Fast food's main purpose is to be a quick alternative for you when you don't have any time to make a meal for yourself.
Or, at least that used to be its main purpose.
Unfortunately, this way of eating is quickly becoming the rule, rather than the exception. And, research is finding that your health is suffering as a result.
Researchers looked at chicken nuggets from two national food chains to determine what you were actually consuming. They found that chicken meat was not the main ingredient (pause for shock), and that fat made up an equal or greater portion of the nuggets than real meat.
Besides the gross factor, you have to also consider the numbers... the numbers on the scale, your blood pressure numbers, your cholesterol numbers.
Consider this: a Wendy's morning melt Panini with sausage contains 650 calories and is equivalent to the saturated fat in 37 of Wendy's chicken nuggets. Eating a Dunkin Donuts coffee cake muffin also racks up 650 calories, and is equal to eating five bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
The trend is not slowing down, either.
Every day one in four Americans will visit some type of fast food restaurant, and as a nation we will spend more than $110 billion annually on fast food. On top of that, more than 40 percent of American meals are eaten outside the home.
Nutritionist and Health Educator, Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, shares five healthy alternatives to eating fast food when you're pressed for time.