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How Unhealthy Is Fast Food?
By Karen Sessions

How Unhealthy Is Fast Food? Here in the technology and information age, we have more knowledge and advancements than ever before in history. Sixty years ago, who would have ever thought that you could send an instant message over a phone, let alone take a picture with it? Sixty years ago, who would have thought we would be capable of sending a man to the moon, but fail the war on obesity and cancer?

Isn’t it oddly shocking that America is so well-advanced in everything, except health and fitness? While the fitness industry tells us to count calories and exercise for fat loss, we grow fatter and fatter as a nation.

Running parallel to the fitness industry is the fast food chains, doing their best to keep on the top of “healthy eating” trend. It seems the fast-food industry can tailor to anyone’s dieting needs with “fat-free,” “low-calorie,” and “low-carb” menu items.

Today, fast food is considered a normal eating venture among the average person. People aren’t just eating out on special occasions or weekends anymore; they are eating out all the time. But is it the calories in fast food that’s so destructive to the body and waistline or does the problem lie deeper?

Fast Food and Obesity

Fast food is simply tasty, ready-cooked meals packed to go. Fast food has been around since the early 1900’s, but its popularity sparked and grew in the 1940’s with the birth of good ole’ Mickey D’s; quick food priced cheaply. Within a few years similar fast-food operations popped up everywhere in the blink of an eye.

With the compelling rise in fast-food restaurants since the 1940’s, oddly, too, started the rise in obesity and cancer during that same time period. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do the math and link fast food to the obesity and cancer crisis.

Fast Food and its Nutritional Value

To say fast food has a “nutritional value” is an oxymoron. There is absolutely nothing nutritional about fast food. Fast food simply feeds hunger and/or your immediate craving. Fast food does not feed your body in the form of usable lasting energy or building materials, the essence your body thrives on for life itself.

Fast food is highly processed with a wide array of additives. The concept of fast food is obviously, food ready-to-eat and served quickly. To ensure fast food’s low cost to the consumer, the fast food products are made with highly-processed ingredients to give it shelf-life, to hold consistency, and to enhance flavor. Fast food is altered from its original healthy form it was meant to nourish the body with, to a denatured form that lacks any nutritional value whatsoever.

How Unhealthy Is Fast Food According to Diana Schwarzbein, M.D., “The FDA Total Diet Study found that fast-food hamburgers, across the board, contained 113 different pesticide residues.” So my question is why does the FDA want to regulate the sale of vitamins, minerals, and herbs that are actually beneficial for the body when there’s a linking fast-food / cancer / obesity crisis on our hands?

Why Fast Food is Fattening and Dangerous

Wake up people. It’s not the calories in fast food that’s damaging to your health and waistline it’s the chemical additives such as aspartame and MSG (monosodium glutamate). These chemical additives are approved by the FDA and studies show that they lead to weight and disease issues.

Synthetic chemicals added to processed food, including fast food, damage your body’s cells. Your body is made up of nutrients found in plants and animals you eat. Man-made food items loaded with pesticides, as well as aspartame, margarine, and other man-made chemicals do not nourish your body. If your body can’t use what you put into it you will gain fat and decrease health.

Since we can’t visually see what actually happens at the molecular level when we eat processed food, we discount it and rely on the FDA to do our thinking for us. After all, if its FDA approved, it MUST be okay to eat, right? Not at all.

Nutrients from the food we eat allow us to burn fat and be healthy. Your body cannot process synthetic chemicals. If a food item can’t be processed, it will end up lodged in areas of your body, primarily fatty areas and tissues, creating an acidic pH.

A simple fast-food chicken breast can contain everything from modified corn starch to hydrolyzed corn gluten. Hello? Chicken comprised of corn? A fast-food chicken nugget is nearly 60% corn, and corn is what farmers use to fatten up cattle.

Michael Pollan, author of, The Omnivore’s Dilemma says it perfectly – “How did we ever get to a point where we need investigative journalist to tell us where our food comes from?”

A good visual that Dr. Mark A. Gustafson found is that it takes fifty-one days to digest fast food chicken nuggets or French fries. FIFTY-ONE DAYS! Does that sound healthy? I could care less about the caloric, fat, or carbohydrate content. That’s not the problem, people. The problem with fast food is that it’s void of nutrients and loaded with chemicals not recognized by the body.

What’s even more devastating is the book The Fast Food Diet written by Stephan Sinatra, M.D. This is a sad state when a doctor promotes eating chemically-altered food with addictive chemicals and damaged fats that scars the artery walls and contribute to total metabolic damage.

Eating Good and Avoiding the Hidden Dangers

Granted, calories do count to an extent, but what counts more is the quality of the calorie. If you want to lose fat then you have to change your eating habits. This doesn't mean opt for Healthy Choice® and Smart One’s® frozen meals because they appear to be healthy. Food manufacturers use deceptive marking tactics to create an illusion to make people buy their product.

To lose fat and keep it off you should choose foods in their natural state, such as fresh organic cuts of meat, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, essential fats, and plenty of filtered water. It’s vital that you go back to the basics.

Make eating fresh and organic food choices the bulk of your diet. If you do that, you will never have to count calories again. The quality of food outweighs the quantity every time.


About The Author

Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.

Karen has written six e-books on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.

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