Fast food sales are higher than ever before. The on-the-go lifestyle of our culture tempts us to think we don’t have time to stop and prepare a meal. So for many families, fast food has become an easy and fairly inexpensive way to get a meal in. While you may have a general understanding that fast food is not the best option, perhaps you’ve reached a place where the convenience is easy to justify.
If so, you’re not alone; the average American consumes fast food 4 times a week.
The purpose of addressing this issue is not to heap guilt on you. Guilt is a terrible motivator to make any kind of change in our life. But if you are seeking to live and feel more ALIVE by overcoming illness and disease, attaining higher levels of health and internal purity, and getting your weight under control, the facts show that you must vastly limit or completely eliminate fast food. So it is important to be aware of what you are choosing to eat.
When fast food is typically discussed, the focus is primarily on the high fat, calorie, and sodium content. Those are very real dangers and reasons to avoid fast food. For example, a typical meal might include a Big Mac (550 calories; 29 g of fat), a large fry (500 calories; 25 g of fat), and a large Coke to wash it all down (280 calories). That’s a total of 1,330 calories and 54 g of fat in one meal! If you google nutrition information for your favorite restaurants, you might be surprised what you find out. It can be hard to face the truth about foods that taste so good.
But high fat, large caloric loads, and astronomical sodium content is not the only issue with fast food, although this gets most of our attention. Here are 3 other factors to consider before sinking your teeth into fast food.
Aromatherapy for Your Food
When Eric Schlosser researched the brains behind fast food, he discovered that it is not chefs in a kitchen creating delicious, healthy dishes. Rather the architects behind the operation are food scientists. At the Lamb Weston plant in American Falls, Idaho, Eric got to see the vast amount of scientific testing and chemical tweaking that french fries undergo—in order to achieve the perfect taste, texture, consistency, cooking time, and after-taste.
The scientists experimented with Eric by first having him close his eyes. Then they asked him to identify various foods using only his sense of smell. When the first sample was placed under his nose, Eric replied that it smelled like apples. The next sample he thought to be french fries; the third without a doubt smelled like a hamburger.
A shocking surprise awaited Eric as he opened his eyes. He expected to see the three different foods that he had just smelled and identified. But that was not the case. Standing before him was a lab coat clad scientist holding small, white pieces of paper under Eric’s nose. On these pieces of paper were samples of the chemicals used by food scientists to make popular brands of fast food smell and taste so good.
Why do food chains care so much about aroma? Because they know that your perception of taste is actually influenced up to 90% by what you first smell. Food aromas are intended to trick your senses into believing that what you are eating is actually what you taste. This is especially true of the meats sold at fast food restaurants.
Hopefully you eat plenty of fresh, healthy, ALIVE foods that do not need special scents or added aromas to make them taste good. Natural spices do wonders for providing healthy flavorings with irresistible smells!
Not only are aromatic chemicals added to meats and other items on the menu, but coloring is also widely used to help food appear to be something it is not.
In the early 1970s, an experiment was done during which a group of diners was served an oddly tinted meal of steak and french fries. The food appeared normal to the diners because it was served under specially colored lights. Everyone thought that the food tasted great—until the lighting was changed and the true color was revealed. Responses included shock, dismay, and illness as the innocent diners saw that the steak was actually blue and the fries were green!
Food coloring is a common practice for “beefing up” meats to influence the buyer’s perception. The meats you purchase at the store have a bright red, lustrous color that seems to indicate health and freshness. But many of these meats have been injected with chemical coloring to keep them looking fresh as long as possible…well past the actual freshness expiration date. The same is true for meats you eat at fast food restaurants.
Raw or ALIVE foods have their own natural enzymes that help your body digest them more easily. These natural enzymes keep your pancreas—the organ that makes most of your digestive enzymes, from having to work as hard. While digestion is the primary role of your body’s natural enzymes, they are crucial to your immune system as well. When enzymes finish digesting your last meal, they make their way through your body, searching for bacteria, viruses, or germs to kill, tumors to dissolve, and dead tissue to absorb.
Since we are focused on being fully ALIVE as opposed to just losing weight, it’s important to realize the vast cost that eating fake food has on our bodies. Many Americans are on multiple prescription drugs and feel sick more than well as a direct result of regularly consuming fake foods. When the immune system is not given the proper fuel it needs to create enzymes and other disease-fighting cells, we will feel more DEAD than ALIVE.
This is why fast food equals DEAD food; the more DEAD foods we consume, the faster we might end up DEAD ourselves. We truly are what we eat.
At the very least, consider limiting your consumption of convenience fast food to no more than once a week—with your goal being to eventually eliminate it altogether. Your digestive and immune systems, blood sugar levels, heart, and waistline will notice the difference and respond positively.
This was an excerpt from our newly released book, 5 ALIVE: A Simple Nutrition Plan to Help You Stop Surviving & Start Living. If you are tired of fad diets, plans that leave you feeling condemned or overwhelmed, or want to lose 8 lbs. in the next 30 days, check out the plan here.