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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

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Gareth Lloyd

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on November 17, 2019

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

1. Make a gift bag.

A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

2. Give a toast.

Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

3. Write a poem.

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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4. Create your own labels.

There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

5. Give a gift card.

Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

6. Send a letter.

Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

7. Use social media to send a special message.

If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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8. Make your own digital greeting card.

While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

9. Make a YouTube video.

Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

10. Deliver cookies or candies.

Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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12. Put together a flower basket.

Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

13. Take a picture.

Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

15. Do something special for them.

Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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16. Reciprocate their help.

Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

17. Be there for them.

Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

18. Listen to them.

Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

19. Say it in another language…or two…

A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

20. Show them some love.

A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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