Historically, fast food chains have been notorious for serving food high in sodium, as well as having more than a few negative connotations associated with fast food. Due to these negative associations, fast food chains have changed their marketing to show the healthier options and changes they have made to their menus. Other chains, such as subway, have created their entire product and marketing strategy to portray these as healthy options. However, research shows that McDonald’s, KFC, and Subway, serve food with high salt levels.
A McDonald’s chicken nugget meal contains over 1 gram of salt, which is more than a child between the ages of 4 and 6 is recommended to eat in one sitting.
KFC is also known to serve food with high salt content. In Canada, a serving of fries contains 1.9 grams of salt! That is almost 2/3 of the daily recommended intake for a 4-6 year old and 1/3 for adults, who are recommended to have under 6 grams.
Subway does seem to be a good alternative to the other high sodium fast food chains, however it is still not idea. The turkey breast meal for kids at Subway contains over a gram of salt, being more than the amount that they should intake in one sitting.
Effects of Salt
High amounts of sodium have been linked to many health issues and diseases later in a person’s life. It is specifically linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and obesity. While these health concerns may not be top priority when your children are still young, eating a large amount of salt as a child will cause their palate to adjust to these high sodium levels. If their tastes adjust to the high salt levels, it will require more salt for them to really taste it—and more salt is bad! Obesity is a global issue that strikes in the U.S. and causes many issues for children early and late in their
Whenever possible, you should always be trying to cook meals yourself, instead of resorting to fast food chains. Naturally, you know what you are cooking and what is going into your food. However, when you have to eat at a fast food chain, you should keeping an eye on your sodium content by checking the nutrition boards at these fast food chains. Also, to avoid consuming high salt when at your local fast food chain, view the menu for healthier options.
Many fast food chains are now offering salads, fruit alternatives, and juices, to avoid high sugar and salt intake. This will help to keep you eating healthy while on the road or on the run, as well as teaching your children healthier alternatives to french fries and soda pop. Switching to these healthier options will allow better and higher performance and functionality as well as lay the foundation for a healthy future.