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Fast food are not just locally made junk food; some fast food are prepared in a very healthy and attractive way. If you have been wondering what exactly are fast food, you might have even come across one outlet near you and may not have considered that it was a fast food joint. Fast food have been in the world for long now; you will get to see few fast food joints in your street in form of kiosk, shop and restaurant.
Fast food is defined as a quick meal, which is usually prepared in little quantity within a short time, and most time, it is mass-produced to serve a larger number of customers very quickly. Fast food are commonly served in eat-in and most times in wraps (papers, polythene bags) take away for convenient purpose. In most cases, fast foods are prepared with poor and unhealthy ingredients and they lack nutritional qualities, while others are prepared with fresh and healthy ingredients depending on who is preparing this and where it is being prepared. Fast foods are finger foods which may not require cutleries, in some fast foods outlets, the buyer may need a quick meals to take way, while others may prefer to eat the meal in the same premises. Some other fast outlets may have a comfortable indoor or outdoor sit out, nicely arranged with chairs and tables for customers to sit and enjoy their meals.
Today, Morden fast food outlets have upgraded to the level of providing home services- this is usually done by allowing their customers to order for their choice of food from where ever they may be with the use of their smart phones and without waste of time, there is always a quick response to the requests.
History of fast food
Fast food is indeed an alternative to homemade meal, which may take a little longer to prepare, and to be cooked at the same time. Fast food started in the 18th Century, but become even popular around middle of 20th Century. The first fast food market started with hamburger in 1921. Although hamburger where already existing and where known by few, but it started gaining popularity when after White Castle opened its first brand in Wichita Kansas. Other restaurants began to poop up in from different parts of world after then with varieties of foods.
Fast food kicked off around 18 Century during post -world war11 when American economic began to boom, many people started new businesses, while other buy more goods. Because of this rapid economy, workers, busy families and other business people depended on quick and inexpensive meals for breakfast and lunch, since they have little or no time to eat at home to prepare food; they decide to eat outside their homes during lunch hours. However, this practice has now become a common lifestyle in the western world and in many parts of the world including Africa. Some examples of fast food outlets include cart, restaurant, kiosk, table, portable grill, motor vehicle and truck. The idea behind fast food is directly connection to urban development as in the case of ancient Rome whose cities where built with street stand (a large counter with receptacle in the middle which food or drink can be served and during the 19th 20th centuries. During this period, civilization began to poop up, roads, railways offices, industries and work areas also began to spring forth, for this reason, many people began to see the development as a reason to sell food close to where these establishments where sited. However, the idea created an alternative image in workers minds, instead of having to prepare breakfast or lunch at home which may take a longer time before meeting up with work, they resolved to buying already made food from the vendors. Today, there are many food outlets around us which some initially started as fast food joints, but have now gained reputation and are further branded as eateries.
In addition, there are many reasons why people eat outside their homes, and these reasons may be for fun, convenience, it could be because of addiction, lack of time and could be because of poor cooking skills (not knowing how to cook).
Fast food list
The type of food sold at various food outlets and at different locations, depend on the settlement and the income of the buyers or the settlers around there, few fast food lists include:
- Chips and fish
- Chips (plantain chips or yam chips)
- Peppered meat
- Mama-put (rice meals)
- Bread and tea
- Instant noodles
- Egg rolled
- Roasted yam and pepper sauce
Modern fast food outlets now sell more complicated fast food than before and such include:
- Fried rice
- Grill fish
- Scrambled egg and bread
- Beans cake (akara)
- Fried rice
- Pepper soups
- Fried chicken
- French fries
- Chicken nuggets
Modern fast food chains
Fast food are not just overly processed food loaded with sodium and toxic additives, but modern restaurants and food outlets are becoming even popular now a day, as they mostly make use of standard ingredients to produce quality foods like snacks, salads, noodles and even soups. They have also provided a clean and convenient environment for customers with a more decorated sites and recreational areas or playgrounds for kids who may come along with their parents to grab some food.
Healthy fast food options
If you are trying to maintain your present weight or you want to eat healthy and clean foods for weight lose, you will need to read more on Easy tips to eat healthy here
1. Fish and chips – Though it is very hard to stick to a healthy diet plan when you are always craving for fast food, the only key to eating fast foods is moderation. A medium serving of chips and fish have some healthy benefits too to offer, a portion of this snack provides essential vitamins C, B6 and B12, some iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acid and calcium as well as iodine, also, sweet potato chips are also good source of fibre, potassium and vitamin C. When snacking on fast foods, watch the menu items that come with one or more side dishes and go for baked or grilled chips over fried ones.
2. pizza a healthier fast food alternative would have been a homemade pizza because it is cheaper, healthier and even taste good especially if made with fresh and healthy ingredients, if you really want to satisfyyour cravingfor this food, check the nutritional information first before you start to munch hard into it, but if you have to go for this, choose one prepared with vegies and olive and also watch your portion size.
3. Sandwich– grilled chicken sandwich is a good option to order at any fast foods outlet, this can keep you full all along, and many varieties of sandwiches provide a number of essential nutrients. However, you will need to stick to whole grain bread when ordering. Whole grain bread has healthy fibre and a satiating ability which might keepyou from yearning for food within a short time.
4. Pepper soup- pepper soup is a savoury broth made with fish, chicken or beef or varieties of seafood, you can find this meal in very few fast food joints. for a better option of pepper soup, go for pepper soup made with Catfishor Crooker fish. Pepper soup generally has a very unique flavour, and it is usually cooked within 15- 20 minutes, depending on the type of protein used.
5. Salad– if you think you don’t have alll time to slice few healthy greens at home, you can order for healthy green salad whenever you visit fast food joint. Serving salad meal is a great way of absorbing rich nutrients from fresh vegetables or healthy fruits, these are not only healthy, but are also chilled, crunchy, and fun to eat with lots of textures and amazing colours. You can order for saladas a side dish with some other food ,but make sure that it is dressed with fat-free or reduced-calorie salad dressing
6. Hamburger- though it is a fast food that contains much calories, hamburger eaten once in while in moderate amounts fit in among balance diets. Hamburger meal is loaded with nutrients, like iron, vitamin B-12 and protein. don’t be carried away by the fillings, keep it simple and ask for the smallest size.
7. Taco bell- though it is high in calories, sugar, sodium, and fat, but it is convenient and tasty, it can keep you full throughout your working hours. You can always choose a non-fried corn tortilla which containfewer calories instead of fried one and for your filling,ground turkey, chicken,fish, beans or egg are good options.
8. Doughnut– majority of people complain of the high calories loaded in doughnuts, butit is better to eat something than starving yourself whenhunger calls. Doughnut is safe for lunch or breakfastOven baked doughnuts are healthy alternative to fried ones.
9. Popcorn Popcorn is a simple healthy snack, It’s the only snack that is 100 per cent unprocessed, but it ismade from whole grain. Popcorn is low in calories (about 30 calories per cup) and high in fibre (about 1g per cup), especially when compared to snacks like chips, popcorn contains only small quantities of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B6, magnesium, iron and selenium.
Tipsfor choosing healthy fast food
- Reduce your portion size- when on a run; make sure you pick the smallest size of food, if possible go for children’s-sizeinstead of alarger portion of food.
- Try avoiding oily and high calorie food; choose items that are low in calorie- You can replace mayonnaise with mustard if you need dressing for your salad, instead of the regular salad dressing.
- Choose grilled chicken, shrimp, and roast beef instead of sausage, bacon, hot dogs, or ham.
- Go for whole grain bread or wheat bun for your burger or sandwich, instead of the regular ones.
- Choose your calories from healthy protein foods; proteins are gotten from varieties of food such as lean meat, eggs, beans, nuts, turkey, chicken, fish and seafood.
- Drink more water before and after meal and always substitute soda for plain water, since itcontains more calories and sugar. Water contains no fat or calories; it plays an important role in digestive health.