At some time during a typical week, you are super hungry and in a big hurry; furthermore, you are not in a position to prepare your own meal. If you are in your car you might be tempted to stop at a fast food restaurant. You are not alone! Sales for quick-service restaurant operators are projected to increase 4.8 percent in 2003, to $137.8 billion, according to the National Restaurant Association’s publication, Restaurant Industry Forecast – 2003. (FMI?see www.restaurant.org)
This page will help you make a better choice the next time you enter a fast food restaurant. Here are some facts to consider from Marylou Anderson, RD, nutritionist at a community health center in Seattle:
• A supersized soft drink (42 oz) contains 136 grams of sugar which is equal to 34 teaspoons of sugar.
• A Kentucky Fried Chicken Original Recipe Two Piece Meal (mashed potatoes and gravy, cole slaw, and biscuit) contains 2446 milligrams of sodium equal to about the amount of sodium we should not exceed in one day. (This amount would actually be less if you already have high blood pressure.)
• A Burger King Fish Fillet Sandwich and medium serving of French fries contains 5-1/2 tablespoons of fat (61 grams).
Marylou offers 4 easy ways to lower the amount of fat, sodium and calories you consume in a fast food meal:
1. Choose baked, grilled or broiled items instead of fried. Salads, grilled chicken, baked potatoes and small lowfat sandwiches are always your best choices.
2. Put condiments on the side.
3. Order diet soda, unsweetened tea or water instead of soda or other sweetened beverages.
4. Don’t supersize your meals.
Fast food nutrition information can be found at the restaurants' individual website or an interactive fast food website at http://www.olen.com/food/.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.