Is all fast food bad for you?

We often hear that fast food, or take-aways, are bad for you. But this doesn’t mean you should never eat take-aways! Not all fast food is the same.

Even though fast food is usually not the best option for your health, most restaurants have some options that are healthier. Here are some tips for when you’re looking at their menu:

1.       Fresh is best. The more fresh fruits and vegetables, the better.

2.       Find a balance. A healthy meal isn’t made up of just one thing. It should have a balance of protein, fibre, carbohydrates and fats. Protein and vegetables should take up most of your plate.

3.       Less processed, more real. Processed food is food that has gone through lots of processes since it was fresh. For example, wheat has to go through a lot before it becomes a doughnut, or meat has to be changed a lot to make it into polony or sausages. Try to eat more foods that haven’t been processed, and are in their natural state, like fruits and vegetables, fresh meats and whole grains.

4.       Grilled is better than fried. Grilled food often has less oil than fried food, especially deep-fried (like chips and vetkoek).

5.       Added extras can add up. Cold drinks usually have lots of sugar in them – even fruit juice. Having chips with your meal makes it a lot less healthy too. So save yourself some money and skip the extras!

6.       Watch out for sauces. Sauces like tomato sauce, mayonnaise and salad dressing have a lot of extra sugar, fat and artificial ingredients. 

The healthiest option is usually making food at home – then you can choose exactly what goes into your meal. Learn more about the food groups in our article “Eat well to stay well: Healthy food, healthy life”


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