Many busy families today need a fast meal that can fit away from home into their schedules. That often means stopping for a fast meal alternative. Quick food is by definition a mass-produced food item that can be prepared and then served, very quickly. It is also sold in quick-service restaurants where there are options for a sit-down, takeout, and drive-thru. They are a cheap alternative to a home-cooked meal, although they appear to contain dubious nutritional content in most menu items, too.
Sandwiches, burgers, fries, soft drinks and dairy shakes are popular items found on the menus of fast food. It’s a simple way to fit a meal into a busy schedule for sure, for about $6 per person. There are several advantages and disadvantages of fast food to consider if you need to have a quick meal. These are the key points to consider.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Fast Food
List of the Advantages of Fast Food
When a meal is needed it saves time.
Even fast home cooking takes 15-30 minutes of planning and cooking time for the average family. Then, you have another feeding time of 15-30 minutes. Visiting a fast-food restaurant will halve certain time requirements. You may also eat in the car with fast food (although some jurisdictions can not require drivers to eat), or carry the food to your next destination. Quick food, also on busy days, helps people to find time to eat together.
Quick food gives you the option of consuming something, rather than missing a meal.
While intermittent fasting in recent years has become a common method of controlling a person’s weight, missing meals is rarely a good idea unless you have a particular purpose in doing so. The easiest way to lose weight and then hold it off is to decrease the amount of calories you eat, while increasing the number you burn through exercise, according to NHS UK. Skipping a meal will lead to tiredness, finishing up can mean you lose any vital nutrients. Choosing a balanced fast-food meal that doesn’t include fried foods, fruits and vegetables will help you achieve what you need to end your day without snacking on high-sugar or high-fat foods to satisfy your cravings in the future.
Restaurants with fast service grew beyond burgers and fries. You can order a number of popular sandwiches at Arby’s, for example, a Reuben. You can order rice bowls at Taco Bell. If you visit Chick-Fil-A with your waffle-cut fries, you’re invited to get some lemonade with them. You can also find brands fighting for the largest beef patties and the bacon slices they should bring into a burger. You too will consider a lot more than that.
It is capable of meeting existing dietary needs.
There are eight primary food allergies that are of interest to humans. Fast food restaurants are like other businesses, publishing lists of allergens for their meals. That means people with specific dietary needs can still enjoy a quick meal when they need it.
It funds locally run companies.
Quick service restaurants are mostly independent franchisees owned and run by local businessmen. Among most fast-food chains, there are brand-owned stores, including McDonald’s, which owns and operates 18 percent of all their locations. In certain entry-level management positions, each location hires an average of 14 employees with a pay level which can vary from minimum wage to up to $15. Eating at these establishments is a way of supporting local businesses and jobs.
It lets you know what to expect from the food.
Let’s presume you’re on holiday and want to eat something. You’ve seen a Burger King. You know what to expect from the menu, even though there are some local items that are also there. You remember, too, that you can get a Whopper and that it will be made in the same way as it is in your hometown at the Burger King. This is one of the main benefits offered by fast-food restaurants. When you are away from home they remove the complexity of the dining experience.
Healthy eating is possible in a quick-service restaurant.
There are some items on the fast-food menu, which are below 500 calories. You may need to look through the menu more closely or take off any condiments during your order, but this may happen. For example, the Shake Shack single burger is just 360 calories. At In-N-Out, you can get a cheeseburger, for 480 calories without spread. You can order a full-size Mediterranean chicken salad at Wendy’s for 480 calories. Just an Egg McMuffin is 300 calories at McDonald’s.
For certain families, it makes the food affordable.
Many food items are available on fast-food menus as of September 2017, making dining at a quick-service restaurant cheaper than purchasing groceries at a nearby store. The Burger King’s Whopper Jr., for instance, is only $1,29 and contains 340 calories. You can order 2 spicy chicken sandwiches at Checkers for $3.00. Jack in the box provides $0.99 for two tacos and $1.29 for a junior jack. One simple taco costs about $1 per taco at Taco Bell. Instead of a drink, ask for water and you have a meal.
This is also putting dietary knowledge in the consumers’ pockets.
After 2010, the United States fast-service restaurants have been forced to post nutritional details for their food items on the actual food. When you at McDonald’s order an Egg McMuffin, then you know for a fact that you’re getting 300 calories. So making educated choices about your everyday eating habits easier. You can also make a fast web search on a smartphone to find other nutritional information about menu items, as it contains 18 g of protein or 55% of your daily intake of sodium.
Eating fast food products lets you maintain a more productive schedule.
In the United States, the average family spends about two hours in the evening handling their after-school activities. This means the time to cook at home may be very short. You have the opportunity to balance your life without going hungry in the process because the fast-food industry is available in almost every city. Choosing such a meal takes 50 percent less time than you would if you wanted to have lunch or dinner at home. It might not sound like much, but in a tight schedule, 15-30 extra minutes can be pretty worthwhile.
Disadvantages of Fast Food
It offers food products which have addictive properties.
Fast food is designed in such a way as to have addictive qualities in the experience. People feel good eating fast food items which makes them want to eat more. Quick foods can also improve dependency in some people if consumed for a long enough period of time. With the added sugars that come when a fast food meal is combined with a sweetened drink, like a soda, the dependency factor is increased. This results in a cycle of need which creates higher risks of obesity and associated conditions of health which result from overweight.
It has lower average food quality than other eating establishments.
Many fast-service restaurants use frozen foods which are processed off-site to improve order delivery speed. Fruits and vegetables endure long-term storage practices, which reduce the possibility of having items included with menu products that are locally grown. Most QSR service brands use bulk food production methods, thus reducing the quality of the food to enhance their storage capabilities.
Eating fast food can cause issues with edema, bloating, and swelling.
When you want to eat a fast-food meal, the mixture of salt, sugar, and fat can lead to water retention issues, known as edema. This downside is what causes some people to feel bloated, puffy or swollen after feeding. It can also encourage higher blood pressure levels, which may be dangerous if a heart disease condition occurs.
Consuming Fast Food is not necessarily cheaper.
The average price of a fast-food meal is about $7 per person, assuming each person has one side and a drink is ordered. That means, for a family of 4, they’ll pay $30 for the meal with tax. Eating only one fast-food meal a day, over the course of a week, means spending $210 on that meal. Wise shopping in a grocery store will be 75 per cent cheaper than the regular fast food meal prices. Add the possible medical costs of consuming fast food regularly and it might not always be better to use this option for when you’re on the go, even though it’s faster.
Eating the nutritious food choices at certain fast food restaurants can be unhealthy.
There are some rather dangerous items that can be found on the fast-food menus of today, although they sound like a healthier alternative. For starters, at Wendy’s, the Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad offers 720 calories, 43 grams of fat and 1,760 mg of sodium. At Burger King the Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad has 720 calories, 50 g of fat and 1,960 mg of sodium. Even the chicken-filled Fuji Apple Salad found at Panera Bread has 570 calories and 34 g of fat.
Finding healthy items which are fresh in fast food restaurants is not easy.
Fresh food products are becoming increasingly popular at fast-service restaurants. Nevertheless they are not always easy to find. You may need to ask for a custom order to still be able to may your calorie count, which is not always effective. Healthy products are often usually older, because they are not purchased as often. Ordering nutritious foods takes more effort than ordering high-calorie, high-fat food products in the fast-food industry.
It can heighten the medical costs of a family.
A research undertaken by Kenneth Thorpe in 2004 analyzed health care costs related to obesity in the US. Starting in 1987, Thorpe found that the prevalence of obesity alone represents a 12 percent increase in health spending per person. In a 15-year survey of 3,000 adults, people attending a fast food restaurant just twice a week have gained around 10 pounds more than people visiting them less than once a week.
It provides menu items containing unhealthy levels of fat, sugar and salt.
When you visit Quiznos and order their meatball sub then with your sandwich you will receive 3,580 mg of sodium. That is 150 per cent of your daily intake recommended. With your sandwich, you’ll also eat 1,530 calories, 81 g of fat and 28 g of saturated fat. If you’re concentrating on good eating habits, the only thing you might eat on that day will be this one sandwich.
It isn’t always easy to know what the food you eat actually contains.
Although QSR locations that need to publish data on the calories in the food products, they are not necessarily needed to publish their list of ingredients. If you wish, you can ask for the ingredient list at the counter, or look them up online, which is not as easy as displaying the menu item ingredient list.
This encourages a busy lifestyle.
When you look closely at the signs that have been placed in several fast-service restaurants, you will find that most of them forbid lingering. Some may even demand that you complete your meal in 30 minutes or less. They do so to encourage more customer loyalty, rising their profit margins. It also means that they help spread the busy lifestyles that mainly promote fast food consumption. This also allows you to eat more than you should when you fast eat food.
Firstly, completing the dining cycle takes about 20 minutes, enabling the brain to recognize that you are fully complete. Eating too quickly will result in obesity. WebMD notes that eating more slowly results in feeling better faster, resulting in less calories being eaten, even for overweight or obese individuals.
Verdict on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Fast Food
There are times when your only choice is to have fast food meal. If you have a busy schedule and you don’t have time to prepare something, then grab-and-go products will relieve your hunger without taking a huge hit to your budget. When more restaurants add healthy, low-sodium options that do not negatively affect your health when conventional products do, this option is not as controversial as it may be.
Fast food advantages and disadvantages must first look at the safety implications before any other consideration is related to how unhealthy these meals can be over time. Given the high levels of fat, sugar, and salt found in most foods, almost every other alternative is a better choice than fast food for your daily eating habits. Using it gently, get some moderate exercise every day, and remove the sugar sodas from the equation to reduce this choice’s effect.