Do you ever find it weird that you always crave foods that are bad for you and never healthy foods? Scientists struggle to prove why people crave foods and they put it down to two reasons, either psychological or biochemical. The psychological reasoning is our brains associate those bad foods with feeling happy so we crave bad foods when we want to feel happy. The biochemical reasoning is that our body needs certain nutrients straight away.
Human bodies function in a certain way, so you will always crave foods full of calories because in caveman times, the cavemen who ate the most food were less likely to starve when they didn’t have enough food. These days, this body function is a disadvantage because we are able to give into our cravings as to fast food is so easy to get your hands on.
On average, the British buy 12 takeaways per month which costs them around £110, meaning they will spend £1,320 a year on takeaway foods. People aged 25-34 are the biggest spenders, purchasing around £2,600’s worth of takeaway food per year. Men are worse offenders than women, eating 151 takeaway meals compared to 126 a year for women. 12% of men also admit to eating takeaways three times a week or more but only 8% of women do this. The most shocking result is that 65 per cent of people eat takeaways at least once a week!
When ordering takeaways, you don’t always have to think of tonnes of grease and fat, as there are healthier foods you can order. If you fancy your standard Indian but don’t want to put on weight from eating it, you can choose tandoori chicken which is a flavoured chicken with no sauce. The creamy sauces that Indian foods come served in are usually the worst part. In a chicken korma you could be eating around 700-900 calories and that isn’t even including the rice or any other sides you may order.
Chinese takeaways have a very high percentage of fat and salt and are filled with Monosodium Glutamate. Rumours have been flying around the internet that some Chinese meals contain a glass of fat. It was found that if you ate crispy duck, chicken balls, spring rolls and prawn crackers you will be taking in around 132g of fat! When ordering Chinese, there are healthy choices on the menu including stir-fries with meat and vegetables or seafood and vegetables. Make sure that you don’t order foods that are battered or fried because that is where all the fat comes from. Any takeaway will have a healthier alternative but it is always better to keep away from them and eat homemade foods instead!
On a daily basis you are required an average of 1.7 grams of salt and a maximum of 6 grams, meaning that a takeaway meal will cover your maximum salt intake for the whole of the next month, in just one meal! A chicken bucket at KFC has 11.5 grams of salt and a MacDonald’s Happy Meal contains 8 grams.
When ordering your MacDonald’s you may want to think again about ordering the chips and milkshakes on the side. When you order these, you will be taking in a whopping 94 grams of sugar! Your intake of sugar a day should be 90 grams so this means after eating your chips and indulging in your milkshake, you are already 4 grams over your daily allowance and that’s not even including the burger or other meals you may eat that day.
Reasons not to eat fast foods:
• The animals are kept in horrible conditions with little space to walk around. They are made to stand in their own faeces and some even get their beaks removed so that they don’t go mad and start attacking each other.
• Terrible quality food, using the cheapest parts of the animal to make it.
• It is fast food after all, so preparation is quick and no thought goes into it. Most food is frozen and heated in a microwave when needed.
• Cheap ingredients and preservatives are used.
• No food safety due to companies hiring workers that don’t have the relevant food safety training or knowledge.
• Most importantly it will make you put on weight if you eat enough of it.
Myths about fast foods:
• Salads are a healthier option – The salads from some fast food restaurants can contain more calories than you would ever imagine. Make sure you check the nutrients label before you buy a salad!
• KFC changed its name due to not using real chicken meat – KFC actually changed their name because the word ‘fried’ is seen to be unhealthy.
• Fast food is safe and sanitary – Fast food restaurants have open windows and doors, therefore any creatures can get in and out. Workers are also not fully trained in food hygiene so can make mistakes when preparing foods.