The MOST DANGEROUS CHEMICALS in fast food!

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Hey guys!  We’ve knocked out a couple game characters in a row since the blog relaunch so I figured we could take a break this week and discuss some general health/fitness stuff!  These posts are designed to plug into any character you’re working on, and address just general overall guidelines for being more awesome versions of yourselves!  So, without further ado…

The MOST DANGEROUS Chemicals in Fast Food!

We all know fast food is no good for us, right?  It’s loaded with all kinds of nasty chemicals and unpleasant compounds, to the point where it’s almost not even food!  Heck, if you grab a cheeseburger from a certain golden arched restaurant and leave it out in the open, it doesn’t even decay or grow mold!  Disgusting!  How can people eat that stuff?  Well today we’re going to talk about the two most dangerous compounds those meals contain!

First off, we have sodium chloride.  This nasty little chemical is usually mined from the ground, though occasionally its also “grown” in industrial laboratory-type environment.  It’s often added in crystal form to foods to help artificially enhance taste and is a well known preservative.  It’s also been linked to difficulties with weight gain, high blood pressure, and other assorted issues.  The main supplier of sodium chloride is China, a country you may remember for the “tainted milk scandal,” when the poison melamine seemed to find its way into the milk supply and sickened hundreds of thousands of people, including over 50,000 infants.

The second chemical in question is actually a family of chemicals known as triglycerides.  These chemicals are acids of various types and combinations, ranging from butyric acid to hexacosanoic acid (good luck pronouncing THAT hellish name).  These acids have found their way into our food supply in abundance, but the quantities found in fast food are higher than almost anywhere else.  Triglycerides have been linked to severe obesity, heart failure, diabetes, and increased risk to cancer, high cholesterol, and hypertension.

Obviously the only thing more disturbing than the high penetration of these chemicals in our food supply is the almost complete ignorance of the general public.  Try going up to a stranger on the street, and asking them their opinion on the triglycerides in our diet, and you’ll find that nine out of ten people have no idea what you’re talking about.  Seriously, try it with someone after you finish the article!  If they have no idea, and they probably won’t, at least you’ll be able to educate them!

So what do we do about these chemicals in our food?  Well, first, we stop pulling the wool over our eyes.

Have you guessed it yet?  The two chemicals?

Sodium chloride, ominous as it is, is good old, simple, table salt.  Yup!  That’s it.  Originally used as both a preservative and taste enhancer, it’s mainly used for flavor, nowadays, as other, safer, and more tasteless preservatives have risen to dominance in the market.

But what about ominous, acidic triglycerides?  Surely they’re more dangerous than the innocuous, ever-present salt shaker?  Nope!  Triglycerides are fat, in all their lovely, tasty, tastebud-enticing forms!

Did I getcha?  If not, give yourself a pat on the back, you saw through the little show.  If I did, ask yourself why you were taken in, and how often it’s happened before.  Modern culture, for whatever reason, has become terrified of the hovering threat of CHEMICALS (dun dun dun!)  Chemicals in our food, chemicals in our water, chemicals in our air (ahhh, chemtrails!)  The fact is, everything you eat is a chemical.  Yup.  Everything.  Did you know that your average, organic, grown-in-your-own-garden tomato naturally contains formaldehyde?  Fresh peas, from the vine, grown without any pesticides or fertilizer, contain MSG.  Heck, you yourself are basically a single long chain of chemical interactions!

The problem is, a lot of fad diets, supplements, “natural food” enthusiasts, and other folks would love to make money off of your fear of chemicals.  As such, they carefully build up and prey upon your fears, much like I did above.  Look at the diseases I bolded, or how about when I linked to the melamine poisoning, which has absolutely nothing to do with salt!  I used big scary chemical names, too!  The fact is, we could refer to everything we eat and breathe with scary chemical names, we just don’t, because small common names are easier.  Make no mistake, chemicals enter and exit your body for every minute of your existence, and if they didn’t, you wouldn’t exist!  Natural or man made is no metric what-so-ever for whether or not a chemical is safe, and in fact, the man made ones designed for consumption are actually safer due to regulated oversight (tap water, for instance, is usually as good or better for you than most bottled waters).

So next time you’re reading some super healthy, organic food only, chemical-hating rant designed to sell you something, ask yourself if they’re actually citing science, or just playing to your fears.

Now, back to the issue at hand!  What about our friends fat and salt?  Well, I wasn’t kidding when I said they’re the most dangerous chemicals in fast food.  You’ll find fat and salt in higher concentrations in fast food than almost any other type of food, for good reason!  These two things, paired together, make our taste buds dance and our noses sing.  Our body wants fats because they’re the most dense source of energy available to use, and salt is required to keep your body functioning.  You’re basically naturally addicted to them both.

Like anything else, however, too much fat and salt are bad for you.  You need the right amounts to run in harmony.  For a good recommendation on how much you need, check out Macros and You, or the expanded Care and Feeding of You.  Additionally, remember that salt is usually a substitute for lack of other flavors.  If something is really salty, it’s probably because it would taste like crap if it wasn’t over-salted.  Opt for better tasting, and more nutritionally balanced options.

The fact is, fast food isn’t “good for you.”  You should probably avoid it whenever you can.  But it’s not because of ominous chemicals contained within it, so much as ominously high calorie counts and bad taste.  Remember, everything in balance, and stick to your macros.  It’s not bad to have food that you like, but it is bad to have too much of anything.

Oh yeah, and that whole “burger not decaying” thing I talked about earlier, that everyone likes to cite when they’re talking about how bad fast food is?  It’s not about terrifying chemicals, but there is some sweet science backing it.  Check out how it works here.

Hope you enjoyed the first article of our off week.  Come back Thursday for another!  If you didn’t, don’t worry, we’re back to game characters again next week!  Until then, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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  1. Pingback: Healthy living, simplified. | Be a Game Character

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