Risks of Fast Foods

Risks of Fast Foods

Fast food is a type of food distribution born in Anglo-Saxon countries, which since the 1980s has spread rapidly almost all over the world; fast food is a collective catering method (fixed or mobile) focused on the FAST production and administration of CHEAP food , with a SUSTAINABLE cost for the average population.

N.B. _ fast food is ALSO the noun of the food itself.
The low nutritional value of food distributed in fast food outlets, associated with a commercial strategy focused on profit optimization, significantly compromises the wholesomeness of the meal, exposing consumers to risks of considerable importance.
sandwichesstuffed ( hamburgers and variations, hot-dogs, pita filled with kebabs , etc.), fried ( croquettes , falafel , French fries , mozzarella, battered vegetables , crab claws , croutons, tortillas , etc.), pizzas and other baked goods , bruschetteria , stuffed wraps (especially with fatty salami , cheese and sauces ), sweet pastries ( croissants, crafen, etc.), sauces of all kinds ( mayonnaise and creams, ketchup , mustard , mustard , etc.), ice creams , cakes and muffins, etc. Among these fast food foods, most are also considered junk food or “junk” food.
N.B. _ Carbonated and/or sweet drinks and beer are also to be considered junk food.


Risks inherent in fast food

The risks of fast food are numerous and concern various hygienic-food aspects :

  • Risks of fast food linked to the nutritional quality of junk foods
  • Risks of fast food related to toxic molecules
  • Risks of fast food related to food poisoning
  • Risks of fast food related to food DISeducation
  • Risks of fast food related to the incompetence of food professionals


Junk foods – junk foods

The risks of fast food related to “junk foods – junk foods” are numerous and an entire chapter would not be enough to describe them in a sufficiently exhaustive way. What is certain is that all forms of fast food DO NOT have a suitable nutritional balance; this statement could be countered by stating that the suitability of each food in the diet must be assessed on the basis of the DAILY contextualization of the meals. However, by carefully observing all the products mentioned above, it is quite clear that each of them has one or more negative characteristics such as:

  • High energy density
  • Low quantity of water (apart from drinks), few mineral salts and vitamins typical of fresh vegetables
  • Notable contribution of: saturated fats , hydrogenated fats and cholesterol ; but also sucrose and/or sweeteners , and alcohol
  • Low amount of dietary fiber
  • High ration of sodium chloride
  • Low concentration of essential fats .

The risks of frequently eating fast food are linked to weight gain ( adipose mass ), to the potential alteration of lipid metabolism ( hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia ), glucose ( hyperglycemia and diabetes ) and blood pressure (prehypertension and hypertension ), and to the deficiency in vitamins , mineral salts and dietary fiber typical of fresh vegetables and fruit .


Toxic molecules

The risks of fast food caused by the high concentration of toxic molecules mainly concern contamination by:

  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and related EPOXIES (liver metabolites)
  • Acrolein and formaldehyde
  • Acrylamide

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons derive from the carbonization of food fats and proteins ; they are dangerous for human health because they increase the risk of cellular mutation of the DNA causing CARCINOGENESIS especially to the oesophageal, gastric, intestinal and hepatic tissues.
On the other hand, acrolein and formaldehyde are released ONLY by the combustion of the glycerol present in fats: being volatile substances, they significantly increase the risks of: irritation of the ocular and nasal mucous membranes, oesophageal tumors and probably leukocemia .
Acrylamide is liberated by carbonization of carbohydratesand it too favors the risk of carcinogenicity.
These molecules are released due to some types of cooking such as: frying , griddle cooking and grilling , and are present both in fast-food foods and in the air of kitchens and/or restaurant halls, causing damage to both operator and the consumer.
N.B. _ Note how all the toxic catabolites indicated above, which significantly increase the risk of carcinogenicity, are enclosed in a single meal of hamburger and fries ; on the contrary, unbalanced foods of Italian origin (piadinas, salami sandwiches , pizzaetc.) DO NOT significantly increase the aforementioned risks.


Food poisoning

In fast food there is a good possibility of contracting some foodborne illnesses ; in reality it would be more correct to speak of both infections and intoxications and toxinfections, since it is possible to fall ill both from pathogenic bacteria (or viruses ) and from their toxins or both.
The risks of contracting these diseases are mainly linked to the consumption of unhealthy foods, therefore contaminated (such as minced meat), which moreover do not reach sufficient cooking temperatures in the center of the food.
In this regard, some think (including inexperienced nutritionists) that “good cooking” can sterilize foods making them harmless… nothing more dangerous! We remind you that ONLY the bacterial load and the PROTEIN EXO-toxins can be destroyed by cooking [ Gram positive (+) bacteria ], while the Gram negative bacteria (-) have thermoSTABLE membrane LIPID ENDO-toxins capable of causing food poisoning EVEN after cooking. death of the bacterium itself ! Ultimately, contaminated food always favors the risk of food poisoningand the commercial policy of fast food (“little spending and a lot of yield!”) can favor their distribution to the public and contagion .


Food miseducation

As if that weren’t enough, getting people (especially young and very young) used to eating at fast food restaurants represents a DISeducational factor that significantly increases all the above risks… especially in the presence of food abuse (increasingly frequent). Children get used to very sweet, salty and “greasy” flavours , consolidating bad eating habits also pursued in home eating .


Incompetence of nutritionists

A final observation deserves to be made on the specific knowledge and related professional skills of food specialists working in fast food restaurants. Let me be clear, this paragraph does not intend to lump everything together, but to document a situation as widespread as it is worrying .
Working in a fast food restaurant isn’t always a lifestyle choice and is more often an “obligatory” journey; it can be deduced that, in addition to the lack of professional stimuli, the food specialists who work in a fast food restaurant do not have a specific and suitable range of PROFESSIONAL TRAINING for this work activity. Under current Italian regulations (useful for reducing all risks in the sector), kitchen and distribution operators are required to attend the “compulsory micro-courses” provided by the competent authorities which, in my opinion, absolutely cannot replace the course teaching from technical-professional hotel institutes or similar.
Unfortunately the lack of essential notions on cooking techniques, processing, conservation, cleaning, management, food chemistry, etc. significantly contributes to increasing all the risks associated with the handling and marketing of food, worsening the healthiness (already questionable) of the very popular restaurants and fast foods.


Healthy alternatives to fast food?

Our video recipes:

Light sandwich with bresaola

Crispy baked potatoes with a little oil

Tortillas (corn chips) not fried

Soy burger and rice

Chickpeas Hamburger



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