The Healthiest “Bad” Foods: Burgers, Pizzas, and Ice Creams!
Healthy fast food. It is a new kind of the modern religion that many of us desperately want to believe. Try to remember how many times your friends recommended you the “best” healthy fast food places where you can treat yourself with tasty and harmless burgers or pizzas. Yes, luckily, even the big fast-food corporations as McDonald’s or Burger King have in their menus vegan and vegetarian meals that are basically the meatless, low sodium fast food options. But what if you want to enjoy a delicious burger without thinking about its dangers for your health, there are a few choices.
Dangers of eating fast foods daily
The reason to replace the standard junk foods with the healthy fast food meals is very simple. Conventional street and restaurant fast foods are bad for your health. It can be so tempting to stop by at one of your favorite fast food places on the way home after a long, hard-working day to grab a juicy burger for the late dinner. However, you may reconsider such approach to your daily meals by checking the list of all possible health dangers that eating only one burger a day can deliver:
The risks of weight gain
Even the best fast food is still fast food that contains more calories that you can expand unless you are working out daily. Burgers are especially high-calorie foods. If you like a double burger with mayonnaise, it means that you like eating 942 calories per serving! Add onion rings and French fries, and this amount increases with 480 additional calories per large order. Yes, that is the harsh reality of the fast food nutrition. But, if you can’t live without a burger, then, at least, opt for a single-party order without mayo – only 232 calories. You may also skip the bun.
Check your heart regularly
If you like fast food, then prepare to visit your cardiologists more frequently. Standard burgers are stuffed with dietary cholesterol and saturated fats that are bad news for your heart, Saturated fats can raise the levels of “bad” cholesterol in your blood, while dietary cholesterol is a straight way to a heart stroke. A double hamburger (with mayo) contains about 21.6 grams of saturated fats and about 170 milligrams of cholesterol. Opt for a single burger without mayo or choose a vegetarian burger that has no cholesterol at all.
Blood pressure and burgers – not the best combo
In addition to saturated fats and cholesterol, even the “best’ fast food burgers contain a lot of sodium (1, 080 milligrams per a double burger with mayo). Consuming too much sodium regularly may lead to the increased blood pressure heart diseases, kidney diseases, and strokes. Healthy adults can’t consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. If you want to reduce the intake of sodium then opt for a single-party burger without mayo (258 milligrams of sodium per serving) and try avoiding pickle relish (164 milligrams of sodium per 1 tablespoon).
Is there “good” fast food?
Does it even exist? According to the research held by the CNN journalists, there are healthy fast food options for everyone who can’t resist the junk food cravings. If you like pizzas, burgers, ice creams and other tasty but bad for your heart and waistline foods, there are a few options for you:
Lean red meat
If you can’t stick to a vegetarian diet, then, at least, consider replacing the meat in your burgers and steaks. Surely, there is no such thing as healthy junk food but T-bone, strip steak, and sirloin tip can be the great sources of animal protein for people on a diet, especially for women. However, you need to avoid the beef labeled as Prime because it is rich in “bad” fats. Instead, look for the cuts graded as Choice – such meat has fewer calories and is still delicious. Also, keep in mind that the recommended meat intake per day can exceed a 3-ounce serving (about the size of a deck of cards).
Eggs instead of toasts in the morning
According to a recent study held by Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, overweight women who prefer eating eggs for a healthy fast food breakfast, may lose twice as much weight as those women who like starting their day with toasts or sandwiches. The thing is that the protein in eggs can increase the satiety and reduce the hunger cravings. Besides, unlike bread, eggs contains 8 essential amino acids for your health. You can make an omelet or eat a hard-boiled egg in the morning. If you are on a diet, then keep in mind that the whites contain only 16 calories, while a whole egg has 72 calories.
Healthy pizza exists!
It is the common knowledge that eating mozzarella-based pizza can even help you drop pounds instead of gaining more weight. However, there are other ways to make pizza healthier. Opt for a whole-wheat dough and top it with vegetables like broccoli, peppers, and artichokes. Instead of protein, such pizza will be rich in a diet-friendly fiber that is digested slowly and reducing the hunger cravings. As for the calorie count, one medium slice of the whole-wheat pizza with veggies and lean protein (like grilled chicken) contains only 200-250 calories. Try avoiding oils and fats (like the deep-dish pies meaning the crust was cooked in oil). Also, consider skipping the extra cheese topping, too many sausages, and pepperoni.
5 healthy recipes for the lovers of “bad” foods
However, even knowing the possible health risks provided by fast foods can be not good enough to replace your regular diet. To reduce the fast food cravings, especially in kids who used to burgers and French fries, you can try making the healthier versions of the favorite fast foods. According to Dr. Josh Axe and Wellness Mama, it is possible to make a healthy dinner with such fast food recipes:
Onion & turkey burger with juice
Not many people like turkey burgers because they can be dry. However, if you add to a plain ground turkey burger chopped mushrooms or peppers you can get one of the fast healthy meals. At the same time, the burger will be juicy due to the veggies’ natural moisture. As for the toppings, you may use the balsamic caramelized onions for more juice.
Homemade chicken nuggets
Even chicken nuggets can belong to the healthy fast food choices if you prepare them in a right way. Try using ground chicken meat instead of the chicken breast – you will get the nuggets that are softer and lower in calories. And eating homemade nuggets is a smarter choice than consuming the processed nuggets from a supermarket.
100% “green” pizza with feta, artichokes, broccoli, and pesto
Start with your favorite low-calorie pizza dough and then cover it with the homemade spinach-basil pesto. Then it is a turn for broccoli, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, and feta. The delicious, green, and low-calorie fast food for the whole family.
Onion rings with whole-wheat breadcrumbs
These are probably the most favorite American fast food meals after burgers and French fries. To add flavor to the onion rings and reduce the amount of salt, you may use the seasoned whole-wheat breadcrumbs (available in most natural food stores).
Homemade microwave potato chips
Good news – there is no need in a deep dryer for making the delicious and healthy potato chips. Just toss the thin slices of potatoes with a bit of olive oil in the microwave and that is it! You get crunchy, crispy, homemade chips with 8 grams less fat per serving compared to French fries. Consider it a healthy takeaway food alternative.