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Fast Food Truths. Warning: You May Never Look at Them the Same

Fast Food Truths. Warning: You May Never Look at Them the Same

Google “fast food truths” and a slew of gruesome results offer a behind-the-scenes peek at the chemical-laden nasties that tantalize and entice your taste buds, all brilliantly disguised by grilled aromas and appetizing colors.

These results mean nothing to your 30-minutes-for-a-break rush, or your growling belly. You just want it fast, without knowing about all the additives and horrendous processing techniques. After all, people have been eating Chicken McNuggets and vat-deep-fried fries, and drinking strawberry shakes for years, right? Yet the amount of chemicals hidden in these foods is astounding, and here are a few of the highlights.

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The Usual Suspects

  • Deep-fried fast foods. If you want a simple recipe of potatoes plus oil without chemicals, then you had best skip the drive-thru and take a few minutes to julienne those potatoes yourself. One common denominator in food research results is the chemical ingredient dimethylpolysiloxane: used for breast implants, silly putty and as an additive to prevent the oil from foaming in the deep fryer as it cooks your French fries, chicken nuggets, chicken breasts, and so on.  Here’s more information for you if you care to read on.
  • Strawberry milkshakes. Did you expect that real strawberries were coloring and flavoring your fast food shake? Eric Schlosser’s research quashed any hope for that when he penned “Fast Food Nation” and exposed a laundry list of chemical flavorings and colors used to create a simple strawberry shake. These included but are not limited to: amyl acetate, rum ether, solvent, butyric acid, ethyl acetate, and cognac essential oil.
  • Hamburgers. Did you know that you are risking contamination by eating just one hamburger? According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention food safety fact sheet, that one hamburger “may contain meat from hundreds of animals,” which means if one animal was infected with something nasty, the whole batch of food is infected.

More fast food horrors

Did you see the Facebook video circulating in newsfeeds showing a pinkish glob of bones and tissue being pumped through a processor to eventually become hot dogs, bologna, and even Chicken McNuggets? Long-time vegans and clean eaters discovered the grim horrors of what was really gracing the grocery store shelves long ago, and still the list of fast-food horrors seem to be never-ending. Yet rather than take the time to prepare our own food, we rush for the quick fix and turn a blind eye to everything except the good smell and taste of the food in front of us.

Chances are most of us would never tolerate any of these rumored fast food restaurant conditions in our own homes:

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  • Mold in the ice dispenser
  • Fecal bacteria on drink fountain dispensers
  • Cooking grills with layers of caked-on fat and food particles.

Or how about:

  • Seaweed (carrageenan) in our ice cream
  • Beetle juice (carminic acid) in meats, cookies, sausages, juices, and preserves
  • Duck feathers (L-cysteine) in our hamburger buns
  • Bee vomit (honey) as a natural sweetener
  • Wood pulp (cellulose) in cheese and salad dressings?

Cancer-causing ingredients

It’s not only the unhygienic cooking methods that can make you sick. There’s a chemical cocktail in there that can have long-term effects too, such as:

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  • Acrylamide. Foods fried or baked at high temperatures (think fast foods) produce this carcinogen.
  • Sodium nitrite. Also cancer causing and found in pepperoni, sausages, hot dogs and bacon.
  • TBHQ (tertiary butyl hydroquinone). This is not cancer causing, but is lethal in high doses. Found in Chicken McNuggets, according to this article levels of more than 0.02% of this chemical in foods are dangerous. One gram can actually cause “nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a feeling of suffocation.”

Fast food places suit the “progression” of the American lifestyle: hurry up and get it done, no matter that this method may kill us. The real truth is, when we eat fast food, we’re eating processed food designed for mass consumption. We focus on the “fast” instead of what’s healthiest for our bodies.

Featured photo credit: Alvimann via mrg.bz

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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