by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  April 9, 2013 at 1:50 PM Health Watch
Bitter Truth About Fast Foods
You're probably tired of hearing how bad fast food is for your health, and how it can be really dangerous, but soon enough, you may have bent down in submission and indulged. It is inevitable and virtually impossible to escape the clever clutches when you have big banners and posters of gooey cheeseburgers and noodles at every street.

Though a clever marketing strategy that is, there are actually some things that you probably don't know that your so-called famous fast food brands do. Like manipulating with the ingredients; or even worse, tampering with important stuff that should be labeled before being served on your tables. So here's an eye-opener for all of us- read on for some really shocking ingredients in fast foods that you probably weren't aware of.

L-cysteine: That's a fancy name for human hair and duck feathers. Cleanliness freaks may have a major problem here, since these two are major components of dough conditioning, which make the dough used for breads and other bakery products better. Though there's no harm whatsoever if you consume any of these, some ethical and religious sentiments may be hurt for people who hold strong cultural beliefs.

Wood: Disguised as cellulose, processed wood pulp makes way into our systems almost every day-sometimes through salad dressings and cheese, and other times through pancake syrups and muffins. Though major nutritional studies suggest that it increases the fiber content of products and reduces the fat content, think about what it might do to your system once it goes inside.

Sand: Raised eyebrows anyone? Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, which is also known as sand, is used to make optical fibers, glass, ceramic and cement, not your burgers and sandwiches. But the fast food companies don't really seem to take this seriously, which is why silica makes up for a considerable portion of chili, which you add so liberally to your sandwiches and burgers. It is also used as an anti-caking agent in chicken and meat burgers to prevent clumping of meat.

Soil fertilizer: A major fertilizer used for alkaline soils, ammonium sulfate is used largely in the bread industry as a meal for the yeast, and also makes up for a major part of many fast food products.

Silly putty plastic: Dimethylpolysiloxane, a chemical compound which most of us probably can't read out in one go and is used to prevent the oil used for frying your fries, from foaming. Though the FDA has not yet found any potential health hazard due to consumption of this compound, why not stick to just oil, salt and potatoes for your fries rather than adding something you can't name.

Meat paste goop: The gooey and sticky parts and leftovers from meat, along with bones, is ground together to form a pink paste, which is then passed through a sieve to remove pieces of the bones.

This is then treated with ammonium hydroxide, which forms a major component of your household cleaners and fertilizers, after which, it is processed with different substances and additives, which make it tasty. Bluntly put, this goop forms a major portion of most of your burgers, and even chicken nuggets.

Beetle juices: Please don't puke. Smartly disguised under the names carminic acid and confectioner's glaze, these coloring agents and dyes claim to be healthier and 'natural' alternatives to processed dyes and those derived from petroleum and coal tar extracts. You can find these in cookies, toppings, processed poultry products, marinades, jams, gelatin, juices, desert products and more.

The GRAS commotion- GRAS, standing for generally recognized as safe - an initiative to allow small amounts of 'harmful' products and chemicals to be recognized as 'safe'. True, small amounts once in a while may not affect your health to a visible extent, but for someone who lives life on fast food and burgers from the nearby joint, it can be a major disaster and potentially a life-threatening situation.

Source: Medindia

Most Popular on Medindia