These Fast Food Options Can Fit Even a Healthy Eating Plan

It’s great that fast food chains have detailed nutritional information for all to reference, but the issue is that these charts are often deliberately buried on websites and can be cumbersome to read. One blogger has compiled a master list of the “best” fast food options from major chains, with their macronutrient values, for our convenience.

Source: These Fast Food Options Can Fit Even a Healthy Eating Plan

It happens – you get stuck somewhere, can’t get what you need.  It’s OK to have a cheat meal, or “fail” on your diet occasionally – there can be benefits.

Need to Recover from a Workout? Fast Food Is Just as Effective as Supplements

After a strenuous workout, top athletes and everyday exercisers regularly reach for energy bars, protein powders, or recovery drinks, thinking that these dietary supplements provide boosts that normal foods do not.

A new study, however, finds that — when it comes to exercise recovery — supplements are no better than fast food.

The multi-billion-dollar sports supplement industry is a true behemoth. With catchy taglines and sparkling testimonials from top athletes, they’ve convinced millions of people to use their products. University of Montana graduate student Michael Cramer decided to find out if their claims of superiority stood the test of science, so he pit some of the most oft-used supplements, including Gatorade, PowerBar, and Cytomax “energy” powder, against a few of McDonald’s most vaunted contenders: hotcakes, hash browns, hamburgers, and fries.

…Though the research was solidly controlled, the findings are limited by the small number of subjects. Moreover, the results may not apply to less-trained individuals.

Source: Need to Recover from a Workout? Fast Food Is Just as Effective as Supplements

This isn’t all that surprising, as it’s a short-term study (1 pre and post-recovery workout for each diet) focusing on exercise recovery and glycogen recovery. Any high-glycemic carbohydrates will restore glycogen levels quickly following exercise so what form you take them in isn’t that important – when you just look at glycogen levels and short-term recovery.  Long-term may be a different story though – the fast food diet may not enable you to maximize adaptations to exercise. Having said that you will still get the some (likely a lot) of the benefits of exercise.  People who exercise do not suffer as much of the bad effects of a 1 week high-fat meal (source 1, source 2).

In terms of “as macronutrient content is the same then there shouldn’t be a difference”?  Not necessarily, not all protein is equal (whey protein having the maximal increase on protein synthesis both at rest and following exercise). So 25 grams of whey protein should cause a bigger increase in protein synthesis than 25 grams of protein from a burger. It’s likely there’ll be differences in fat type (i.e. saturated vs unsaturated) as well.

This is what I think is most disheartening about the diet craze. Any effort placed on exercise and eating better has tremendous gains. Pop culture has instilled this idea that there’s a rigorous plan required to lose weight and stay in shape. Eating better doesn’t necessarily mean going vegan. It could be as simple as eating whatever you want but in smaller portions. Incorporating more fruits/veggies. Something, anything. Any exercise is better than no exercise. Even if it means going to the gym twice a week, that can be significant.

Seeing a Healthy Menu Option Satisfies the Goal to be Healthy

American consumers, even otherwise healthy ones, keep choosing caloric indulgences rather than healthy foods at fast-food restaurants.

Public health officials have been pushing fast-food restaurants to offer more nutritious foods to help combat excess weight in the United States, where more than one-third of American adults are obese. And restaurants have obliged by adding healthy menu items. But it’s the sugary, fatty items that are flying — or waddling — out the door.

Source: Why Healthy Eaters Fall for Fries

It wouldn’t be accurate for me – going out means a “cheat” meal.  Especially if you subscribe to the “Never Two in a Row” plan

Fine Dining Chefs Are Getting Into the Chain Game

Some of the country’s top fine dining chefs are entering the race to become the next Shake Shack.

Last month chef Joshua Skenes, of San Francisco’s Saison, announced he was partnering with Umami Burger restaurateur Adam Fleischman to launch a fast-casual Chinese noodle concept. In stark contrast to Skenes’ multi-course, $248 menu at Saison, guests at his restaurant chain Fat Noodle will soon be able to eat a two Michelin-starred chef’s recipes for between $6-10 per bowl.

Source: Why Fine Dining Chefs Are Getting Into the Chain Game