Taking A Closer Look at the Fast Food Industry and it’s ‘Unhealthy’ Salad
I have never been a huge fan of eating at fast food restaurants. This is mainly because I have had bad experience after bad experience. I used to blame it on my parents. I thought that because they never took me to those places they had raised me to have a weak stomach. Now I was unable to enjoy the ‘delicious’ taste of a fast food burger and fries without having to run to the bathroom soon afterwards. As I got older I started to become interested in nutrition and I became curious to better understand why I suffered so much from eating these foods. It’s not as though I was eating candy bars, desserts, and ice cream. I was eating protein (meat), carbohydrates (bread/bun), vegetables (toppings, potatoes, and ketchup), right? Why was I in so much pain?
As I learned more about the ingredients used in these fast food products and the products used to prepare them, it was no wonder my stomach reacted the way it did. The use of cheaper quality meat, preservatives, hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans-fats, excess salt and sugar, and bad carbs has lead to low quality unhealthy products. Although these fast food companies are making a killing off of their large margins, consumers are harmed through obesity rates, and disease such as heart disease, type-two diabetes, etc.
Until recently there was no reason to change. Consumers were consuming massive amounts of these products, many not even realizing the affect it would have on their health. Since companies were making so much money, it was unnecessary for them to fix something that ‘wasn’t broken’. Then something happened… Studies started to prove the health risks associated with eating these foods, various people/organizations started to stand up in protest, and governments started to enforce regulations requiring these companies to tell all of their consumers just how unhealthy their products really were (e.g. having to list the amount of trans-fat found in their products). Also, with the rise in obesity, heart disease, type two diabetes, etc., many consumers were starting to seek healthier fast food options where available. McDonald’s and many other fast food chains went back to the drawing board to cook up a solution.
Introducing the ‘healthy choice’ menus including items such as the ‘healthy’ salad. I have always questioned what McDonald’s intentions were when they developed their salads. Was it to create a nutritious salad that would improve the health of their consumers? Somehow I doubt it. Most likely it was to create a salad that tasted great so consumers would want to eat more of them (mass consumption), minimize costs to maximize revenue (use inexpensive ingredients where possible), and could be packaged in a way that sounded healthy so consumers would think they were doing something good for their body. They fact is that they are not all that healthy.
Many of us now know that eating fast food burgers, fries, soda, fried chicken, etc., is bad for us, and that they should be avoided. The salads however are the new culprit to the fast food phenomenon and unfortunately the truth about how unhealthy they really are is not as well known. The best tip I can provide is to educate yourself about what’s in these salads. By better understanding what we are eating, we can make more informed, healthier choices. Don’t be fooled by the fancy messages on the outside, it’s what’s inside that counts.
I recently wrote an article that talks more specifically about McDonald’s salads. It puts two McDonald’s salads up beside a BigMac® to compare their nutrition specs. I think many would be shocked at the facts. Click here to visit that article.
Source by Briana Southward