Monday, 27 June 2016

8 Fast Foods That You Thought Were Healthy… But They’re Not

Taco salad is far healthier in theory than it is in reality. Combining all the ingredients in a deep-fried tortilla shell is part of the problem. Think about it, you’re basically eating a giant chip. All the veggies in the world can’t make it a smart meal option. For proof, check out Taco Bell’s take on the salad. The nutritional information reveals the meal contains anywhere from 720 to 770 calories, depending on how you customize it. It also weighs you down with an astounding 39 grams of fat, 10 of which are saturated.

It’s also worth noting how processed the food is. No fast food chain is going to win an award in this department, but Taco Bell really misses the mark. The chain came under fire back in 2011 when a law firm insisted the ground beef contained only 35% actual meat. The chain fought back with a video statement, revealing it’s actually 88% ground beef. That’s slightly better, but it still means 12% is weird filler like torula yeast.

2. Starbucks: Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake
People are coming around to the idea of incorporating more fat into their meals, but most look to avocado or olive oil for their sources. When it comes to pastries, saving a few extra calories on a slimmer variety seems like a good way to make sure you don’t go overboard on saturated fat. It’s true Starbucks’s reduced-fat coffee cake has less fat than their traditional version, but it’s no better for you. The site’s nutrition information shows the leaner pastry has just 20 fewer calories than the standard coffee cake and a whopping 41 grams of sugar. So much for a healthy start to your day.

3. Panera Bread: Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich
There’s something so wholesome about a chicken salad sandwich, especially when it’s packed with heart-healthy almonds, fresh grapes, and crunchy celery. Things go sour once you combine those ingredients with a fat-laden dressing, which is clearly the case with this sandwich from Panera. According to Panera’s website, one sandwich will load you up  with 700 calories and 26 grams of fat.

The smartest option is to take advantage of Panera’s combo options, which allow you to pair half of a sandwich with a salad or cup of soup. Just be sure you don’t choose a calorie-packed side. The soup should be a broth-based variety with vegetables while salads should go light on dressing.

4. McDonald’s: Fruit ‘N’ Yogurt Parfait
The burger chain tries to help out health-conscious eaters by indicating which items are under 400 calories, but this only helps so much. Purely looking at calories doesn’t do much to spell out what it is you’ll actually be consuming. In the case of this breakfast parfait with yogurt, fruit, and granola from McDonald’s, it’s a lot of sugar. According to the chain’s website, this tiny parfait packs 23 grams of the sweet stuff. And with just a smidgen each of protein and fiber, it really won’t do much to keep you full. That it’s just 150 calories doesn’t matter much if you need to eat four of them to feel satisfied.

5. Pizza Hut: Premium Garden Veggie Hand Tossed Pizza
This pie is probably the least offensive item on this list, as long as you can keep your portion size under control. Pizza Hut indicates a one-slice serving of this veggie offering from a large pizza contains 260 calories and 9 grams of fat. The problem is most people eat only pizza for their entire meal, which means they’re likely to down two or more slices. A better bet is to head to the salad bar and stick with one slice of pie. If you fill your belly with fresh veggies (and not too much salad dressing!), you’ll have a lot less room for pizza.

6. Wendy’s: Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad
Salads are usually a healthy eater’s savior when fast food is the only option. Interestingly, many of these veggie-based offerings are even more caloric than the sandwiches. Take this chicken Caesar from Wendy’s. The chain reveals this entrée contains 720 calories and 43 grams of fat. Maybe most shocking of all is the amount of sodium, which is 1,760 milligrams. Admittedly, there’s probably too much hype over the need to reduce sodium, but this amount is a little ridiculous.

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