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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 September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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