You want to stick to a healthy diet. You may find yourself on the road, hungry, without visible options, other than a gas station, fast food restaurant, or convenience store. What do you do? The best solution is think ahead. Invest in a quality cooler, and buy groceries in advance. Life is not always so simple. Where you live geographically, and available transportation can influence your decisions. I can tell you from personal experience, it is possible to survive in the wild mystery food lands across America.
Some say that what does not kill you makes you stronger. Don’t throw your sense of caution out the window just yet. Here is your guide.
Hungry On the Road
Convenience stores, and gas station food are notoriously overpriced, and under represented. Maintain your scrutiny, and you will survive the inconvenience.
Road Food Additives
There are a few simple guidelines when purchasing food in the galaxy.
1. Steer Clear: Msg., and High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Msg., or Monosodium Glutamate is a popular condiment used in fast-food, and particularly in Asian fast food in America, as well as a broad range of prepared foods commonly found on store shelves. Used as a flavor enhancer, and associated with an array of chemical reactions, resulting from it’s consumption. From migraines, indigestion, to mood swings, the use of Msg. as a flavor enhancer, simply does not justify the results.
High fructose corn syrup, (HFCS), incorporated into American food, and beverages, as a less expensive substitute to sugar, and as a texture agent in processed foods. Sugar has been historically more costly to import in the US., due largely to tariffs imposed by international, and domestic politics. This laboratory manufactured substance is not properly metabolized in the human body, and when accumulated in the system, attacks the linings to such major organs as the liver, and kidneys. The threshold for accumulation can vary from person to person, and is influenced by factors, such as the density of the organ’s linings, which may be pre-determined by heredity. Continued use of HFCS can lead to symptoms associated with such diagnosis of cancer, diabetes, and organ failure.
Salt is as lethal as sugar when it accumulates in the body. Both make the blood more acidic. Acid’s action is to eat away at whatever matter is in it’s path. If you find yourself face to face with the fast food industry, order with discretion.
Customize your Order
Order sandwiches plain, so that they might be cooked fresh. Request your burger, chicken, sandwich, fries, or anything cooked, without salt. This further increases your chances that the food is fresh-cooked, and you can add salt using your own discretion. Many establishments think nothing of going overboard with the salt shaker. Avoiding the condiments means avoiding further mystery. Bread, biscuits, batter, sauces, and seasonings often contain HFCS, regardless of whether they are white, wheat, artisan, or sourdough breads, or gourmet etc.
For foods that are deep-fried, such as fish, or chicken, ask for no batter. To this request, anticipate the shock, and uproar. Some foods, common at many fast food, particularly at chicken restaurants are already pre-battered before being cooked. Though if you catch the site of a cook with a pan of flour, make your request. Batter is worse than the fine print in a contract. Not only do you not know what’s in it, the retailer is not required to notify the public.
Know Something About your Food Choices
Ask if the fries are actually cut from real potatoes. Dehydrated potato flakes don’t have the same chemical reaction in the body as the whole food that contains essential vitamins, and minerals. If fries, or foods contain seasoning, ask for no seasoning, or for the seasoning on the side. This will at least give you the opportunity to look at what you are avoiding.
Additional Notes on Food
For pizza, request extra light sauce, thin crust, and minimal toppings. If there is sauce in the dish, common in most cuisines, request it on the side. Some hamburger restaurants make burgers that contain a higher ratio of additives to ground beef in hamburger patties. These burgers may resemble something like a slice of meat loaf, (mysterious meat). Meat bi-products, and an array of fillers make up a large portion of these additives, and subsequently contribute to a higher ratio of fat.
- Skip the biscuits. Many baked goods, including buns, and biscuits are made with HFCS, which doubles as a sweetener, and enhances the texture of the bread, and bread products.
- Avoid sweetened coffee creamers, particularly flavored sweetened cream.
- Thinking about ordering from the breakfast menu, be careful. It is a little known fact that some fast food breakfast menus will make you drowsy.
- Look carefully if your selecting a salad. Don’t buy salads that don’t look fresh.
- Avoid snack cakes.
Healthy Beverage Options
Skip the soda fountain. One of the largest segments of the American food supply that contains HFCS is the beverage industry. Skip the ice. Go for bottled water, or juice. For bottled water, choose a brand you recognize. They are not only sourced from different locations, additionally, the type of source indicates the method of purification, or filtering., that often varies. At convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and gas stations, choose juices that don’t contain added sweeteners. Always select 100% fruit juice, when possible. V-8 may be a better option than soda. Don’t assume, read the labels. Those .99 cent can teas usually contain HFCS. Skip the dairy products, which can create much inconvenience, and turn your good day into a nightmare. Natural products will give you more energy to handle driving conditions.
If you are on a gluten-free diet, have food allergies, or health issues, it is best to purchase whole foods at grocery stores, markets, and road side stands.