When you type in “fast food” on the Internet, the first results you get are a series of chain restaurants near you. In a world where our every day lives tend to be fast-paced we tend to rely on a type of food consumption that is just as fast. Unfortunately, fast food is less nutritionally valuable than whole plant-based foods, which you can prepare at home. Depending on where you live, plant-based restaurants may be more abundant than you realize.
As much as fast food may ease our hunger for a while and facilitate things when we are in a hurry, we should learn what is really behind the ingredients we consume. Here are 5 things you may want to know before you skip a nutritious meal and choose to step foot in a fast food establishment.
1. Are chicken nuggets really chicken? The short answer is yes, but researchers found that nuggets contain very little meat and, instead, are mostly leftover pieces of the bird, such as its bones, fat and tendons. Click here for more information on why it is beneficial to avoid chicken.
2. Fountain drinks are not only extremely fizzy and full of added sugar; 48 percent of soda fountains at fast food restaurants contain coliform bacteria—bacteria that commonly grow in feces. This study was done by a team of microbiologists at Hollins University, where they also reported that 11 percent of these fountains contained E. Coli, a bacterium responsible for intestinal sickness such as diarrhea, as well as urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and pneumonia.
3. Fast food hamburgers contain meat from up to 100 different cows. After cattle are slaughtered, the cheaper bits are all tossed together into a machine for processing, where they are cut and mushed into pieces for sale, before given a pump of fat for good measure. Not to mention, burgers are flash frozen and contain preservatives to keep them from going bad.
4. Ever wondered why milkshakes at fast food chains taste so good? That is because they are pumped with chemicals aimed for a better look and a “better” artificial taste. These include artificial strawberry flavor, high fructose corn syrup, guar gum (also found as a thickening agent in lotions and creams), and sodium phosphate, (though seemingly harmless, getting too much phosphate from your diet could cause an imbalance between phosphorus and calcium in your body, increasing your risk for osteoporosis.)
5. A recent research study, focused on the egg-based breakfast sandwiches sold at some fast food places, has shown that they are made from a concoction of real eggs and what is called “premium egg blend.” This blend of preservatives and additives includes glycerin, a solvent found in soap and shaving cream, and calcium silicate, a solvent found in roofs and concrete.
Perhaps knowing what on goes behind the curtains of fast food chains will make us opt for healthier, more natural food choices that will benefit us in the long run.