November 22, 2017 · Written by Foodtolive Team

Fast Food and Junk Food: Is There Any Difference

Fast food and junk food aren’t interchangeable terms and using them as such confuses people who want to eat healthy. Not all fast food is bad for you, and some junk food isn’t really ‘fast’ as well.


Fast Food and Junk Food: Definitions

Both fast and junk foods are defined in many ways in various dictionaries and culinary forums. Although slightly different, the essence of these numerous definitions boils down to:

  • Fast food is a type of food you get from a restaurant designed to deliver the order in the quickest possible way.
  • Junk food is food with extremely low nutritional value, sometimes called rich in ‘empty calories’.

These definitions make it perfectly clear that fast food can be both healthy and unhealthy. Junk food, on the other hand, is decidedly not good for you. Please bear in mind that some fast food places can serve junk food. The ‘junk’ component of the term refers to the nutritional value of a product. For example, fries (and almost anything deep-fried and processed) can be categorized as junk food. The amount of saturated fats in these products significantly outweighs the amount of essential nutrients. Therefore, they become ‘empty’ from the nutritional point of view.


Fast Food and Junk Food: Can Either Be Healthy?

While junk food decidedly cannot be healthy, fast food can, and often is, a rather good option for a quick meal. However, this doesn’t mean that you should have lunch at McDonald’s every day. If you want to eat healthy and fast, you must research menus of the restaurants nearby and assess every dish.

A salad is fast food as well, and that is sure to be healthy if it doesn’t include any processed products or fat seasonings. Another great option for a healthy fast food is sushi. Sandwiches containing healthy ingredients and other similar foods are ‘in the green’ as well. This includes healthy tacos and burritos. Even a veggie pizza seasoned with non-processed tomato sauce and olive oil is healthy. So, as you can see, you can easily enjoy the majority of traditional fast foods as long as you buy them from the right places.

Bear this in mind if you want to eat healthy while traveling. In this case, you’ll need to work out a map of food-stops beforehand to enjoy your trip completely. You also should understand that planning meal times well can make any café a fast food place. As these businesses understand what regular mealtimes are, they usually pre-cook some of the dishes to ensure they can serve them quickly.

In addition, using some basic meal prep ideas will help you ensure that your fridge always has some components for a quick and healthy meal. Therefore, you’ll be able to avoid deciding between fast food and junk food as a good dinner is only a few minutes away.

However, junk food, which makes up the majority of most popular snack types, is notoriously unhealthy. Therefore, if you want to keep your body strong, you should stop yourself from grabbing that pack of Doritos from the shelf. You can replace these fat and processed products with some healthy snacks.

Remember this distinction between fast food and junk food and take care to only feed your body with truly valuable dishes.