Thursday, June 11, 2009

Is Healthy Fast Food an Oxymoron?

plural -mo⋅ra Rhetoric. a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”
One might think that healthy fast food is impossible. I am on a trip this week and was surprised to discover Corner Bakery Cafe. This is a Dallas-based chain that is far from national at the moment.

What particularly caught my attention on their menu were the healthy breakfast choices. (Unfortunately at the moment the menu/nutrition part of the web site is not working so you can not see for yourself. Their webmaster is apparently obsessed with the use of Adobe Flash which results in a complex high bandwidth website that is not fully functional at the moment. Suggest they concentrate on the restaurant biz, not the overly flashy website.) CBC has several egg dishes for breakfast. They are all made to order and they all can be made with egg whites only for $0.59 extra. (Egg Beaters are basically egg whites with food coloring, so egg whites just avoid the coloring.) Now several of their egg dishes have bacon and/or, but since it is made to order these can be omitted.

Other healthy breakfast choices include salads, (chilled) Swiss Oatmeal, Oatmeal with skim milk, and Fresh Berry Parfait with lowfat milk. CBC does not have low salt or no salt added bread, but neither does any other US chain I am aware of. In Australia such bread is widely available, but in the US it is really scarce even though bread can be a major source of salt in the diet. So CBC and others, here is a route to improvement. Keep up the good work!

Lunch and dinner choices include salads and both chicken and turkey sandwiches. (However, I hope that website will show soon what the salt content of the chicken and turkey meat is since some versions have increased salt content.)

CBC proudly states they were names by Health magazine as one "America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants". While LSLF diets are not necessarily the prime criteria for selection on this list, the others ont he list show that positive things can be done.

Now oddly McDonalds is also on the list. Perhaps McD's should get an award for "most improved menu" now that they have added a few healthy items, but the choice at CBC is much much broader for all meals.

UPDATE - I am back home now and have a real high speed connection so could explore the CBC website. Unfortunately, it does not have any nutrition information under the "Menu & Nutrition" link, so in this context McD's actually is better in that they have real information if you look for it. So CBC, how about good nutrition information to go along with you good food choices?

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