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.
Road Food Additives
Convenience stores and gas station food are notoriously overpriced and nutritionally underrepresented. Maintain your scrutiny and you will survive the inconvenience. Here are a few simple guidelines when purchasing food in the galaxy:
Steer Clear: Msg. and High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Monosodium Glutamate, (MSG.): A popular condiment used in fast-food including Asian fast food, in addition to a broad range of prepared foods commonly found in food store shelves. It is used as a flavor enhancer and associated with an array of physical chemical reactions resulting from its consumption. From migraines and indigestion, to severe mood swings, the use of Msg. as a flavor enhancer is not worth the hassle.
High Fructose Corn Syrup, (HFCS.): Incorporated into American food and beverage supply as a less expensive substitute to sugar, and as a texture agent in processed foods.
Sugar is historically costlier to import in the US. due largely to tariffs imposed by international and domestic politics. HFCS., (a laboratory manufactured substance developed to solve the problem of costly sugar importation), is not properly metabolized in the human body. Its’ accumulation in the system leads to an attack of the linings to such major organs as the liver and kidneys. The threshold for accumulation can vary from person to person. It 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 diagnosis of cancer, diabetes, and organ failure.
Salt: As lethal as sugar when it accumulates in the body. High concentrations of both salt and sugar make the blood more acidic. Acid’s action is to eat away at whatever matter is in its’ path.
Customize your Order
Order sandwiches plain so that they might be cooked fresh. Request for food to be cooked without salt. The benefit of this request is two-fold. It 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., and regardless of whether they are labeled 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), come in pre-battered prior to cooking. 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 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 other foods contain seasoning, request: “No seasoning,” or for the seasoning to be placed “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 bread and bread products.
- Avoid sweetened coffee creamers, particularly flavored sweetened cream.
- Thinking about ordering from the breakfast menu? Beware! 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. 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.
On dairy products: As humans develop beyond the stage of infancy, they lose the enzyme necessary to metabolize milk and dairy products. The consumption of dairy can create an intestinal inconvenience, turning your good day into a nightmare.