As much as anyone may try to avoid fast food meals, today's fast paced living makes fast food restaurants an easy and convenient on-the-go choice. Here are some recommendations as to some foods and supplements you can use to fight back an occasional fast food splurge.
In the Mood for Fried Chicken? Fight Back the Fat with Red Wine Resveratrol
When you eat a high-fat meal like fried chicken or a mayonnaise-laden hamburger, you are flooding your system with triglycerides, and slowing circulation. Consuming resveratrol-rich foods such as red grapes or red wine could help you prevent some of the negative effects. Resveratrol prevents the formation of bad cholesterol and can be obtained in supplement form without the calories or sugar of red wine or grapes. In addition, Coenzyme Q10 – a coenzyme which exists naturally in our bodies – can help prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol, which is the cause of artery-blocking plaque also known as atherosclerosis.
Combat the Nitrates in Hot Dogs and Pepperoni
Do you enjoy your hot dog with Sauerkraut? Well, you might to just dab a little more of it next time. Researchers have identified compounds in the tangy topping, made from fermented cabbage, that may fight cancer. In animal studies, the compounds appear to prevent the growth of cancer, particularly in the breast, colon, lung and liver. Hot dogs contain nitrites which are used as preservatives. During the cooking process, nitrites combine with amines naturally present in meat to form carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds. These compounds are known carcinogens and have been associated with cancer of the oral cavity, urinary bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain.
Snack on Salty Pretzels and Chips? Throw in Some Dark Chocolate!
Salty foods are rich in sodium, which can increase your blood pressure almost immediately. A few squares of dark chocolate – 60% cocoa or higher – can help lower your blood pressure in a little as two hours. Dark chocolate is rich in a type of antioxidant bioflavonoid called flavanols which helps maintain healthy blood flow and blood pressure. The heart-healthy flavanols in cocoa, especially the epicatechins, prevent fatty substances in the bloodstream from oxidizing and then clogging the arteries. Flavanols help make blood platelets less likely to stick together and cause blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
Load up on Carbs? Antioxidant Herbs and Vegetables to the Rescue!
When high-carb foods such as pizza, rice or pasta, are heated up past 250 degrees, they release harmful chemicals that have been linked to an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. High consumption of carbohydrates can also cause a spike in blood sugar levels. To reduce these harmful effects, add fresh antioxidant-rich herbs to your carbs-based meal such as rosemary, oregano, parsley, basil, sage, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, peppermint, oregano, savory, and dill weed. Best of all, these herbs are common condiments for these dishes and complement them quite well. Some antioxidant-rich vegetables that typically accompany these meals include artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, olives, and spinach. A spoonful of vinegar on your side salad can also help slow digestion and help prevent the peaks and valleys in glucose that can fuel overeating.
Double Cheeseburger in your Future? Fight back with Fruits and Supplements
Eating a high-fat fast food hamburger can unleash a great amount of cell-damaging free radicals. Free radical damage within cells has been linked to a range of disorders including cancer, arthritis, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes. Antioxidant fruits such as berries, cherries, citrus and kiwis provide the system with antioxidants to fight the damage. However, dietary supplements tend to provide greater concentrations of the best antioxidant compounds such as Vitamin C, Resveratrol, Melatonin and Glutathione.