Think twice with lunch orders

Fast food not always the healthiest choice


    Don’t you just love it when your mom or dad constantly brings you a large pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch? How about a Big Mac combo meal with hot fries and a large drink with it? If this applies to you, consider yourself lucky because not everyone’s parents brings them take out from a local fast food joint. In fact, if you look around the lunch room, there are several students who are not eating anything for lunch. What can happen to a teenager’s body when they habitually don’t eat lunch during the week? Also, is getting your supersized meal all what it’s cracked up to be?

    Pop quiz! Do you know how much sodium is in one slice of a hand tossed pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut? 740mg. That’s almost half of your recommended daily sodium limit from one slice of pizza. I’m sure those of you who get this for lunch eat more than one slice, right? You do the math and see exactly how much you may be overloading your body with sodium.

    Sodium overload can impact your health more than you think. It can increase your blood pressure and your risk for a heart attack and stroke. Because heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the United States, you may want to avoid keeping this sodium overload habit for too long. And if you’re an athlete, think about all the grease and fat that you’re consuming. How do you think that’s going to affect your performance on the field or on the court?

    Now what about those teens who don’t eat during lunch? Studies show that habitual undereating can interfere with normal mental and physical development. Students are more likely to be distracted in their afternoon classes if they are still hungry from not eating lunch. This side of the equation gets overlooked because the media is focussed on America’s obesity problem rather than those students who think skipping lunch is not a big deal. So to those of you who don’t eat something for lunch, find a way to plan ahead the night before and prepare yourself a nice meal that you can take with you the next day. It just takes a few minutes and will benefit you in the long run.

    With all these facts in mind, can you honestly say that you are making an effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle by managing your eating habits? Not only is eating right vitally important to a teenager’s development, but adequate exercise helps aid in keeping you body in prime condition. If you don’t strive to partake in some form of physical activity whether it be running, dancing, working out, karate, skateboarding or anything else physically stimulating, then you are increasing your chances of chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and even depression and anxiety. Yes, these kinds of things do happen to teens everyday. It just may not have happened to you yet. And if you choose to keep living an inactive lifestyle, expect to make a visit the doctor when your contract an avoidable condition caused by poor levels of physical activity.

    The next time you text your mom or dad what you want for lunch, think about some healthy choices you can make like a Subway sub or a chicken caesar salad from a local store. To make things even better, you can try to pack your own lunch from home so you have more control of what’s going in your body. Preparing healthy meals with low sodium and calorie levels can not only be a healthy alternative to greasy chicken strips and salty fries, but it can also serve as a way for you to lose or gain healthy weight depending on your ideal BMI (body mass index). Try it. You’ll be amazed on how much better you feel after just a week of lessened sodium intake.

    So when they ask you if you want fries with your order, simply say no and get a salad instead!