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Skip the fries: Nutritionist suggests two burgers is a better choice – fewer carbs, more protein

Here’s some good news for those who love burgers – if you are in the mood for some fast food, skip the fries and order two burgers instead.

A registered dietitian and nutritionist suggests that eating two burgers in a fast food restaurant is a better choice than having fries on the side, noting that there should be a balance in the meal, instead of labeling foods as “bad” or “good.”

“I want people to be able to approach any food, any situation, and know that they can still make a responsible choice for their body,” registered dietitian and nutritionist Emily Field told Business Insider.

Field advised that when planning a meal, you should always keep in mind what you are going to feel after eating. She cited recent research, published in the journal Nutritional Metabolism, which suggested that balance is essential in having steady blood sugar levels. This can be done by considering three components of food: fat, carbohydrates, and proteins. Fat aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals and maintains healthy cells at the same time; carbohydrates give energy; and protein strengthens the muscles and makes you feel full. Field said that keeping a good balance in these nutrients will help lessen your cravings and reduce your urge to binge. It also encourages more control over your food intake.

She explained that most fast food burgers usually contain around 300 to 400 calories — coming from the carbohydrates in the bread, protein in the meat, and fat. Comparing it with an order of fries, which contain a lot of fat and carbohydrates but very minimal protein, opting for another burger is a healthier option – it will double your protein consumption and will lessen your fat and carbohydrates intake. Moreover, you will feel more satiated after eating two burgers.

Why fast food is not good for you

Fast food may be an affordable and easy way to satisfy your hunger, but the health risks of eating fast food should not be set aside. Frequently eating fast food can lead to different health conditions such as weight gain, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

The digestive and cardiovascular systems are affected with excessive fast food intake. These foods are packed with carbohydrates with little to no fiber, and these carbohydrates are broken down as glucose in the bloodstream, so there is an increase in your blood sugar level whenever you eat fast food. Therefore, eating fast food regularly can lead to repeated blood sugar spikes, which in turn may cause your body’s normal insulin response to struggle. This gives you a higher chance of gaining more weight and developing type 2 diabetes. (Related: Fast food diets causing majority of stroke and diabetes deaths across U.S.)

Another reason why fast food meals are bad is because they contain added sugar, which means extra calories and little nutrition. A lot of fast food drinks contain high amounts of added sugar. For example, a 12-ounce can of soda already has 130 calories. Drinking more than one can in a day already exceeds the amount of recommended added sugar intake per day of 100 to 150 calories by the American Heart Association.

Lastly, fast food meals contain a lot of sodium. Sodium-rich diets can result to water retention, making a person feel puffy, bloated or swollen. Sodium can also increase blood pressure and put stress on the heart and cardiovascular system. Thus, high-sodium diets can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure conditions.

Find out more about the health risks of eating fast food at FastFood.news.

Sources include:

BusinessInsider.com

HealthLine.com

Heart.org

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