Eating out at fast food restaurants has become a national pastime. According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spent $163.6 billion at fast food restaurants in 2012. That’s an average of $842 per person.
The convenience and low cost of fast food make it an tempting option, but there are good reasons to avoid these restaurants. Here are 10 reasons why you should never eat at a fast food restaurant again.
1. Fast food is loaded with unhealthy ingredients.
Most fast food is made with highly processed ingredients that are loaded with unhealthy fats, salt and sugar. A report by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found that 97 percent of the items on fast food menus are unhealthy.
2. Fast food is often fried.
Fried foods are high in calories and unhealthy fats. A small order of fried chicken can have as many as 700 calories and 36 grams of fat.
3. Fast food is often overcooked.
Overcooking food can damage its nutrients and make it less healthy. Fast food restaurants often overcook their food to ensure that it is cooked quickly and consistently.
4. Fast food is often served in large portions.
The large portions served at fast food restaurants can lead to overeating and weight gain. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who eat at fast food restaurants consume an extra 198 calories per day on average.
5. Fast food is high in sodium.
A high sodium diet can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. The average fast food meal contains more than 1,000 mg of sodium, which is more than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 mg.
6. Fast food is high in sugar.
A diet high in sugar can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. A single fast food meal can contain more than the recommended daily limit of sugar.
7. Fast food is often prepared in unsanitary conditions.
A study published in the journal PLoS One found that nearly 70 percent of fast food workers do not wash their hands properly. This can lead to the spread of bacteria and other contaminants.
8. Fast food can contain harmful chemicals.
Some fast food packaging contains harmful chemicals that can leach into the food. A study published in the journal PLOS One found that fast food wrappers contain harmful chemicals that can be transferred to the food.
9. Fast food can negatively impact your mood.
A diet high in fast food has been linked to depression and anxiety. A study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that people who eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression.
10. Fast food is addictive.
The high levels of sugar and fat in fast food can lead to addiction. A study published in the journal PLOS One found that rats fed a diet of fast food showed signs of addiction.