How many greens match a hamburger?

So, fast food generally isn't your best option if you're on a diet. But how many kilojoules are there really in burgers and pizzas? We compared these items to fruit and vegetables.

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So, fast food generally isn't your best option if you're trying to lose weight. But how many kilojoules do those hamburgers and pizzas really provide? We compared the energy values of a few popular fast-food items to vegetables and fruit (specifically broccoli, butternut and apples), and this is what we found:

1. One standard QUARTER*, or ikota, (5185kJ) more or less equals:
1kg of broccoli (1180kJ)
1kg of butternut (1620kJ)
8 apples (2448kJ)

Of course, it's also important to note the price difference: a Quarter would typically cost you between R15.00 and R20.00. The above-mentioned combo of fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, would cost you about R44.57**.

2. One regular BIG MAC & FRIES (4038kJ) more or less equals:
1kg of broccoli (1180kJ)
1kg of butternut (1620kJ)
4 apples (1224kJ)

The price difference? A Big Mac and fries would set you back R26.95, while the "green" combo above costs 36.95. So, for a R10 difference between the two, you get a lot more vitamins and minerals if you opt for the fruit and vegetables.

3. One standard DEBONAIRS SALAMI PIZZA (3277kJ) more or less equals:
1kg of broccoli (1180kJ)
1kg of butternut (1620kJ)
1 ½ apples (459kJ)

Cost: One standard Debonairs pizza costs about R48.90, while the fruit and vegetables cost R32.52. The bottom line? You could save at least R16.38 when you swop the pizza for a meal made up of vegetables and fruit.

Note that a large Salami pizza clocks in at a whopping 5911kJ, which is equal to:
1kg of broccoli (1180kJ)
1kg of butternut (1620kJ)
10 apples (3060kJ)

4. One WIMPY CHEESE BURGER, without chips, (2034kJ) more or less equals:
1kg of broccoli (1180kJ)
3 apples (918kJ)

Cost: The Wimpy burger and chips will typically set you back R25.00, while the broccoli-and-apple combo costs about R32.07.

* The Quarter, derivative of the “bunny chow”, typically consists of a quarter loaf of white bread, served with potato chips, fried eggs, processed cheese and luncheon meats or sausages.

** Note that prices may vary.

(Health24, March 2011)

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