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‘Junk Food’ v’s ‘Fast Food’

Many of us see ‘junk’ food as something we get from a popular takeaway outlet – usually involving burgers or fried chicken … and although this view is generally accurate, it’s not the only form of junk food!

To me, junk food is quite hard to describe – as a general rule it is high in calories but is deficient when it comes to essential nutrients. Cake, for example has eggs in it – which are fabulously nutrient rich … but they kinda get lost amongst all the sugar, flavourings, saturated fat and processed white flour, making cake something you’d probably just reserve for special occasions – like birthdays! (who’d have thought?!)

A burger should actually be one of the greatest nutrient rich meals around – with a nice piece of quality meat, crisp fresh salad and a good carbohydrate in the form of the bread roll it’s wrapped in – but with fast food taking hold of this little beauty it has become quite the opposite and is now known for being drenched in salt and saturated fat – even the bun that it comes in has an unusually high sugar content in some outlets. No amount of salad can go up against that!

And don’t even get me started on things like pizza and fish-n-chips! If you make these yourself, you’re actually looking at quite a nutrient rich, nourishing meal. It’s when they’re cooked quickly for convenience by being rapidly fried in hot oil or being made en-mass with added salt for maximum flavour that they become ‘junk’.

So what do we do? Swap nutrition for convenience?

My idea of fast food? Well, my first quick go-to is always a couple of eggs on toast with some mushrooms or tomatoes sautéed on the side. Four minutes and I’ve got myself a filling, tasty meal that will energise me and stabilise my blood sugar. Otherwise, every couple of months I spend a day food prepping meals that are freezer friendly – if I’m in a hurry or running late then I just pop one out of the freezer and re-heat it.

Fast food doesn’t have to be nutrient deficient, loaded with salt or sugar and make you leave the house to get it. It takes a little practice and dedication, but fast food always starts at home.