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Foods That Harm
Fast foods

It’s a jet age, an age of instant gratification, even when it come to food. We want everything ready made, instantly available, eat it quickly and move on.

Fast food has taken over our lives these days, they are everywhere at take aways, restaurants, larries, kiosks, schools even hospital. As the days are going busier with work people have little time to conform to traditional methods of cooking, they are choosing an easier options fast foods, convenience foods, packed foods and instant foods to satisfy their hunger.

Are they good for you? NO! why?

Most fast food are high in fats especially saturated fats like butter, cheese, mayonnaises, hydrogenated fat, ghee, etc. Fried foods that are the most commonly consumed foods in the forms of namkeen, faphada, french fries, pizza, burgers, cakes, pastries, cookies, ice cream, chocolates. etc contain trans fats which is more life threatening than saturated fats itself. A study revealed that the amount of trans fats in Indian recipes like ‘bhatura’, ‘Sev’, etc is much higher than any western food like french fries.
Fast foods are high in calorific value because they either contain an excess of fat, or sugar or both. These are empty calories that build up through out the day as we keep consuming foods and all the excess gets stored in the body as fat. Now, is an age of ‘supersizing’ everything; the pizza’s are bigger with cheese not only filled outside but inside the base too, the aerated drinks are available in bigger bottles. “Bigger and cheaper ” is the motto of all the food industries, they are pouring with offers like drinks free with food, order one; one free… this is only increasing the intake of empty calories and increasing obesity among children and adults.

Not only are these foods high in fats and calorie but low in fibre too which makes it very unhealthy. These foods are made with refined wheat flour that is maida, so it is stripped of all the vital nutrients.
Health Hazards of Fast Foods
  • Increase in caloric intake leading to overweight and obesity.
  • Increased saturated fat and trans fat intake leads to higher cholestrol levels and heart diseases.
  • Fast foods and processed foods have a high salt content leading to high blood pressure.
  • Chances of constipation are higher as the fibre content is very low.
  • Usage of excess synthetic chemicals that are carcinogenic makes one prone to cancer.
  • Consumption of excess fast foods regularly may lead to vitamin deficiencies.
  • Regular consumption leads to unhealthy eating patterns like eating between meals, eating excessively, etc
  • As the fast foods are low in fibre and made of refined carbohydrates the sugar release is rapid leading to excessive hunger.
If the health hazards are so life threatening then why do we consume these foods; because they are readily available, time saving, wide variety is available and are very addictive. But now is the time to make healthy choices. You don’t have to stop visiting restaurant but choose what you want to have more carefully. Here’s how you do it
  • Ensure you are not too hungry when you go out to eat as you would overeat.
  • Always look into the ingredients of the food you order and how it is cooked. If you are unsure about something ask and make a healthier choice.
  • Choose tandoori food, it’s low in fat and healthy
  • Choose tandoori roti made of wheat instead of puri, naan or kulcha which is made of refined flour (maida).
  • Always order a salad. If you order salads with dressing then choose low fat versions
  • Order clear soups and vegetable soups instead of cream soups.
  • Add extra vegetables to your sandwiches and burgers
  • Do not order aerated drinks choose low calorie drinks like buttermilk, lemon soda, etc.
  • Choose sauteed, stir fried, grilled, baked, steamed, broiled, poached dishes over fried ones.
  • Choose steamed rice over fried rice.
  • Order lean meat instead of red meat.
  • Don’t eat extra just to be polite.
  • Order dessert only if you are hungry.
  • Prefer ala carte so you can portion easily, buffets lead to overeating.
Here’s a table that would let you know all the foods that you love and eat regularly the number of minutes you need to exercise to spend the extra calories taken in.

Fast food

Calorie Intake

Minutes of walking (5.5km/hr) required to burn the Calories eaten

Cheese Burger (1)



French Fries (100g)



Chocolate (50g)



Chips (100g)



Samosa (1)






Pastry (1)



Aerated drinks (250ml)



Chocolate Milkshake (250 ml)



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