Fast food – the epitome of instant gratification. Waiting just minutes for piping hot, perfectly salted McDonald’s fries is worth it every time, isn’t it? Some would go to war over Colonel Sanders and golden arches, while others furrow their brows in disapproval. But if you’re going to bat for one side or the other, you might as well have a solid reason because let’s face it – there are both advantages and disadvantages to fast food.
Advantages of Fast Food
1. Fast food is cheap.
No one ever bounces a check on a $1 McDonald’s McChicken. It’s far cheaper to opt for a value meal over a garlic-roasted-chicken-pesto panini with a side of kale chips (and a lot easier to shout over a drive-through intercom, too).
2. It saves time.
We’ve all been there, running 10 minutes late to Johnny’s soccer practice, forgetting to take the casserole out of the oven, or having a paper due at 11:59 p.m. with not a second to spare. Whatever your chaos looks like, settling on a drive-through sheds tons of time off your dinner prep.
Plus, if stopping by the nearest fast food joint will take too much time for you, you can always order through a restaurant’s mobile app so it’s ready when you pick it up. Or, you can use a local delivery service to have it catered to your front doorstep. (Check out these Fast Food Delivery Apps!) In other words – time will never stand between you and your Cheesy Gordita Crunch.
3. There are healthy options.
While we can’t confirm the freshness of a Wendy’s Mediterranean chicken salad, we can safely assume it is better for you than a whopper and fries. Whether you’re replacing chips with an apple, or fries with a side salad, you can certainly find something more nutritious and low-cal on the menu.
On another note, healthier options like grilled chicken, fish, salads, and wraps tend to be a bit more expensive, but you are getting what you pay for. To see some of our favorite healthy options, check out the best Low-Calorie Fast Food Options.
4. There are a plethora of choices.
For the indecisive people out there, this may be your worst nightmare, but it sure beats opening your fridge to a half-carton of milk and week-old Chinese takeout. Fast food restaurants typically have upwards of a hundred different choices giving you plenty of options to choose what your taste buds are craving and customize your meal in any way you want (even if it is a Filet-O-Fish with a hot fudge sundae).
5. Fast food tastes good.
The only disappointing part of gobbling down that savory fast-food burger is when you swallow the last bite. Regardless of the ingredients that make up the food, it never fails to leave you wanting more.
Disadvantages of Fast Food
For the people who shun burgers and fries, you’ll be glad to hear there are plenty of disadvantages to fast food, too.
It’s lower quality.
As much as we would love to think our Dippin’ Fish Strips were made from hand-caught cod expedited from the Caribbean, the reality of that is quite unlikely. Fast food is made for the masses, which means more fillers, more preservatives, and less fresh, local ingredients.
Fast food can be unhealthy.
Going for a greasy combo meal that’s high in fat, sodium, and sugar content isn’t the best way to nourish your body. Because of the lower quality food sources, most fast food options are not made with the most protein-rich, nutritious ingredients.
When you can spend a quarter more on a large combo meal than you do on a medium – and receive double the amount of food – it seems like a no-brainer. However, there is no advantage to consuming that amount of fat and calories (other than the flavor), which is why opting for a small might be a safer option. And sadly, when consumed in copious amounts, fast food has the potential to cause more serious health risks.
It’s easy to spend too much money.
As mentioned before, it’s definitely possible to save money by opting for something off the dollar menu. But, falling into a habit of visiting the drive-through more often than you cook at home can add up quickly – especially when you’re feeding an entire family.
It can minimize time to socialize.
More often than not, people choose to stop at a fast-food joint because they’re limited on time and plan to grab a quick bite – not have a heart-to-heart over chicken nuggets. Whereas, when you visit a sit-down restaurant or cook a meal at home, you have more time to conversate with friends or family.
Bottom line – the fast-food industry as a whole has come a long way, from saving consumers money to offering healthier options on the menu. Now that you know about the advantages and disadvantages of fast food, would you still wholeheartedly defend your beloved Baconator, or have your thoughts changed? Let us know what you think in the comments below.