- Fast Food
The Dangers of Fast Food
I passed by a fast food place the other day where cars were lined up in the drive thru. I suddenly pictured, in my mind, holocaust victims lined up in front of the gas chamber. I know it was an unfair comparison. Death by gas chamber is quicker and probably more humane. Researchers have shown that fast food contributes to weight gain, insulin resistance, and other health problems that can lead to a slow death.
The most noted problem with fast food is that it tends to be high in fats. Although fat can be a high-octane fuel for our bodies, the fats in fast food tend to be the unhealthy kind, Fat is also addictive; the more we eat, the more we want. Therefore, fast food consumers are inclined to consume more fuel than they can possibly use.
Fast food is also a processed food, and many processed foods are over processed at the cost of nutrients. Flavor is also destroyed, so before manufacturers try to feed us this nutrient poor food, they add things like salt, sugar, and fat to improve the taste. Then they add evil stuff like artificial flavouring and colouring, and preservatives, many of which are made from fossil fuels. Bad news for adults, but for children the consequences can be even greater, as their growing bodies and brains do not process and eliminate these chemicals as effectively;
Another concern is the high fructose corn syrup in the nutrient deficient soft drink. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an artificial additive that’s cheaper and easier for manufacturers of sodas to use. HFCS is made by treating corn (usually genetically modified corn) with a variety of enzymes (some of which are also genetically modified) to first extract the sugar glucose and then convert some of it into fructose. The body, however, processes HFCS differently than it does sugar. As well as being called “a major contributor to the global epidemic of obesity”, HFCS is associated with increased risk of Type II diabetes, heart disease, accelerated aging, and a number of other health problems. The typical teenage boy in the United States now gets about 10% of his daily calories from soda.
The biggest danger of fast food may simply be the lack of fibre. A double cheeseburger, medium french fries, and a medium soft drink, from McDonald’s, have a combined total of six grams of fibre. At that rate, to get the daily recommended intake of 25-40g of fiber, you would have to consume well over 4,000 calories daily. Besides regularity, fibre is needed in the diet for the cleansing process of the body. Lack of fibre in our daily diet leads to the poor elimination of toxins, which allows for the possibility of disease to set in. Lack of fibre has been shown to increase the risk of constipation, diabetes, diverticulosis, heart disease, cancer, and a host of other illnesses.
I’m not trying to point my finger at the fast food industry. They only sell us what we demand. We eat fatty foods because we like fatty foods. We eat too many calories because we enjoy being pigs. We go to fast food places because we are too lazy to cook for ourselves. We shouldn’t look for someone else to blame when our own choices cause disaster. We don’t need to attack the fast food industry, we need to attack our own lifestyle.
Charles Browne is a research writer for ounceofprevention.info, a free online encyclopaedia concerning herbs and other healing foods used in nutritional healing and disease prevention.
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