Monday, July 2, 2012

The Junk About Junk food !

"Enough of this trash-talk over burgers and fried chicken! There's nutrition to be found in those fast-food joints!" says Bob Lyons, author of Panic on a Plate, How Society Developed an Eating Disorder, which explains why we need to rethink our fast-food fears.

Junk food is Big business. Activists and Health Officials loudly lament the abundance of fast-food joints around the world. If these officials and fine-food lovers are to be believed, this explosion of junk food means we are on the road to Hell. But...does the idea that junk food is less nutritious than "real food" stand up to close examination?

Take the Big Mac meal from McDonald's. The sandwich (burger) contains about 500 calories, including the two thin slices of ground beef and a slice of cheese. The accompanying fries are surprisingly nutritious. French fries contain substantially more vitamin C pound for pound than apples! A portion of fries contains between one-quarter and one-third of the daily requirement of vitamin C for an adult.

Even the ubiquitous tomato ketchup is a surprisingly healthy product, but that shouldn't be surprising since it is essentially concentrated tomatoes with a little vinegar, salt and sugar.According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 25 grams of ketchup contain 25 calories, barely any fat and about 0.25 grams of sodium...but it also contains 6% of an adult's recommended daily intake of vitamin C and about 4.5% of the vitamin A requirements.

The idea that a McDonald's meal is pretty good nutritionally would obviously send our health guardians into apoplectic fits. Oh yes, in the world of the Food Police, potatoes don't count as vegetables. Image that! But while living on the diet of fast food might mean missing out on one or two nutrients --never mind being a bit tedious -- it is certainly at least as nutritious as the alternatives offered up as superior. For example, how about a nice salad? All those crunchy leaves, a few tomatoes, perhaps some kind of protein like chicken or tuna? Try living on that for a few weeks and watch yourself waste away.

The Way i See It....becoming stick thin and enduring a constant craving for food might be reasonable for a wannabe Hollywood starlet, but it's no way for the rest of s to live. I think a sense of perspective is required on what is and is not a good diet. For example, consider the diets of those who live in developing countries where junk food is unheard of. There, one fod may dominate people's diets, be it rice, bread, corn or cassava. Meat and vegetables asre added when available, but the diet remains limited. Can that be described as better than living off of burgers, French fries, pizza and fried chicken?  Think about it.

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