Healthy fast food hacks to help back pain


A few packets of ketchup here, a couple pieces of bread there. You may think, what’s the harm? The truth is that certain fast food ingredients can be harmful to your health, and once you know the reasons why, making healthy choices at fast food restaurants will be easy.

Turn your quick lunch into healthy fast food with these menu hacks:

Wipe out white flour

What do most hamburger buns, pita wraps, noodles and tortillas have in common? Empty carbohydrates. The main culprit comes from enriched white flour, which is wheat that has been bleached to a white color and stripped of natural vitamins and minerals. That leaves nothing but starch, or plain old carbs. The “enriched” part means some synthetic nutrients are added back in artificially — and it’s all done to lower the cost and extend the shelf life for the companies that sell white flour products. What’s more, excess refined carbs will turn into glucose, or sugar. And unless you’re preparing to run a marathon, that unused sugar can turn into fat, which puts additional strain on your neck and back.

Menu hack: Ask to have your favorite sandwich wrapped in lettuce to get rid of the bun, or turn your favorite dish into a salad with light dressing. If you still want bread, whole grain is one of your healthiest fast food options.

Cut the corn syrup

Remember how white flour is made from wheat that’s stripped down to starch? Manufacturers do the same with corn. Corn starch is the foundation of dangerous sweeteners such as corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.

High fructose corn syrup is like super sugar. Food manufacturers make it by adding special enzymes to corn syrup, turning some of its existing sugar (glucose) into even sweeter sugar (fructose). You can find it in sodas, breads and even those little ketchup packets — and that’s when too much of a sweet thing can become toxic. Not only does high fructose corn syrup fuel inflammation that causes neck and back pain, it’s a big reason for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health epidemics in America.

Menu hack: Order healthy soda alternatives such as unsweetened tea or club soda with fruit. Beware of processed fruit juices that may contain corn syrup, too. Or you can always go for a refreshing glass of ice water.

Processed ingredients are cheap and easy for fast food companies to sell, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat them. Making small diet changes today can have huge benefits later for your neck, back and overall health. If changing your diet and other conservative treatments haven’t helped you find relief, contact Laser Spine Institute to find out if we treat your chronic spine condition.


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