The Truth about Fast Food!

18 Nov

Of all of the Facebook statuses I’ve posted this year, I got the most responses to one I posted at the start of November asking my fellow students what their favorite fast food items were. Here’s a peek of the kinds of responses I got..(click on the picture to maximize the image).

Bottom line: College students love fast-food, and they also love talking about it! It seems that the price and convenience of fast food is what makes it so popular among the young adult crowd. However, its concerning that most students are unaware of what’s really in this food or how to make healthier choices when eating out. After researching the contents of several fast food and restaurant food items, here are some of the worst offenders:

** Scroll to the bottom to learn how to make sense of the nutrition facts**


Calories: 686 Total Fat: 23.5 g Cholesterol: 51mg Sodium: 229 mg Carbs: 105.9

To burn off these calories, you could walk for 190 minutes, jog for 78 minutes, swim for 57 minutes, or cycle for 105 minutes


Calories: 262 Total Fat: 1.1 g Cholesterol: 3mg Sodium: 37g Carbs:59.8 Protein: 2.1 g

To burn off these calories, you could walk for 73 minutes, jog for 30 minutes, swim for 22 minutes, or cycle for 40 minutes


Calories: 871 Total Fat: 36.1 g Sodium: 4727 g Carbs: 63.1

To burn off these calories, you could walk for 242 minutes, jog for 100 minutes, swim for 72 minutes, or cycle for 133 minutes


Calories: 650 Total Fat: 24g Cholesterol: 70mg Sodium: 2180mg Carbs: 77g  Protein: 34g

To burn these calories you could walk for 180 minutes, jog for 74 minutes, swim for 54 minutes, or cycle for 99 minutes


Calories: 1112 Fat: 62g Carbs: 84g Protein: 51g

To burn these calories you would need to walk for 308 minutes, jog for 127 minutes, swim for 93 minutes, or cycle for 170 minutes.


Calories: The amount of calories men and women need are dependent on many factors including weight, age, and amount of weekly exercise. Typically, one should consume under or around 2,000 calories a day, but this calorie calculator tool will tell you exactly how many calories you need based on your personal information:

Total Fat: The United States Health Department suggests that your daily intake of total fat grams is based on your caloric intake: A 1,600 calorie per day diet: 18 grams of saturated fat or less, 53 grams of fat or less. A 2,000 calorie per day diet: 20 grams of saturated fat or less, 65 grams of fat or less. A 2,200 calorie per day diet: 24 grams of saturated fat or less, 73 grams of fat or less. A 2,500 calorie per day diet: 25 grams of saturated fat or less, 80 grams of fat or less . A 2,800 calorie per day diet: 31 grams of saturated fat or less, 93 grams of fat or less.

Protein: In general, an easy way to figure out how much protein to get per day is to take your weight, divide it in half and subtract 10. For example, if you are 140 pounds, you should get 80 grams of protein per day.

Sodium: The American Heart Association says that the average American consumes 3, 436mg of sodium daily, but to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, one should eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

Carbs: Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that about half of your daily calories come from carbohydrates. To calculate how many you need per day, take the amount of calories suggested for you to consume daily, and multiply by .5. For example, a person following a daily diet of 1,200 calories should take in 600 calories from carbs. Because there are 4 calories in a carbohydrate gram, a person on a 1,200 calorie diet would divide 600 by 4  to find that they need of 150 grams of carbs per day

Cholesterol: The American Heart Association and the USDA’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans says we should limit dietary cholesterol to 300 mg per day.

Want to find out for yourself what’s in your favorite fast food or restaurant items? Check out:

Here is a link to a Men’s Health article warning about America’s worst chinese meals (NOTE: many of them come from PF Changs!):

Here is a link to a Glamour magazine article that warns about which dips, drinks, and desserts to chose, and which to stay away from:


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