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As many regular readers of the blog most likely have surmised, I am always vigilant about the health of myself and family. Nutrition plays a big part of my approach to healthy living. Yet, we have times when we get busy and find ourselves grabbing a quick bite to eat from a fast food restaurant. However, thanks to some in the media I do it with a little pang of guilt as I worry about how healthy that choice is.
So, I was anxious to see what a dietician would have to say about this option which I know so many families choose when limited for time.
About Fast Food Vindication
The fast-food industry has long been the whipping boy for all sorts of health ills. Obesity in children and adults? Blame it on fast food. Heart problems, diabetes, high cholesterol? Fast food is the culprit.
Not so, says Lisa Tillinger Johansen in her new book, FAST FOOD VINDICATION. Johansen, a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian, takes the bold position that “fast food is not the enemy, and it can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.” In fact, Johansen says, the media’s current wave of anti-fast-food sentiment may actually be detrimental to society’s health and well-being. “By focusing solely on the fast-food industry, the onus is all too often removed from more important factors: personal responsibility and smart choices.”
In FAST FOOD VINDICATION, Johansen takes a lively, informative, and realistic look at our eating habits, and, using her expertise and experience as a registered dietitian, seeks to educate readers on making smart dietary choices no matter where they eat.
“The book refutes the notion that fast food is an evil force in society,” Johansen says. “The laser focus on fast food being the cause of the obesity epidemic is not true, nor is it the complete picture. There’s so much press about how fast food is detrimental to us. In reality, that’s not the case. It’s about how we eat. We can eat poorly at home and at sit-down and fast-food restaurants, but we can also make healthier choices at all of these places. The majority of us don’t make great choices. We need to look at everywhere we eat and how we eat. Personal responsibility plays a big role.”
“Fast-food restaurants make big and easy targets,” Johansen maintains. “So many of us eat at them, and, unfortunately, so many of us are overweight or obese. But research has shown that we eat the majority of our meals at home, so restaurants of all types are just a part of the puzzle.”
“There are a lot of ways to make good choices at fast-food restaurants,” according to Johansen. “For example, a grilled chicken sandwich without mayo, coupled with a side salad with low-fat dressing on the side and apple dippers without the dip, is one good meal that you could put together. Most fast-food restaurants carry entrée salads, yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, and other, more nutritious foods.”
On the other side of the issue, Johansen notes that an unhealthy fast-food meal could include “fried foods of any type, regular sodas or anything that is double, triple, quadruple or more.”
With the publication of FAST FOOD VINDICATION, Johansen hopes to “present the side of an issue that hasn’t really been discussed much in the media. By doing so, it should ultimately help people to learn to look at the big picture and make appropriate changes to their diets as needed.”
About the Author
Lisa Tillinger Johansen is a registered dietitian and health educator who teaches a variety of classes on diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, weight management, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and healthy eating for adults and teens. She holds a Master of Science degree in nutritional science, Coordinated Dietetics Program, from California State University, Los Angeles.
Her latest book is Fast Food Vindication.
Visit her website at www.fastfoodvindication.com.
I’ve found the book to be interesting given Ms. Johansen’s past career in the fast food industry before her return to school for a career as a registered dietician. She’s seen both sides of the dilemma and in this book presents a balanced view of things.
I’ve always believed in moderation in all things and that is a point that comes through crystal clear in this title. Yes, there are some horrid choices to be had in those business. However, sometimes their bad choice is not that terrible in comparison to some sit down restaurant options.
Also, she addresses the notion that some people want to hold the businesses responsible for offering bad options. I couldn’t agree more that it is the individual’s choice in what they want to eat when presented with a variety of options. I’m so grateful that some options at the fast food establishments near us are not only healthy, but also good tasting. (If you haven’t had a turkey burger from Carl’s Jr., you really should check them out!)
Disclaimer ~ I was provided with a copy of this title to facilitate the review. No monetary compensation occurred and all opinions are my own.