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20 Disturbing Fast Food Facts that Will Change Your Diet Forever

20 Disturbing Fast Food Facts that Will Change Your Diet Forever

Quickly made, quickly served, quickly eaten. That’s fast food in six simple words, although in reality, perhaps badly made, poorly served, quickly eaten is a more appropriate summary.

It’s been well documented that junk food is exactly what it says on the tin: junk. Still, it doesn’t seem to stop us from lining up in droves and flinging our hard-earned cash into fast food chains’ tills.

McDonald’s continue to sell an astounding 75 hamburgers per second, and you can never go more than just over one hundred miles in the US without seeing those famous golden arches luring hungry clientele inside.

Indeed, most people are willing to occasionally gorge on the kind of food that isn’t exactly great for them. An understandable mind-set of course, given that a couple of solid gym sessions will work off the high calorie count that came inside that Big Mac box.

But there’s more concerning aspects to fast food than the prospect of putting on a few extra pounds, and recent research across the board has revealed several horror stories that hide behind the glossy menus and vibrant packaging. Listed here are some of these stories: disturbing fast food facts that will change your diet forever.

1. Draining the Brain          

This is perhaps the most alarming information available about fast food in the modern day. Everyone is familiar with the fatty contents and high sugar levels present in burgers, chips and soda in these environments, but what people may be less aware of is the fact that fast food items may also actually have detrimental effects on the human mind.

Chowing down on junk food on a regular basis disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, and after a certain amount of time can make you appear like a member of the walking dead. Unless we begin to actively cut back on our fast food consumption, a world of shuffling zombies might not be such an implausible possibility after all.

2. Fecal Fizz

Some people may claim that they do not necessarily mind where their food comes from as long as it tastes good. However, there’s an exception to every rule, and the fact that thousands of drink dispensers in fast food restaurants have displayed traces of fecal bacteria is surely that exception in this case.

In low doses, the particular form of bacteria found on these drink dispensers (known as coliform bacteria) won’t kill you, but the fact that this strand is commonly found in feces is revolting enough to make even the most unhygienic person want to kick the fizzy drinks forever.

Whilst this substance might not necessarily make you sick, another form of bacteria found in these drink dispensers certainly will: a nasty little strand called e.coli. This bacteria can cause severe food poisoning symptoms, and in rare cases has even caused death.

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The message here couldn’t be clearer: stay away from fast food drink dispensers.

3. Sickly Syrup

Ever notice that you still feel thirsty after guzzling down a jumbo-sized fizzy drink from your local fast food restaurant? Well, there’s a reason for that.

To give these beverages a succinct, sickly-sweet taste, many fast food chains gleefully load their fizzy drinks with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – a highly processed substance that performs as a sugar substitute.

Whilst high levels of HFCS allow a sweet flavor to dance on your tongue, they also tear away at the enamel on your teeth, stretch out your stomach lining, and attack your vital organs. Bizarrely, gobbling right out of a sugar bowl might actually be healthier for you.

4. Bad Eggs

You might want to start taking a pass on any egg-based fast food breakfasts when hunger hits you in the morning time.

In an attempt to cut back on production costs, a wide variety of fast food chains often use an egg substitute for their breakfast dishes known as “Premium Egg Blend” – which has been proven to contain a troubling substance named glycerine. You might not be too familiar with the name of this material, but chances are you will have come into contact with it whilst taking a shower or having a shave.

Yup, this solvent is regularly apparent in shaving foam and soap, and whilst consuming either of these products in small doses probably wouldn’t kill you, that’s hardly an endorsement for a breakfast meal is it?

5. Stretchy Bread

You might be surprised to learn that Subway is actually the largest fast food supplier in the world, even ahead of those inescapable giant golden arches that seem to follow you around to every single street corner wherever you go.

But this is perhaps only the second most surprising fact about the Subway sandwich chain, with the “winner” being a little a fact that’s a little more unsettling.

Until recently, the bread used for sandwiches in this fast food establishment contained a chemical called azodicarbonamide – a substance that’s previously been used to create yoga mats.

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Subway has since declared that this chemical has been wiped away from their bread recipe, but it’s still enough to turn your stomach if you’ve ever munched down on an Italian BMT before.

6. Fly Egg Sauce

Some disturbing news for you Americans out there. Regulations sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration of the USA actually allow for 30 or more fly eggs per 100 grams and 1 or more maggot per 100 grams to be present in tomato-based sauces.

Admittedly, these guys are the ones who know their stuff when it comes bacteria, but the thought of scoffing down fly eggs as part of your dish is enough to turn you off fast-food pasta dishes forever.

7. Cows and Cows and Cows

If you ever felt a little guilty about eating an animal after licking your fingers clean and binning your Big Mac box, the following little tidbit may be enough to guilt-trip you into never buying a hamburger ever again. Taking one bite of a big, fat juicy fast food burger might mean that you’re actually chomping into bits and pieces extracted from over one hundred different cows.

After cattle are slaughtered, the “cheaper” bits and pieces are all tossed together for processing, where these gristly cuts of meat are mushed up into circular shapes and given a pump of fat for good measure. The result is the typical, cheaply made fast food hamburger, which is subsequently shipped off to a variety of fast food chains around the world and then flies off the shelves into the hands of antsy customers.

Perhaps if more of them knew what they were eating, they might begin to ration their burger buying habits, and switch to grilling in their own backyards instead.

8. Cheese That Won’t Please

Nothing makes a burger better than a thick slice of succulent cheddar cheese sizzling nicely between the meat and bun. Problem is, at fast food restaurants this cheese isn’t cheddar. Heck, half the time it’s barely even cheese.

Research has revealed that around half the contents of most processed cheese in fast food restaurants is chemicals, additives and fat – leaving a final slice that’s less than 50% of what it claims to be. Isn’t that some barely-food for thought?

9. Beach Food

There’s an ingredient called silicon dioxide that’s often found in spicier fast food items such as chili and buffalo wings. You’re probably more familiar with its other name: sand. Nobody asked for their food to be sprinkled with bits from the beach, but fast food restaurants have gone ahead and done it anyway. Urgh.

10. Chemical Shakes

Fast food joints really know how to jazz up a milkshake, but if you knew exactly what went into these drinks, it’d be enough to make you hurl your milk-based beverage at the wall in disgust. Indeed, junk shakes contain all kinds of dodgy ingredients that spice that are pumped in to spice up their image, and in some cases contain even more chemicals than a typical garden fertiliser.

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11. Immortal Burger

It’s a haunting sight when you accidentally stumble across expired food that’s been hidden away in the deep recesses of the fridge for weeks. At times like these, when you’re forced to pinch your nose and tentatively pluck the moldy monstrosity and tip-toe to your bin, it’s tempting to think “why do foods have to look so gross when they go off?”

Well as it so happens, McDonald’s burgers can last for 14 years and barely change in appearance. Great, right? Wrong. Foods are supposed to look revolting when they’ve expired – it’s a natural process and the warning sign that we humans need to realize that it’s no longer fit for consumption.

So when a burger barely changes after an entire decade, there’s only one real conclusion to be made: it isn’t really a burger at all. Whilst it will crust and harden when left to its own devices for years, a typical fast food burger contains so little water and so few naturally produced ingredients it’ll simply sit there looking pretty much exactly how it did when it was first made. A bit like plastic. Which is essentially what many takeaway burgers are.

12. Fries Forever

Unfortunately, McDonald’s fries display the same kind of ardent resistance to rot that a typical fast food burger does. An experiment conducted several years ago showed a batch of fries from the famous fast food chain looking exactly the same despite having sat in a pot for three long years. If ruthless bacteria isn’t prepared to nibble at these chips, then you sure as hell shouldn’t either.

13. The Sweet Taste of Beavers

Now might be the time to stop slurping on the vanilla and raspberry shakes that are available for selection on so many different fast food menus.

For added sweetness, the production process for these flavored drinks involves intermingling a head-slapping horrid ingredient into the mix called castoreum – which actually comes from the anal gland of the beaver. Shudder.

14. Not Really Nuggets

Golden, crispy chicken nuggets are a treat for the tongue when they’re cooked right. At fast food restaurants, however, the way that they’re produced is all wrong. Studies have shown that junk nuggets contain barely any chicken at all, instead being mainly comprised of fats, bone, nerve and tissue. Yuck.

15. Duck Feather Pie

Apple pie isn’t quite as appetizing as it might appear, at least not in fast food restaurants. These establishments add a bunch of strange chemicals to these juicy pies during the production phase in order to allow them to feed easily through the machines and speed up processing, and one of these unsavory additions is often an extract called L-cysteine.

Unfortunately, this ingredient is plucked from the most gag-inducing areas – including hog hair, human hair, and most incredibly, duck feathers. Take a pass on the apple pie in future.

16. Salads That Increase Your Size

Ordering a salad at a fast food restaurant is a bit like puffing on an e-cig inside a cigar bar. Sure, you’re being good and going for the healthy option, but you’re in an environment where harmful substances are being produced at a rapid rate, and whichever way you look at it, you’re still going be heading out the door in a worse state than you were before you came in.

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Alarmingly, many typical fast food salads are stuffed with lots of saturated fats and sodium, and in some cases are even more detrimental to your health than a good old Big Mac burger.

17. Pictures Tell A Thousand Lies

Those posters you see of fast food burgers dripping with deliciousness are never real burgers. You probably already knew this one, but you might not realize the sheer effort that the fast food companies put in to shaping and shading their pictures to make their food look mouth-watering.

Every junk food restaurant has staff solely dedicated to making their food look absolutely sensational in print form – stopping at nothing to enhance its appearance. See, it’s not just celebs who use Photoshop after all.

18. Crazy Kids

Many of the more colorful foods served up at fast food chains contain food dyes that attempt to make the finalized product resemble something close to those glossy posters slapped on the restaurant’s interior windows.

If you frequently take your kids to eat at fast food restaurants, the presence of this ingredient ought to be enough to make you change your habits. Food dyes have been proven to actively alter the behavior of children, making them more hyperactive, intense, bad-tempered and irritable, and having even more severe symptoms for kids suffering from ADHD.

19. Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice

Oh, and those food dyes that have the potential to send your kids into hyperactive overdrive have another unsettling element to them. Some of them contain the red cochineal beetle – an insect that’s frequently captured, dried and crushed to produce an “artificial coloring” that will jazz up the look of your fast food milkshake or meal.

Consumed in low doses, this particular food dye made out of crunched-up insects isn’t going to have a nasty effect on your health, but be honest, do you want to eat something that’s come from a battered up beetle?

20. Walk It Off

If none of the above facts managed to put you off purchasing fast food, consider this as a final thought: If you went into McDonald’s right now, and purchased a small burger, small fries, and a small coke, the amount of calories, salt and saturated fat present in this moderate meal means that it woulds still take you over four hours to walk it all off.

And let’s be honest, the last thing you ever feel like doing after scoffing down a MacDonald’s burger is going for a tiring 240 minute-long walk.

Featured photo credit: Flickr, ciron810 via flickr.com

More by this author

Gareth Lloyd

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on May 25, 2019

20 Spaghetti Squash Recipes For Anyone Who Is Looking For Delicious, Healthy Comfort Food

20 Spaghetti Squash Recipes For Anyone Who Is Looking For Delicious, Healthy Comfort Food

Spaghetti squash is similar to cucumber. It has a shell which is difficult to pierce and this hard flesh surrounds a hollow cavity filled with seeds. When you cook this vegetable, the squash flesh falls away from the inner cavity and only the reminiscent of spaghetti remains. You can get surprised and delighted to see how this vegetable transforms with cooking.

It can act as a great substitute to pasta. It tastes as delicious as the traditional pasta and is equally satisfying but healthier. It is gluten free and contains many nutrients like vitamin A, potassium and folic acid.

This incredible vegetable can be boiled, baked or steamed. And, a lot of recipes can be prepared with spaghetti squash as the chief ingredient. I’m sure the following recipes will make your mouth water.

Breakfast

1. Spiced Coconut Squash Breakfast Porridge

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    This unconventional porridge, prepared for breakfast, is a perfect dish to start your day. The ingredients include spaghetti squash, organic coconut milk, ginger, coconut flour, maple syrup, cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla extract. It has a comforting and creamy texture and is best served with fresh fruit topping. (Click here for recipe)

    2. Egg and Avocado Spaghetti Squash Boats

    2

      If you’re looking for a light, healthy, gluten free, vegetarian breakfast then avocado spaghetti squash boats is the best option. Besides chopping the squash, breaking the egg and slicing the avocado, this recipe doesn’t require much effort in its preparation. It tastes amazing with egg yolk and salsa and has a rich decadent texture. (Click here for recipe)

      3. Spaghetti Squash Frittata for One

      3

        This frittata, if prepared perfectly, can be an excellent choice for a healthy meal. It is a combination of lots of spaghetti squash, a few white eggs, some red pepper for color and texture, few onions and garlic for flavor, and some fresh herbs for brightness. This dish is usually served large in size and tastes great with tomato sauce and bean balls. (Click here for recipe)

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        4. Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Brunch

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          It’s a fast and easy breakfast that contains a poached egg and feta on a pre-roasted pile of spaghetti squash bed. The yolk from the egg floods through the scraps of squash underneath. It almost tastes like an Italian pasta and the light crumble of feta adds more calcium and protein. (Click here for recipe)

          5. Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns

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            A very healthy take on hash browns in which spaghetti squash is used in place of potatoes and coconut oil in place of butter. This reduces stress, inflammation and starch, making it healthier than traditional hash browns. It helps lose water weight as well which is helpful for weight loss. The final product is fluffy on the inside but crispy on the outside. It is best served alongside some dippy eggs. (Click here for recipe and image source)

            Lunch

            6. Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein

            6

              Spaghetti squash can not only replace Italian pasta but it can also replace the Chinese noodles. They are a delicious, satisfying dish, prepared by stirring and frying spaghetti squash with a rainbow of other vegetables along with a sweet smelling mixture of fish sauce, rice vinegar and soy. They are gluten free and grease free which makes them healthier. (Click here for recipe)

              7. Parmesan Zucchini and Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts

              7

                This dish is a marvelous combination of garlic, spaghetti squash, parmesan, toasted pine and zucchini nuts. It’s super healthy, gluten free, full of vegetables and delicious. Tossed with olive oil, this dish meets all the dietary needs and is perfect for light lunch. You can also add some chicken to increase protein.  (Click here for recipe)

                 8. Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms Parmesan

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                8

                  Though spaghetti squash provides low calories, you can add meaty mushroom and a good amount of parmesan cheese to increase the amount of calories. It’s a healthy, full of flavor, vegetarian dish, and has cheap and easy ingredients which you can find in market. The final product is yummy and satisfying and can make your lunch, perfect.  (Click here for recipe)

                   9. Spaghetti Squash with Vegan Fire-Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce

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                    A pile of roasted squash is flavored with a sauce made from five ingredients. The vegan fire-roasted tomato cream sauce is made from the mixture of tomatoes, cashews, basil, salt and water. This spicy sauce makes it more delicious and some small amount of basil adds fresh green color and flavor. (Click here for recipe)

                     10. Thai Peanut Spaghetti Squash

                    10

                      Most of the dishes listed here are either Mexican or Italian. This recipe however will give you a fresh Asian feeling. To prepare this, all you need are spaghetti squash and peanut sauce, then by adding some ginger, lime and vinegar you’ll get one of the most delicious recipes. The texture of this dish reminds you of heavenly beaches in Thailand. (Click here for the recipe)

                      Dinner

                      11. Spaghetti Squash Comfort Bowl

                      11

                        This is the perfect kind of bowl that you want to have on a cold evening, sitting on a couch and watching TV. You’ll enjoy its lightly steamed veggies, allspice beans, and the strands of squash as well. It feels creamy but doesn’t seem too heavy. It’s a great dish with intense indulgence, with our best spaghetti squash, the warm beans, and the comforting steamed veggies. (Click here for the recipe)

                        12. Spaghetti Squash Crust Pizza

                        12

                          As you already know, spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta, but this dish here shows how these chewy shreds can make a great stand-in for pizza. You can add anything like meat or veggies to the base which is bound with egg whites and flour. The end product is a great gluten free dish. (Click here for the recipe)

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                          13. Spaghetti Squash Fried Rice

                          13

                            Spaghetti squash works as a good substitute to the cauliflower as the base of a fried rice. This recipe includes almost all of the usual ingredients of a fried rice. With green onions, eggs, peanut oil, and some garlic, this dish gives a unique texture that you can never find in your local restaurants. (Click here for the recipe)

                             14. Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

                            14

                              If you’re looking for something delicious for the winter evenings, you’ll get fond of these cheesy spaghetti squash boats. To lighten it up, it is filled with tomato sauce, cheese, chicken sausage, parmesan and ricotta. You can easily complete its arrangement ahead of time and bake it before dinner. (Click here for the recipe)

                              15. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

                              15

                                This Mexican inspired dish has spaghetti squash as a serving bowl and inside it goes enchilada sauce, chicken, cheese, black beans and other veggies wrapped inside a corn tortilla blanket. You can also use spinach in place of the corn and black beans. Topped with sauce galore, this dish can be served as a family fun meal.  (Click here for the recipe)

                                Dessert

                                16. Sweet Spaghetti Squash Kugel with Apples and Raisins

                                16

                                  If you can afford spaghetti squash, coconut sugar, some eggs and few other ingredients, then this dish must be your cheapest choice. This noodle is a delight in all seasons. The addition of some apples and raisins results in its fruity freshness. (Click here for the recipe)

                                  17. Spaghetti Squash Coconut Custard Pie

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                                  17

                                    With the fine sweetness from vanilla extract and coconut, this dessert can be a great hit among guests. The spaghetti squash drowns in an egg batter to make it lighter than a cream pie. You can play and experiment with the ingredients and see surprising results.  (Click here for the recipe)

                                     18. Spaghetti Squash Cake With Cream Cheese Glaze

                                    18

                                      This desert will be a delicious treat to those who are a fan of carrot cake. Spaghetti squash is a vegetable with pleasant taste, lending fiber, potassium and vitamins. So, if you drape it in cream cheese frosting, you will end with this mouth- watering cake. This dessert has so many health benefits and is also great for a Thanksgiving dinner. (Click here for the recipe)

                                       19. Spaghetti Squash Kheer

                                      19

                                        Kheer is a rice pudding made by boiling rice with cow milk and sugar. But this type of kheer replaces boiling rice with noodles swapped out of spaghetti squash and cow milk with coconut milk. By pouring some ghee, you can add necessary richness in it. It is healthier than traditional kheer and can act as a great dessert for your evenings. (Click here for the recipe)

                                         20. Cinnamon Spice Spaghetti Squash Cake

                                        20

                                          By now, you must be surprised by the versatility of spaghetti squash. But your best surprise will probably come after you finish preparing this cake. This cake is a game changer. You’ll have the taste of lots of veggies like cinnamon, allspice maple syrup and ginger, all inside a single cake.  It’s a perfect treat for picky eaters. (Click here for the recipe)

                                          Featured photo credit: Spaghetti Squash with Fire Roasted Tomato, Olive and Baby Spinach Sauce via commons.wikimedia.org

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