Fast food has a bad reputation – and rightly so, because: The finished food is often prepared with too much sugar, salt and fat. However, if you master a few tricks, you can make popular fast-food dishes healthy too.
Why fast food is unhealthy?
Burgers, pizza, kebabs& Co. are now also a regular part of the menu in Germany. According to a long-term study on the health of children and adolescents in Germany by the Robert Koch Institute, almost a third of children and adolescents eat more than two portions of fast food per week. It goes down well because it is readily available and can be bought and enjoyed without much effort. In addition, fast food dishes are perceived as particularly tasty due to their high content of fat, salt, sugar and spices –
fast and tasty, but not necessarily healthy.
Fast food usually contains a lot of calories, but few nutrients such as vitamins or minerals. In addition, it is often peppered with low-quality meats, simple carbohydrates, preservatives, unhealthy fats, and an excess of salt and sugar. These substances have a bad effect on the body, can lead to obesity and promote a number of diseases.
Those who eat fast food frequently run the risk of developing obesity. One reason for this is that fast food is particularly high in calories: the body therefore potentially takes in more energy than it consumes due to its high energy density. On the other hand, the calorie bombs saturate worse. Normally, a certain part of the brain, the hippocampus, reduces the desire to eat after each meal.
Researchers at Macquarie University in Sydney found that this appetite regulation does not seem to function properly after eating unhealthy fast food. The result: Fast food makes them addicted to more. Exactly what this is due to, however, needs to be investigated further.
Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as high blood prere, arteriosclerosis or the
coronary heart disease. But fast food also directly damages blood vessels, as a study by researchers at the ePIC Center at the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada has shown. According to the study, even a single fast-food meal can affect blood vessels. The study showed that, in people who ate fast food, the vessels directly after the meal were about a quarter tighter than before. In comparison, a healthy meal with Mediterranean food had no negative effect on the vessels. So if you want to live healthy while enjoying fast food, you need alternatives.
People who eat fast food frequently have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. In diabetes, colloquially known as diabetes, blood sugar levels are abnormally elevated because the action of the neurotransmitter insulin is reduced. A study by the University of Minnesota in the USA showed that young adults who ate fast food more than twice a week had twice as much insulin resistance.
The long-term study on the health of children and adolescents in Germany by the Robert Koch Institute also points to a connection between diabetes and fast food consumption. According to the findings, fast food consumption shows strong positive associations with weight gain and insulin resistance, suggesting that regular consumption of fast food increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Fast, fatty, salty and sugary food has a negative effect on the brain and can limit mental performance. People who eat an unhealthy diet have a higher risk of suffering from stress, depression or aggression. An excess of sugar also promotes forgetfulness. In summary, even small amounts of fast food lead to rapid and lasting changes in metabolism.
Healthy fast food: variations of popular classics
Never again pizza, burger& Co? This thought probably gives many people more stomach aches than the greasy food itself. The good news is: No one has to completely eliminate popular fast-food classics from their diet to live a healthy life. With a few tricks, dishes can be modified to fit into a healthy, whole-food diet – so there is healthy fast food.
Preparing healthy pizza
Whether at your favorite Italian restaurant or via delivery service: pizza is popular, but also contains many calories. If you want to enjoy the fast-food classic as a healthy alternative, you should first of all to avoid very fatty ingredients. For example, replace salami with lean ham, cooked ham or slices of chicken breast. Vegetables such as broccoli, peppers, mushrooms or corn also have a better calorie-nutrient ratio than meat. Use cheese sparingly and focus on lean cheeses Like feta, mozzarella or parmesan cheese. Homemade whole grain spelt dough is healthier than wheat flour pizza dough.
Tip: Pizza crust can also be prepared excellently from cauliflower. All you have to do is roughly grate blanched cauliflower, which has been rinsed in cold water, and bake it in the oven mixed with some shaved cheese.