Saturday, May 3, 2014

In Defense of Fast Food

Another modern trend - healthy food should be expensive, not nutrients-dense and preferably exotic, or you would be eating like plebs who live on a dollar McD menu. --Galina L.

I don't try to jump over seven-foot hurdles, I look for one-foot hurdles I can step over. --Warren Buffett, pleb who eats at McDonald's

Despite all the talk about wild-caught v. farmed, grass-fed v. CAFO and the vilification of fast food, a lot of us plebs benefit simply from carbohydrate restriction. But even though diabetes and obesity are rampant, and carb restriction alone would help millions of people, the impression is out there that you need to eat in a very specific way, far beyond just watching the carbs. Following a low-carb diet is already a high hurdle for many people. If some people want or need to raise the bar for themselves, that's fine with me, but there's no need to turn low-carb into a hurdle that a lot of people can't jump over.

Organic produce and grass-fed or pastured animal products are ideal, but they're not required for controlling blood sugar, improving lipids, losing weight or making ketones. This is an important point for people without access to pristine food or the inclination to buy it. People on a budget, people living in dormitories or motels, people who travel or are exhausted or  can't cook due to a disability or just don't see what all the fuss is about shouldn't get the impression that they need to eat perfectly. 

If eating a bunless burger from a fast food joint is what fits into their lifestyle, and that's what gets their weight or diabetes in check and saves them from blindness or amputation, or saves them hundreds of dollars a month in medications (some of which cause serious side effects), how in the world is that not an epic win? 

And if we're being honest, the places that really ought to be considered no-man's land are bakeries, yogurt shops, and most Italian restaurants. 

17 comments:

Spittin'chips said...

I agree, Lori. When lunch options are limited, a double quarter pounder with bacon, minus the bun, is a perfectly reasonable idea. Pity about the canola oil, but still...

AlmondD'oh said...

Fast food are vilified because they are an easy target. The way our food is produced is so politicized it's hard to get to the root of the problem without stepping on a few toes. I'm grateful that I can still afford ground beef at 2.99 a pound, but I know that there are some people out there who can't even afford that.

tess said...

fast-food has its time and place. it'd be nice if we could always eat perfectly healthy, perfectly delicious food, cooked by gorgeous chefs who would serve it lovingly on fine china with exquisite wines to match every course, but ... "what if" scenarios do nothing but irritate me. ;-) the world is better for having rotisserie chicken you can grab for a reasonable price at the corner store.

Lori Miller said...

A bacon burger works for me when I don't bring a lunch or have to work late.

Lori Miller said...

Agreed. Where's the outcry against Pinkberry or Starbucks for selling so much liquid sugar? Oh, right, that's where the food evangelists go for a snack.

Lori Miller said...

Right--it's like saying that you can pack up and move out of a hell hole, but you have to go in a Lexus. You *can't* leave on the city bus.

Galina L. said...

I feel like being Mark Twain - my citations are getting popular. I hope nobody missed me being sarcastic - I am not a snob, and both Starbucks and McDonalds are fine with me..

Lori Miller said...

I'm sure nobody who knows you mistook you for a snob. And for the record, I like Starbucks, too.

Larcana said...

Fast food gunless burgers have saved me when I'm driving from work to my afterwork fee clinic 60 miles away. That is all. I don't have issues with antibiotic/hormones in the meat because I eat mostly in the other direction and don't eat fast food much. That's my humble two cents. ;)

Lori Miller said...

They've saved me, too, when I've had to work late and nothing is open nearby except for sit-down restaurants and fast-food places. Also when I wake up with no appetite until I get to work.

Galina L. said...

On the road burger and barbecue places are the best choices. I also like to have only small meals (like a burger with cheese and staff wrapped in salad leaves + plain water) when driving long distances.Nothing to cause most of my blood to leave brain into the region of my stomach. Larcana, is it a pleb myth that after a big meal, LC or not, people get more sluggish in thinking and reacting?

Lori Miller said...

That's conventional wisdom, and sometimes it's true. A lot of people get very sleepy Thanksgiving afternoon.

Lowcarb team member said...

We just have to face facts in 2014 fast foods do have their place but then of course so does real fresh foods. My grandson loves visiting the fast food restaurants so he can play in their soft play area...he's not keen on the burgers but loves the exercise. How cool is that?

All the best Jan

Lori Miller said...

As Tom Naughton pointed out in Fat Head, it can get over 100 degrees F (38C) in parts of the US in the summer. I'm sure the kids love the air conditioned playground and the parents love having a break while their kids play.

The salads I've gotten at McDonald's have always been fresh, but I wish their dressing had real oil.

Galina L. said...

I used to live in Alberta, Canada, when winter temperature routinely dropped below 30C(-22F) at winter time, then we moved to Florida where it is too hot outdoor at least 6 month in a year, and I still feel gratitude toward all fast food places with children playgrounds inside. They do a lot intentionally or not to provide an opportunity to move for children who owervise would be playing video games at home.

JanKnitz said...

We just finished a trip down to Southern California and back. this is a 9 hour drive each way. I am very committed to grassfed meat, organic veggies and such, but you are not going to find that in Buttonwillow, California which is in the middle of nowhere. So a bunless burger at the fast food joint easy to get to from the freeway when we need a break just has to do. It tastes good, fills me up to make it for many more hours of driving. That's life, and I'm grateful at least the fast food place was there.

Lori Miller said...

It's hard enough to find a LC meal in some places.

The best burger I ever had was in southern California at a Burger Lounge in San Diego. They use grass-fed meat from a farm in Kansas.