Hidden Calories Galore: Don’t be Tricked by ‘Healthy’ Fast Food Items
If you think that you are doing yourself a favor by ordering some of the so-called “healthy” items off of fast food menus, think again. The Daily Mail has revealed that a number of breakfast menu items purporting to be healthy actually contain just as much fat and sugar as junk food products such as soda and bacon sandwiches.
In theory, it seems like a good idea to opt for that yogurt parfait instead of an Egg McMuffin when you need to pick up breakfast on the go. After all, how horrible can some fruit and yogurt be? It’s certainly nowhere near as bad as a greasy bacon sandwich, right?
If the parfait in question happens to be Starbucks’ Chia Seed & Passion Fruit Parfait, you might be surprised by the answer. The parfait contains innocent-sounding wholegrain chia and a mixture of seeds that have been soaked in nutritious coconut milk along with Greek yogurt and a compote of mango and passionfruit.
However, Starbucks somehow manages to pack 29.9 grams of sugar per serving into this parfait, along with 352 calories and 12.2 grams of fat. This means it is almost on par with the breakfast wrap with bacon from McDonald’s!
The chain’s Luxury Fruit Toast is even worse. It contains a whopping 38 grams of sugar per two-slice serving, which is 3 grams more than a can of Coke! It also contains about 481 calories, and all of that is before you add any butter or jam.
Excessive sugar consumption has been linked with a whole host of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer, not to mention its heavy contribution to America’s obesity problem. It is also highly addictive, which is why even one bad breakfast can trigger an entire day of poor eating choices that seem to spiral out of control.
Are there any safe options?
Dietitian Emer Delaney suggests that people look out for breakfast options such as pumpernickel or rye breads, oatmeal with fruit, or high-protein yogurt with berries.
However, the only way to guarantee that your breakfast is as healthy as the name implies and does not contain any hidden toxins is by preparing it yourself using organic, natural ingredients. For example, you can scramble your own eggs and add some chopped fresh herbs and vegetables, preferably from your own garden. Organic fruit and a bit of honey can turn plain Greek yogurt into a delicious and satisfying breakfast, and a few chia seeds sprinkled on top will provide a nutrition boost.
It is becoming increasingly risky to eat out, because you simply do not know what the food you order in fast food restaurants really contains. Even menu items that are legitimately lower in sugar and calories could well contain harmful toxins such as MSG, sodium nitrite, glyphosate, lead or BPA. Short of actually testing the food yourself, you cannot guarantee it is completely safe.
Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, explores this topic and others related to food safety and eating healthy in his new book Food Forensics, which is scheduled to be released July 26. He also provides useful advice on avoiding dangerous foods and tips for improving your family’s health.
Arming yourself with unbiased information about the food that you eat is the only way to prevent getting tricked into buying and eating foods that are not really healthy for you, no matter how much a fast food chain’s marketing department tries to convince you that it is.