Fast Food and Low Sodium

It’s no secret that I’ve enjoyed a fair amount of fast food on this trip. I’ve eaten at Mcdonalds four or five times in these two weeks and Burger King twice, but why?

At home, I eat far less fast food than while I was here (maybe only once a week at most), but throughout this trip I’ve been feeling my low blood pressure in a way that I do not at home which motivates me to eat at places I know will deliver salty food. Having a sodium deficiency has changed how I eat when I travel, like being anemic does; I need to eat calorie-rich, high sodium, high iron meals regularly which in US is no problem. Every meal in the US is saturated with salt, something that I’ve become desensitized to by salting my food even more than the norm.

While in Europe, I noticed everything was under-seasoned, even McDonalds. I needed to get my salt anywhere I could, even going as far as to salt my water to ensure that my bp would not drop too far. Somehow though, I have not felt unhealthy after eating the fast food here which makes me think that it is fundamentally different than fast food in the states. One burger at Mcdonalds in the US makes me feel bloated and gross, while here it’s just like eating at a sit-down restaurant.

The overuse of salt contributes greatly to this feeling, but so do the other ingredients used. Most items at Mcdonalds taste different than the US. It most likely stems from less salt and less sugar which creates a healthier fast food, but does necessarily help me in my quest to find a salty meal.

When I return home, I know I will find most fast food far too heavy to eat an entire sandwich or even a medium fries because it is so light here. I am excited to be able to enjoy highly salted food again and feel more like myself when I return home, but I will miss this light fast food.

This trip has showed me exactly how unhealthy Americans eat, because the amount I need to consume is 2-3 times what a typical person should. So while the lack of sodium for me is a physically hard adjustment, it shouldn’t be for most people and most don’t even notice. I will probably avoid fast food for a few weeks after returning home and opt for something ‘healthier’ but much saltier than even the fast food here.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s