We live in a generation where people have excessive work ethics, and an average person works for a minimum of 8 hours. This type of working schedule tends to make people prefer eating out in restaurants, and fast food to a homemade meal. Fast food is one of the most enticing foods for kids, teenagers, and even some adults.
The prevalence of various fast food options cannot be underestimated, because of their enticing promotions on social media and irrefutable taste. Fast foods such as Mac Donalds have become the best venue for blind dates, meeting friends, and having fun.
Despite the convenience and easy accessibility boasted by this fast food, it is very detrimental to our health because of its high calorie and fat contents. This fast food is one of the leading predispositions to diabetes, Prediabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Top 20 Reasons to Avoid Fast Food for Healthy Living
There are different reasons why fast food should be avoided, ranging from fitness, cosmetic benefits to medical benefits. Avoiding fast foods helps to prevent various health hazards, and assists in weight loss and looking good.
Why is fast food unhealthy? How to stop eating fast food? Did you know that obesity is second only to smoking as a preventable cause of death in the US? That is just one of the reasons that you shouldn’t be eating fast or junk food. Add to that the many other health risks associated with fast food, along with the animal welfare considerations, too, and you have a perfect case for staying away from the burger joints and other junk food outlets
It’s late, it’s been a long day, you’re starving, and you’re too exhausted to cook. Hitting up the drive-thru seems like the best option — but we promise you, it’s not.
Burgers, French fries, donuts, Do I need to go on? All these are mouthwatering delights, but are they good for our health? Junk food gained popularity because they not only tasted great but were also cheaper than the healthier foods. Plus, they had a better shelf life and were easily accessible too. However, things have changed. With healthy foods becoming more available and better tasting, why are we still indulging in junk food? Now you may ask why not?
The reasons to boycott fast food go way beyond the obvious health concerns — although caring for your (and your family’s) well-being should be reason enough alone. If you take a moment to learn a little more about that extra value meal that goes down so easy, you might not like what you find.
The primary reasons why you need to avoid fast food includes:
1. Risky Food Hygiene
Not everyone who works in fast food restaurants is as careful about basic food hygiene as you probably are. How can you be sure that they washed hands before preparing your food or that the utensils they have used are clean? It’s not uncommon to read about fast food outlets that have been closed down because of poor hygiene, and that’s just the ones that have been caught!
2. Bad Quality
Why do you think that some fast food outlets can sell their food cheaply? Primarily, it’s because they use the cheapest possible ingredients. That means burgers, with very little meat, wilted salad and burger buns that have more air in them than bread! This means it has very limited nutritional value and a load of salt added, to create some flavor. T doesn’t take an expert to see that most fast-food chains don’t use the highest quality of ingredients. You can tell by the rubbery patty, the wilted lettuce leaves, and the extra-chewy chicken. They use the cheapest parts to make the products, so when you’re eating your hamburger, you have no darn clue what part of the cow it came from — or heck, if it’s even cowed you’re eating! Here’s an idea: Spend the extra few bucks, and make your burger from meat you bought yourself.
3. Poor Animal Welfare
The constant pressure that is out on farmers by fast food restaurants, to drive prices down promotes the need for cruel, intensive farming methods. Factory farmed animals are forced to live in awful conditions. They are often also pumped full of chemicals to enhance their growth and fight infection, and those chemicals can be passed on in the food you eat.
4. Uncertainty in Ingredients
You have no idea what goes into your fast food, but most chains and independent outlets are looking for low price and a long shelf life. That means the cheapest meat available, like reclaimed meat, which is the meat that is mechanically recovered from the carcass, after all the good meat has been used. Such beef is often then colored artificially, flavored artificially and it contains significant amounts of artificial preservatives.
Some fast food’s chicken nuggets contain a chemical preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone, which is derived from petroleum. Yep, the stuff you put into your car. That’s not all either. Some chicken products are mechanically separated, which means those scraps that would usually go to waste are ending up in your nuggets
5. Teenage Hormonal Alteration
Because of all the hormonal changes, going on in a teenager’s body, they need a healthy diet to ward off mood swings and behavioral Teenagers that eat more junk food than fresh food are nearly 60% more likely to suffer from depression.
6. Kidney Disease
The reason that fries are so tempting is that they contain vast amounts of highly processed salt which increases salivation and even causes a craving. The high salt and fat content in fries increases blood pressure and adversely affects the functioning of the kidneys
7. Neurological Effects
In a study conducted by the journal ‘Brain, Behaviour and Immunity,’ researchers found that one week of eating junk food was enough to impair the memory of rats. It is believed that the bad fats in fast food replace the healthy fats in the brain, and so reduces brain functions
8. Cardiovascular Effects
This is probably no surprise, but too much a fast food increases the risk of heart disease. Junk food contains high levels of cholesterol and triglyceride, which builds up in your body over time and will eventually lead to obesity and heart problems.
9. Carcinogenic Effect
Fast foods are high in fat, sugar, and salt, which can lead to an increased risk of cancer. Studies have proven that there is a direct link between the amount of fatty, fried food that people eat and the incidence of cancer. He deep-fried junk foods are prepared using cheap hydrogenated fats to increase their shelf life. Plus, for profit! The hydrogenated fats, when used in extremely high temperatures for a specific duration, transforms into carcinogens. So eating deeply fried junks mean you could be ingesting carcinogens!
10. Extreme Animal Treatment
You’ve seen those horrible movies about how poorly animals are kept when they’re being led to slaughter, and they aren’t showing you those heart-wrenching photos just for the ratings. Many of these factory-farmed animals are held in such a small space that they are forced to stand in their feces, have osteoporosis and joint pain because of their confinement, and some chickens get their beaks cut off, so they don’t go nuts and attack one another because of the small corridors.that is why some people avoid fast food or become a vegetarian.
Sad to say, many of the employees hired on to do the cooking, food handling and prep don’t have the necessary training or food safety education they need to do it right. Not their fault, the companies often don’t offer training because these restaurants have such a high turnover rate. On any given day, you could have someone preparing your hamburger who didn’t wash their hands or who was playing with frozen raw meat right before they manhandled your bun. Save yourself the food poisoning.
12. Food Preparation
It’s called fast food for a reason, friends. Most of the meals you get aren’t cooked with thought or love; they aren’t even cooked on a stove. Many are unwrapped from their frozen containers and thrown into a dirty microwave. This saves the managers the time and money it would take to teach the cooks how to prepare the food adequately and not worry about cross-contamination. It saves their butts but doesn’t make yours look any prettier. Since most junk food joints are always packed with people, you are like to end up eating half cooked or even uncooked food! Many times, the frozen food items are just stuffed into an oven for a few minutes and served to save time. While this saves time and money for the joints, it is up to you to put up with the contamination and its aftermath.
13. Weight Control
According to a study that appeared in CBS News, children who indulge in junk food are known to gain 6 pounds more annually than non-junk food eaters. With the rate of obesity skyrocketing at an uncontrollable phase, you need to stop junk food cravings.
14. Dangerous Fats
While saturated fats from pasteurized animal sources are acceptable, but saturated fats from other sources and trans fats are not right for you. Both these fat variants are known to cause various life-threatening cardiovascular conditions, including stroke and atherosclerosis.
15. Zero Nutritional Value
Most junk foods contain zero nutritional value. They are nutrient-deprived but are stuffed with various chemicals and additives that add to their shelf value. These chemicals may not decrease your lifespan, but they do no good for your health either.
16. Dangerous Hormones and Antibiotics
Many a time, these fast foods come packed with various types of chemicals and antibiotics. While certain dishes contain tertiary butylhydroquinone, life taking hormone, others include dimethylpolysiloxane. And it is not just the meat-based dishes, even the fruits and vegetables are not spared as these also include pesticides and chemicals.
17. Source of Bacteria
Are you sure about what you are putting in your mouth? All these fast food joints may look all fancy and posh, but they are the breeding ground for bacteria of all kinds! In fact, a few years ago, various fast food joints in Wrigley Field, in the US, were in the news because slime was found on the ice machines used in these places. Don’t you remember McDonald’s being in the spotlight for removing pink slime from their hamburgers?. You don’t know what you are eating. Ley your health comes first before your belly.
18. Risk of Infertility
Studies conducted on various junk foods have proven that most of the meats used in these food items are sources of growth hormones. And researchers suggest that these hormones can lead to infertility.
19. Harmful Refined Sugar
Refined sugars are known to deplete the nutrient levels in your body and hamper your immunity levels. These are entirely different from the natural sugars present in fruits. The absence of nutrients impairs the metabolic process, which in turn, could leave you at the risk of toxic metabolism triggered by lack of oxygen. It could even cause an unwanted spike in your blood sugar levels and lead to diabetes.
20. It Is Bad for Your Finances
It has been discovered that it is cheaper to prepare homemade meals than buying fast food. Why purchase fast foods that are more expensive and harmful to your health, when there is a more affordable and healthier option?
Indulging your palate once in a while with these tasty dishes is okay. Permit yourself to enjoy fast food, once in a blue moon. But do not make it a habit! These were just 20 reasons; I can list 100s! But the ultimate choice is yours to make!
Save more money and keep your body healthy by avoiding fast foods. If you have any unusual symptoms after eating a fast food meal, contact the nearest doctor.
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Robson, D. (2017). The Six Pillars Of Successful Fitness Nutrition. [online] Bodybuilding.com. Available at: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/the-six-pillars-of-successful-fitness-nutrition.html [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].