Fast food is not good for you - especially if you have a weakened immune system or are trying to boost your immune system - because of its lack of nutritional value. If you are overweight, trying to lose weight, or have any kind of health issue, fast food is probably one of the worst things you can eat. Nothing good will come out of eating one of these meals except the few moments of pleasure you derive by eating it.
Fast food is usually filled with fat, refined sugars, gross amounts of sodium and countless carbohydrates- all the stuff that is poison to your immune system:
- Impaired disease resistance (with your immune system) is associated with deficient amounts (intakes) of vitamins and minerals. Since most fast food is refined, those key nutrients are gone and are usually replaced by chemicals or substances that make us fatter and weaken our immune system
- Nutrient-deficient foods first impair your immune tissues
- If the nutrient replacement found in refined or processed foods cannot perform the metabolic task of the missing nutrient, your immune system is weakened
Non-organic foods may also be problematic for your immune system, because some pesticides and preservatives can negatively affect your gastrointestinal lining.
Besides eating a balanced diet, exercising, and taking vitamins and supplements, maintaining or improving your health is about making daily choices.
If you have weakened immune system, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or are going to have a high sodium meal, make sure that whatever you eat the rest of the day balances with your goals. The best diet for your overall health is one rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains that supply a lot of nutrients, antioxidants and fiber. I will say, however, that many of your favorite chains have done a better job recently of considering your nutrition, and have provided you with some good alternatives.
The one thing to remember is that just because something is low in sodium or cholesterol doesn’t mean it is healthy. Almost everything a fast-food restaurant offers is saturated in fat and has a high caloric count. Even salads, which appear to be healthy, are not healthy once you add the calorie and fat-fladen dressing.
Be aware! Many of these chains have different tricks or standards for calculating sodium and cholesterol, or any of their nutritional facts for that matter. Some base it on a 2,000 calorie per day diet, others on a 1,500 calorie per day diet. Also, serving sizes might differ between chains.
If you click on your favorite fast-food chain, it will take you directly to the nutritional facts section of their website and you can put together your own choices for a healthy diet.
For lowering your blood pressure, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood have issued a diet to lower blood pressure called DASH. Most medical experts consider this diet to be the best diet there is for improving your heart and blood pressure. The DASH diet recommends that you should eat no more than 2,100 calories per day broken down as follows:
Total fat 27% of calories Sodium 2,300 mg
Saturated fat 6% of calories Potassium 4,700 mg
Protein 18% of calories Calcium 1,250 mg
Carbohydrate 55% of calories Magnesium 500 mg
Cholesterol 150 mg Fiber 30 g
Eat carefully and try to achieve a balanced diet. If you have a fast food meal one day, make sure your other meals are filled with fiber, fruits, vegetables and vegetable protein.
What you want to avoid at any fast-food restaurant is cholesterol, saturated fat and high sodium. Almost everything fast-food restaurants serve is refined in some way. Many fast-food restaurants still use beef tallow (fat from cows) to make their burgers, fish, chicken and french fries. These fried foods are high in cholesterol, and by cooking these foods in this kind of fat, it produces toxic trans-fatty acids, which raise blood cholesterol levels and act like saturated fats, which is harmful to your immune system.
The links below will take you to the nutritional section of your favorite fast food website