Advantages and Disadvantages of Fast Food



Advantages of Fast Food

The most evident advantage of fast food is that it saves time. In today's fast-paced life, there is nothing better than getting a ready meal. No matter how much the chefs praise the benefits of fresh food, at the end of a hard working day, when one returns home all tired and hungry, a pizza or a burger can be godsend. Besides the time an individual has to spend in the kitchen, cooking a meal also requires one to make a trip to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for the dish. Then there is the added effort and time consumed in washing and peeling the vegetables. All this makes eating fast food score more preferably over cooking a meal for a busy individual.

Besides time, cost saving gives fast food an edge over the meal prepared in the kitchen. If one lives alone, then it is cheaper to buy a meal at the supermarket instead of cooking it at home. Also certain fast foods like fries and burgers come pretty cheap.

Fast food does raise health concerns. However, if careful, you can find some options on the menu of a fast food restaurant that could be healthier. Salads are a smart choice. Go for bread products that are made from wheat bread. Opt for lean meat. If you could choose between the fried and boiled options, order the boiled preparation. Avoid ordering carbonic drinks when you are thirsty. Go for fruit juices, low-fat milk, diet soda. Is there anything better than plain water to quench your thirst? You could always resort to the 'make to order' option that certain fast food outlets offer, where you could restrict the use of ingredients that are not healthy.

Disadvantages of Fast Food

The greatest disadvantage of fast food is the adverse effect that it has on one's health. It is a fact that fast food is more unhealthy than home-cooked meals, as they contain higher amounts of salt, fats and calories. Fast food is an important contributor to obesity in the American population. Obesity in children is on the rise and a direct link is being cited between fast food and obesity in children. Given the sedentary lifestyle that we lead today, the excess fats and calories that we take in with fast food is not used up completely. The result is that these accumulate in our body as fat deposits that cause complications like cardiovascular diseases and other related diseases of the heart. With obesity come other problems like high blood pressure and diseases of the joints. It is like a chain reaction set off by fast food and carried forward by our unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, a recent study has shown that people who live within walking distance of a fast food restaurant are at 13% higher risk of suffering from strokes than those who live a considerable distance away.

The greater the number of people at a meal in a fast food restaurant, the larger is the bill. Eating at fast food outlets is economical only for a single person. Going out to a fast food eating joint with family once in a while won't matter much. However, frequent visits to such restaurants with one's family can become quite an expensive affair, besides being unhealthy.

Fast food joints are also being seen as a factor that is making a number of families spend less and less time together. Family meal time is something that is considered as an opportunity for all the members to come together and share their experiences. However, the fast food centers are quickly eating into this quality time. This is especially true about youngsters for whom a fast food center is a good place to hangout with friends and peers.

Fast food is an invention of the modern times. Ready-made food being served fast and right in front of us is like a blessing after a hard day's work. However, like everything, it has its own pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of fast food also exist. Citing a few points about the advantages of fast food does not mean that I am denying its drawbacks. However, by making some smart choices while placing the order and also resorting to an active lifestyle, we can definitely minimize the drawbacks of fast food.