They might satisfy the palette and fill the stomach, but longer-term health issues can result from consuming foods with insufficient vitamins and minerals that the body needs for optimum health.

Fast Food Healthy Options

Commercial fast foods typically contain fillers, to provide the feeling of fullness, plus a smaller proportion of food items, some of which have a degree of nutrition and some not. The emphasis is more on taste and low price. Keeping in mind that fast food vendors are all competing for the same customers, the content price has to be kept to a minimal for it to be profitable.

When considering fast food healthy options, the following should be considered:

  • the proportion of the meal that is bulk filler content, such as bread, pastry, wheat or rice products. Often these filler items make one feel full but have little nutrition. Some people also have gluten intolerance, even though they may not be aware of that. It often results in digestive issues, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome. Out of the filler foods, possibly rice is the more nutritious option, although white rice is less so than brown.

  • the proportion of the meal that is processed, including meat, cheese, sauces etc. Often the processed foods have preservatives and taste enhancers that have minimal nutrition and have the potential for longer-term detrimental health issues.

  • the proportion of the meal that is fresh produce, fruit or vegetables.

Using the above pointers may help in determining the better fast food healthy options.

Heart Health Diet

Whether the emphasis is on heart health diet, or any other health related issue, there is one thing that mainstream doctors, nutritionists and alternative health professionals tend to agree:

  • that healthy eating should contain a higher proportion of fresh fruit and vegetables,

  • less emphasis on filler foods

  • minimizing the intake of red meats and processed foods.

These pointers are particularly relevant for heart health. Of course, it comes back to available time, where most people don’t have the time, particularly at lunchtime, to prepare something nutritious for themselves. There are, of course, an abundance of salad bars and juice stands, although that’s not everyone’s first choice, particularly in winter.

The emphasis here is on three meals a day, starting with breakfast.

  • Many people often skip breakfast altogether, or else it consists of a cup of coffee and maybe a piece of toast.

  • However, many health professionals consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day.

  • Having said that, it also needs to be light, because the digestive system has been at rest overnight, so it’s better not to have anything too heavy and taxing on the body first thing in the morning.

There’s a simple solution to this dilemma, something that takes little time and provides the recommended six plus fresh fruit and veg per day.

Healthy Breakfasts for Weight Loss

The main item you’ll need for this healthy breakfast is a blender. If you don’t have one, you can get from your local appliance store. Even a cheap one is better than none - it’ll be a great investment in providing healthy breakfasts for weight loss and general wellbeing.

Time is also not an issue here - you can set aside the items the night before, so all you need to do is throw them in the blender and hit the power button - your healthy breakfast will be blended while you dress and prepare for your day. Here’s all you need:

  • two or three fresh fruits - these can be portions or whole fruits. Even frozen berries from your food market can add a great taste and provide good nutrition.

  • two or three fresh vegetables, preferably leafy vegetable. These can be a couple of leaves from each variety or whole vegetables.

  • a ferment - If you don’t have time to make your own ferment, you can get ready-made ones, like sauerkraut or kimchi, from your local food market.

  • a fluid nutrient, like Spirulina juice - again, if you don’t have time to make your own, ready-made ones are available from the supermarket. The emphasis is on pure juices, with minimal preservatives.

The above items, blended together, can provide a variety of great tastes, varied by your choice of fruit and vegetables. The emphasis is on blending the ingredients, which is easier than juicing because you simply throw them all into the blender and push the start button.

Blending fruit and vegetables also retains the roughage, which is essential for good bowel movement, whereas juicing removes the roughage and is too concentrated for the body to process efficiently.

Starting the day with this simple and nutritious breakfast provides the option for a little leeway at lunchtime, although the pointers earlier in this article could be used when choosing the more nutritious lunch. Of course, for the healthiest eating meal diet plan, all meals need to be considered, and there are simple ways to achieve that, even with limited time. However, starting the day with a simple and nutritious breakfast, as noted above, will go a long way in achieving your goal.

Editor's note: This content is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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