A news story on US News suggests that fast food could actually be good for your health, but before you run off to McDonald's and pound a double Filet-O-Fish with fries and a large Coke, super-sized, you should read the fine print.
The article describes a generic "Sharon's" choice to go to Chili's instead of McDonald's because she thought sit-down restaurants were healthier. I could probably end this blog post right there, but in case you don't see the hole ...
"Sharon" pummels a Santa Fe Chicken Salad, dredges her way through her share of spinach and artichoke dip loaded with cheese, and when her daughter isn't looking, helps herself to a few bucket loads of a brownie Sunday. Had Sharon just gone to McDonald's, according to the article, she would have simply ordered a grilled chicken classic sandwich with a small fries and ended up with far fewer fat and calories.
Therefore, making smart decisions at a fast food restaurant is healthier than making poor decisions at Chili's and other sit-down restaurants: not exactly rocket science.
While the story is the helpful in reminding readers that excess calories can lurk in dishes like salads that seem healthy but aren't, and in portion sizes that are out of control, it diminishes the difficulty everyone faces when they walk into any restaurant, sit-down or otherwise. Restaurants make food taste good by adding fat and sugar, and they appeal to our sense of value by offering portions the size of a car battery.
Healthy options exist in many restaurants and all of the restaurants cited in the article offer nutritional information. The only way to be safe is by making educated decisions.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.