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OLIVIASIMP SparkPoints: (6,364)
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Posts: 11
8/8/13 11:14 A

To answer your question. No, but there are healthier options at fast food restaurants. Today I am going to Wendy's for lunch and getting the Berry Almond salad. It is very good and a different variety than I have been eating for lunch.

RIET69 SparkPoints: (47,087)
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Posts: 3,116
8/8/13 11:08 A

It depends on how you cook. No fast food is healthier than what I cook because I am very careful with salt, I use fresh vegetables and fruits, I use olive oil for fat. Just that makes me have the opinion I have.

KAT321123 Posts: 203
8/8/13 10:41 A

As others have said, it's *possible* for fast food to be healthier than homemade. If you add several tablespoons of oil and a ton of salt to a burrito, and leave out nutrient-dense ingredients like beans and veggies, the burrito will stop being healthy. With that said, it doesn't sound like that's the case for you.

It can be so hard in relationships when one person is trying to build a healthy lifestyle for themselves and the other isn't necessarily so committed. It sounds like that might be part of the issue leading to your husband defending a junky burger. At the end of the day we each only control our own before, so keep up the good work and enjoy your whole grains and healthier proteins! =)

8/8/13 7:17 A

If you are opening a package and "cooking" the food at home, then yes it can be.

If you are making the meal from real whole foods then no.

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
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Posts: 3,526
8/7/13 11:04 P

it depends on how you cook. My guess is though that you are not frying in bacon grease or lard, so i would venture to say that your burrito was a better option.

ANARIE Posts: 13,179
8/7/13 4:43 P

I have to agree with a previous poster who pointed out that many would be MUCH more concerned about the relationship issues here than the nutrition.

"He gets annoyed at me anytime I get fast food for him and don't pick up anything for myself."

WTF?????? Why the HE** should he get any say in what you eat as long as you're not trying to change what he does? Can you say "control issue?" It is not normal for one adult to get annoyed at another for eating something different. It doesn't matter whether what you eat is more or less healthy; it matters that you make your own choices. If he's trying to interfere with that, he needs an attitude adjustment.

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
8/7/13 4:35 P

I didn't read any of the responses- but my GUT says there is no way that fast food can be healthier than homemade. Most fast food is crap. They fry it for the most part. The meat is by products. The bread has tons of preservatives. The oils are unhealthy. Even the salad that you are consuming may not be as healthy as you think. The veggies may be GMO and loaded with pesticides. The biggest thing-- YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER HOW THE FOOD IS MADE. At least a homecooked meal-- you have the choice of oils, cooking temps, types of meat, types of veggies, amount of sugar and salt. Those choices are pretty much taken away from you when you eat from a window.

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
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Posts: 748
8/7/13 4:30 P

Many of the fast food "meals" are loaded with sodium. I found an app that shows the nutritional value for foods at a variety of fast food restaurants. There is more sodium in that one item that is meant for the whole day. For example, a Big Mac at McDonalds has 1,040 mg of sodium and a Quarter Pounder with Cheese has 1,190 mg of sodium. That alone should turn you off from eating the food. Sure, these items have a lot of protein but that doesn't make up for all the soidium and fat (as well as the carbs). If he wants a hamburger, make one at home. With a little work (figuring out which items to buy), a hamburger at home could be a healthier option than getting a hamburger from a fast food place. At least you'd have a better idea of what you're eating.

I want to go back to the app with the different fast food restaurants for a minute. I've looked over some of the items that are on the kids menus and it's a better option but it's still not that great of a choice.

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (270,572)
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Posts: 13,214
8/7/13 10:33 A


8/7/13 10:14 A

it is very rare to have good fast food and even when it doesn't have lots of fats and carbs there is still the unknown part like now they are saying a mcdonald's burger is only 12 % meat and the rest is bone and cartlidge... maybe this is a good thing but is might also be sprinkled with msg and other food enhancers to make you want to eat more.

LAURIEANDBLUE2K SparkPoints: (54,457)
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Posts: 228
8/7/13 7:37 A

May I ask if your husband is overweight? Maybe he's jealous or insecure that you are losing weight and he's not. He should be supporting you and not getting "pissy" as you wrote. You need to talk to him about his attitude. His attitude is more unhealthy than a cheeseburger or your burrito. Good luck!

PATTYGRAN Posts: 411
8/7/13 7:19 A

No way his meal was healthier than yours, other foods at a fast food resturant might be, but not the two you compared. I've worked in fast food and most of it is fried, grease is used and lots of sodium.
I am not a great cook either, chicken and turkey are good healthy meats and I can't seem to cook them well at all, but I keep trying. I think breaking the habit is the hardest part, you sound like you're heading in the right direction.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,231
8/7/13 7:17 A

i agree with putting them both in your tracker [do one as lunch and one as dinner] so that you can compare them side by side. make sure you are tracking fiber and sodium as well as calories, fat, protein and carbs. because while the calories and carbs might be similar and the protein in the burger might edge out the burrito, the sodium might be either, but the fiber and fat in the burrito will likely win the day.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,231
8/7/13 6:51 A

Like others have said, yes it's possible. Depends on what you cook at home. And what you choose at the fast food places. I don't think your DH's combo meal was better than your burrito though.

You mentioned that you're not a great cook.... I really think the only way to get better at cooking, is to.... well, cook. You can read all the cookbooks and cooking magazines etc you want to, but until you get in the kitchen and have a go.... it just takes practice, is all.

And I'd have to say that being able to cook is REALLY advantageous, for losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle. And it can also be really budget-friendly (as opposed to buying all your meals at fast food places).

There are a ton of recipes here on Spark, plus the Spark cookbook is an option. I'd suggest one to start with-- the Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken. (It's in the cookbook but also in Spark Recipes as well). If you don't have a slow cooker (crockpot) you can cook it in the oven or on the stove top. It's easy to make, makes a whole bunch (yay for leftovers) and you can easily add black beans or corn. Or serve it over rice, wrapped in tortillas. etc. It also freezes really well so you can make a large batch and then portion some out & freeze for a quick meals some other time.

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
8/7/13 3:58 A

"So, is it possible that fast food could be healthier than basic thrown together meals at home?"

It depends. If you cook at home using a lot of salt, sugar, and oil and eat large portions it may not be any better. The point of cooking your own food though is that you control what goes in it and the portion size. You can definitely make a healthier meal than what comes from a fast food place if you try.

You can put your foods in the nutrition tracker and see how you are doing with your choices.

SANDREW834 SparkPoints: (24)
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Posts: 8
8/7/13 3:34 A

No, i don't think fast food can be healthier than homemade food.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,097)
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Posts: 3,749
8/7/13 2:49 A


SIMONEKP Posts: 2,695
8/6/13 6:56 P

It is possible, it depends on what you cook/order.

8/6/13 4:37 P

Next time...
use canned black beans that you have drained and rinsed instead of the refried beans. Add on some lettuce and diced tomatoes. Serve along with some fruit. Then your meal will definitely come out on top, nutritionally speaking.

SP Registered Dietitian

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
8/6/13 4:18 P

I have yet to see a fast food meal that includes anything close to the quantity, variety, and preparation of veggies that you would include in a meal at home. While the protein is there, I'm not aware of any fast food place that would allow me to include the 2 to 4 servings of veggies and fruit that I typically include in my meals. Even their typical salads don't have the variety that I'd be looking for in order to get essential vitamins and minerals.

In my mind, fries and ketchup just don't count as veggies --- but your salsa and onions do (especially if you use the quantities of those that I do). I like the suggestion of loading both your choice and your husband's choice in to your tracker to do a comparison --- and I'd make a point of including some micronutrients (fibre, sodium, iron, calcium, vitamin c) in the tracking so that you can both see the difference in nutrition.

I'm wondering if you might find it easier, and get more support from your husband, if you tried keeping a wider variety of ingredients at home, and spent a bit of time learning a few really good recipes that both of you would enjoy. There are some pretty healthy versions of lasagna, and chili, and meatloaf that might tempt a fast food junkie --- they're not that hard to make, and freeze easily for quick meals on busier nights.

Kudos for making good choices for yourself in not-so-easy circumstances!

SLASALLE SparkPoints: (264,688)
Fitness Minutes: (100,566)
Posts: 11,566
8/6/13 4:06 P

The real issue with this question lies with the contents of the fast food meal. How much sodium? That's something that is usually way out of control with fast food. How much fat?

Even the places that DO have healthier fast food, you still have to watch for sodium and fat content.

Sadly, you cannot control how fast food is made usually. So I limit it ... period. As for your husband, if he gets irked, that's HIS problem, not yours!!! :-) Sad that he wouldn't be more supportive of your efforts to eat healthy.

FITFOODIE88 SparkPoints: (2,019)
Fitness Minutes: (1,653)
Posts: 41
8/6/13 3:38 P

"healthier" goes beyond caloric content of a meal--the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are also important to consider. I'd suggest you have a talk with him about his lack of support for the changes you're making.

If he doesn't want to eat fast food either then that's GREAT but he can't expect you to eat fast food just because that's what he wants. You are an adult and him getting upset over you making nutritious food for yourself is simply absurd.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
8/6/13 3:32 P

It's entirely possible to make meals laden with calories, fat, salt and/or sugar at home. Someone was criticising one of Jamie Oliver's cookbooks recently and said one of the meals came out at 1,100 calories per serving!!

Many fast food outlets also offer lighter options.

So it's absolutely possible for home cooked foods to be less healthy for you than a fast food option.

HOWEVER, a home cooked bean burrito on a wholewheat tortilla will never be worse than a maccas cheeseburger.

Have you entered the burrito's ingredients into the spark tracker? Put a Mcdonalds Cheeseburger in as well and show him the difference. Since a cheeseburger is not a whole meal it's plausible that it might be lower calories than your whole burrito, but it will likely be a higher percentage of fat, and definitely more preservatives.

And remind him he had the fries ... they're a killer. :)

SIMLANNA SparkPoints: (12,602)
Fitness Minutes: (11,701)
Posts: 90
8/6/13 3:24 P

It's possible for fast food to be healthier if you picked the right fast food and compared it to a really fatty, salty, high calorie home cooked meal.

I sincerely doubt that your burrito was less healthy than his cheeseburger. In fact, the only way I can imagine that the cheeseburger would have been healthier is if you compare the protein content.

But, if you want to prove it, I think all fast food places have their nutrition information online. A quarter pounder with cheese has 520 calories, 26 gm of fat, and 1100 mg of salt.
A cheeseburger is "only" 300 calories so I guess that's a savings.

Was the combo with a regular or diet soda?

8/6/13 3:15 P

No, unless you can control how cooked, serving size, and other things

8/6/13 3:11 P

I originally gained weight when I started eating fast food almost every day. Now that I'm trying to shed pounds, I am making mini meals at home. I am not the greatest cook, nor do I have a wide variety of ingredients for meals.

My husband is a fast food fan and hates cooking. He gets annoyed at me anytime I get fast food for him and don't pick up anything for myself.

Example: Today, he got a McDonalds combo meal for himself and got pissy when I made myself a burrito (whole wheat tortilla, refried beans, salsa and onions) with corn. He insisted that a McDonalds Cheeseburger was healthier than what I made.

So, is it possible that fast food could be healthier than basic thrown together meals at home?

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