Since I have become an endocrinologist, I had mostly stopped eating fast food. However, I do indulge once in a while, because fast food tastes very nice. When my friend Ansgar and Moonlake asked me to try Jollibee, I gladly agree. My meal of 2-piece fried chicken consists of 2 juicy and tender fried chicken, a serving of rice, and sugar-sweetened lemon tea.
The chicken is the most tender one that I have ever eaten in my life.
How is one supposed to eat healthy given that fast food is so nice? Even writing the last paragraph evoked the joyous feeling of the crunchy skin, the tender and juice meat, and my “hmmm” feeling in my mouth!
It is well known that fast food eating increases obesity and the risk of diabetes.
There is only one defense. I did not eat the rice. A serving of rice has 80g of carbohydrates, or 320 Calories. By cutting the rice from the equation, I can have my sinful meal with slightly reduced “sin” level. The difference is huge. Each piece of fried chicken contains about 250 Calories, and the drink about 120 Calories. By cutting the rice, I took in only 620 Calories, and not 940 Calories.
The fact is, my basal metabolic rate is about 1900 Calories. That is the amount of energy that I burn. If I take 940 Calories for both lunch and dinner, even if I take a normal breakfast about 400 Calories, I would take a total of 2280 Calories. Where would the extra 380 Calories go? It would become part of me, probably at the waist level.
One can also choose to eat 2280 Calories, but in order not to lose weight, one would have to burn of 380 Calories. That is about 45 minutes of jogging or swimming. But most people in Singapore do not do that. In fact, the last Singapore Nutrition Survey showed that most Singaporeans take in more energy than they burn!
No wonder the rate of obesity and diabetes have shot up over the years. Fortunately, it can be prevented by simple choices and discipline in our daily lives.