You’ve been good all week. You’re eating steamed vegetables and chugging green smoothies. I’ve been using non-dairy creamer. Putting a lot of hard work into this because for your health. And then you get a text. It’s from an old friend, fast food.

“We used to be friends, man. We used to hang out.”

(Frown emoji)

Good news. It’s time for a reunion. Fast food every once in awhile is not the end of the world. You two can hang out again. In fact, there are a few reasons why you should eat fast food once in awhile.

Chloe McLeod is a practicing accredited dietitian. She has this to say about the matter: “If you’re never eating the foods you really enjoy or which give you pleasure, then that’s going to result in feelings of deprivation. If you have these feelings of deprivation, it can increase the chance of bingeing or overeating, and this can end up being quite an unhealthy cycle.” She adds that “food is fuel, but food is also enjoyment.”

fast food

A negative relationship with food is not a good idea. Demonizing certain foods is misinformed and leads to oversimplification (dumb thinking). Even fast food has some nutrition in it.

Let’s call our next witness.

Katherine Brooking M.S,  R.D. puts it out there on CNN what she would order at McDonald’s. Her choice? The Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken. She also suggests swapping out the fries for a salad. Even at so-called unhealthy restaurants, there are usually choices with more nutrition.

Roll out the red carpet. Here they are:

Your best bets at McDonald’s are Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait, Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad, and 4-Piece Chicken McNuggets. At Taco Bell, go with Fresco Crunch Taco- Beef, Mini Skillet Bowl, or the Power Menu Burrito- Veggie. Are you the Dunkin’ Donuts type? Order the Veggie Egg White Wake-up Wrap or the Egg White Bowl. A Starbucks go with Classic Oatmeal or Tomato & Mozzarella Panini.

Fast food and healthy food don’t live in two different worlds. They’re on a continuum.  And eating fast food is much better than eating nothing.

If you eat nothing, you’ll die in a matter of weeks. If you eat fast food, you’ll probably live for years and years just like everyone else. Just don’t overdo it. Eat right and make informed smart choices. But once in awhile, if you swing on by Carl’s Jr. and order a Famous Star with cheese. Don’t worry. You’ll live.