Sunday, June 28, 2015

Nutrition in the News: Healthier Fast Food?

Seems like everyone wants to jump on the latest trends in healthier food.   Many people are now choosing Chipotle over McDonald’s.   More of us are shunning artificial ingredients and artificial flavors in favor of real food.   So what is the Fast Food industry doing to get on the healthier bandwagon?  They are going to start removing artificial ingredients, preservatives and colorings from their food.  Who is doing what?
  • Subway – I like Subway as one can get whole grain bread, lean meat and veggies on a sandwich.  They will be removing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
  • Papa John’s – who doesn’t like pizza?  We usually avoid Papa John’s because of all the sugar they put in the sauce, it just tastes sweet.  But Papa John’s is planning on cutting out 14 not so healthy ingredients, like high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial colors.  When?  By the end of 2016. They have already made some strides taking out MSG from their Ranch Dressing and eliminated trans fats from their garlic sauce.
  • Pizza Hut – They are working fast to eliminate all artificial flavors and colors by the end of July.  Pizza Hut is also focusing on sodium, cutting back on sodium in its offerings but that will take until 2020.
  • Taco Bell:  By the end of this year, they will be removing artificial flavors and colors.  And by the end of 2017, they will get rid of artificial preservatives and additives.
  • Chipotle – already a healthier option, this chain will now use non-GMO ingredients.  Next they will eliminate artificial preservatives, still used in burritos.
  • Panera Bread – another favorite as it offers many healthy options.  By the end of 2016, this chain is removing 150, yes 150 artificial additives. (One wonders why they had so many artificial additives in the first place.)
Although removing artificial ingredients is a good trend, Americans eat too much added fat and added sugar.  None of these restaurants are focusing on removing the empty calories of added sugar or lowering the fat content of their food offerings.  How about at least taking the added sugar out of the pizza?

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