Fast food is ubiquitous these days largely because of its convenience and relative affordability. For many of us, it’s much easier to stop at fast food joint than it is to cook dinner when we have a million errands to run and activities to do. But, is the convenience and speed of fast food really worth it?
Our growing consciousness about what we eat is certainly shedding new light on what our fast food is made of. Still, you may think that “cheating” every once in a while and getting a greasy hamburger is worth it. But, all the studies that show an increase in obesity related to consistent fast food consumption should quell your eagerness to pop through a drive-thru. There are plenty of other reasons why you should give up fast food as well.
Many of our favorite fast food items are composed of some of the most unhealthy and unnatural ingredients. In fact, you may wonder how some of this food is edible. Chicken nuggets, for instance, often contain a petroleum-based preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone. If you didn’t catch it, this is a preservative made from petroleum.
Most fast foods are composed of preservatives like these. It’s why this food almost never gets moldy or goes bad. Of course, while a fast food hamburger can theoretically survive nuclear winter, it doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. Even the hamburger bun isn’t really a healthy option. Many fast food burger buns contain preservative like ammonia chloride, which is often found on coal deposits, and azodicarbonamide, which is also used in the production of plastics. Whether you care about the health effects of fast food or not, these chemical ingredients were not designed to be digested by the human body. And they can certainly cause more harm than good.
Even if you love the taste of fast food, you have to recognize that the food is of an inferior quality. The difference between a natural, lean cut of beef and a fast food hamburger is astounding. It is almost as if the two food items came from separate animals. The truth is that fast food still uses actual cow, pig, and chicken parts, but they are not the grade-A cuts you might want. In order to offer their products for such a cheap price, fast food restaurants must get their foods from the hypothetical “clearance bin.” Most of the meat you consume at fast food restaurants is a combination of all sorts of different animal parts. A standard chicken nugget may even contain waste products!
Beyond that, fast food has limited to no nutritional value. Many of your favorite fast food items (like French fries) are still packed with heart attack-inducing trans fats. Any nutritional value you might get from the healthier options is negated by the preparation. For instance, lean cuts of chicken at most fast food restaurants are battered and then fried. Any nutrient quality you could have derived from the meat is effectively covered up in grease and batter.
Clearly, fast food has a bad reputation, but it’s a reputation that it deserves. It’s better to find sustenance from other sources because you won’t get it from fast food. In fact, the only feeling you’ll get from fast food is a sense of fullness and maybe some indigestion.