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Eat defensively in the age of ‘fast food’

Fortunately I have more choices about what to eat than my parents or grandparents. Their diets were limited by circumstance, poverty and a lack of education. As a teenager, we often had fried bologna for supper; it was cheap and easy to prepare, even though it was deficient nutritionally. In those days, it was survival, not nutrition.

Today at the Clarksville Athletic Club, Melvin, a friend, asked about my diet and pork. Pork is a meat that over the years I eat less of. I don’t remember the last time I ate a pork chop. It’s seldom on my menu.

One point of focus in this narrative is “fast food,” which is so readily available. As one who drives west on Wilma Rudolph from Exit 4, dozens of restaurants solicit my business. There are good reasons for eating what we now call fast food, which never existed in the lifetime of my parents. These eateries haven’t always been present in our community.

Fast food is popular. each now has added a selection of “healthy” items to their menus. I’m attracted to the dollar salads. Fast food is consistent, filling, inexpensive and attractive to children and adults alike. Even seniors discover satisfaction in occasionally eating a simple burger,a  burrito or biscuits and gravy fast food style.

Though it has appeal for all ages, it is not traditionally “healthy” food. A simple fast food meal can easily contain more calories , fat and sodium than our bodies need in a day. fast food is popular even though Americans acknowledge it isn’t a healthy diet. The restaurants aren’t to blame for their menus; these choices reflect the dietary ambivalence of their clients: the public.

There are dietary pitfalls to dining at fast food restaurants: eating at one, though, I where I occasionally “chow down.” here are strategies that guide the consumer in emerging from such places with waistline and arteries intact. A few suggestions:

  • Admit that fast food is also known as fat food for a reason. Caloric count, sodium and fat content is unbelievably high. Some sandwiches contain doses of these items at over 1,000 count in a single meal.
  • Realize that a diet full of meals or snacks with high fat content significantly over the long haul increase a risk of disabling and crippling heart attack or stroke. fast foods often contain high levels of saturated fats and trans-fats. [Some fast food shops are responding to customer demand and altering the menu to healthier choices and preparation processes]
  • Be good to your body and improve your chances for health, longevity and quality of life by reading the readily available nutritional information. Avoid the super-sizes and larger portions
  • Partake of fast food if you wish, but do it in  moderation. Your body with thank you.fast food
Rev. Charles Moreland
Rev. Charles Moreland
Rev. Charles Moreland, retired, has lived in Clarksville for seven years and holds great pride in his adopted city and its people. His one objection in Tennessee is the Hall law of taxes on dividends and savings. Charles served in the U.S. Army Chaplaincy from 1966-1986, retiring to serve as a United Methodist pastor near Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He serves on the Boards of Directors for the ARP, Roxy Theater and MCDP. Though retired, he is a regular speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. His five grandchildren, ages two to thirteen years, live in Evansville, Indiana. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and served in Germany and Korea while on active duty.

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