By Chris Haro
I was out with my niece the other day and we needed to eat. I asked her what she was hungry for and she gave me the standard answer, ‘SALAD!” Ok, it wasn’t salad.. it was McDonalds. So, we head into the land of a happy clown, golden arches and a purple character that I never really understood. She immediately knows what she wants, a happy meal! Of course, that has a toy. As for me, I had to take a gander at the menu. As I did my research of burgers, chicken nuggets and McFlurry’s, I notice something very interesting about the menu. Not only did it have the photos, the options and the price, they also now include the calories! My first thought was, “this is a smart idea!” Then I looked at all my favorite meals, and started to see how many calories I was REALLY putting in each time I downed a meal. burgers start at 250 calories, with the big mac hitting 550 calories and the Angus bacon and cheese at an alarming 790 calories! Most of the chicken sandwiches were around 400 calories, and even the salads, especially the premium salads, were around 425 calories. Add fries (large order 500 calories) and a McFlurry (Oreo McFlurry the lowest with 510 calories) and you are looking pretty set for a high-calorie meal. If I order a Big Mac Meal, large fries and substitute the drink for a McFlurry, you are looking at 1500 calories for one meal! Check out McDonalds menu options for yourself.
Now that I have given you a visual heart attack, let me just say that many companies are not only adding nutritional facts in their menus, they are also adding healthier options. In fact, most companies that offer a healthier menu have seen an increase in sales of 5.5%, while companies who do not have a lower-calorie option menu saw a decrease in sales of 5.5%. Most people today understand that our health is dictated not only by the amount of daily activity but what we feed our bodies, and in this rush rush society, we are looking for quick and easier ways to get a meal in, while not risking a heart attack at an early age.
Be Mindful and Take a Moment to Look
If you are needing to lose a few extra pounds or have been told by the doctor to watch what you eat, make sure you know as much as you can about what you are eating. Don’t just look at things like fat and calories, but also be mindful of how much sugar is added and sodium. For instance, Jamba Juice has wonderful smoothes and shakes, and if you look at the facts, their shakes have lower calories but some of the shakes are filled with sugar! For instance the Pomegranate paradise, while only having 250 calories, has an alarming 53 grams of sugar! Much of it may be natural, and also much of it is artificial. Yes, can be a healthier option than fast food, unless you are a diabetic.
If you are out somewhere for a meal, chances are they will have the nutritional info as well as low-calorie options. If they don’t, it is really up to you to play Fast food Roulette, or simply find a healthier option. Your health is up to you, so be aware of what you eat, because you don’t want the quick and easy golden arches keeping you from your golden years.