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Fast Food Facts

Here you will find a giant list of fast food facts.
Click on a restaurant above to view their fast food nutritional facts.

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Fast food restaurants are typically known for there "fast" but not so healthy foods. Fast food may taste great, but are all those burgers, fries, and cups of soda sabotaging your health? Have you read many fast food facts?

Fat-dripping burgers, oil-soaked french fries, and sugar-shocked sodas are the all-American fast-food fix — and a mainstay for 25 percent of the U.S. population each day. In fact, the typical American chows down three burgers and four orders of french fries per week, according to Eric Schlosser, author of the best-selling book Fast Food Nation. All this gorging on fast food is not healthful. Fast food facts show that a diet sky-high in fat and calories can lead to obesity, which in turn fosters conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, gout, colon cancer, and arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 14 percent of teens in the United States are obese.

There are other health risks connected with fast food, too. High-fat burgers can harbor a dangerous bacterium called Escherichia coli 0157:H7 or E. coli. In 1993, E. coli was found in under-cooked burgers at Jack in the Box restaurants, leaving 700 diners sick. Four customers died and 195 others were hospitalized. One reason you need to know your fast food facts. In 2000, a 3-year-old girl from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, died in a similar outbreak that sickened more than 50 patrons at Sizzler restaurants.

E. coli 0157:H7 is only one of hundreds of strains of E. coli bacteria. While most are harmless, this strain produces a toxin that can trigger serious illness in humans. The CDC estimates that more than 73,000 Americans are infected with E. coli 0157:H7 each year—-and at least 60 die. The typical American doesn't study fast food facts, but merely eats what they think is healthy.

The bacteria can thrive in a cow's feces and its intestines. If meat is contaminated with E. coli during slaughter, then handled improperly, the bacteria can wind up in ground beef. Today's food-processing methods may increase your odds of infection. “Thirty years ago, hamburger was ground at a butcher shop or a local supermarket, and made from one or two animals,” says Schlosser. “Now a fast-food burger most likely contains pieces of dozens, if not hundreds, of different animals, often from different countries.” This is, in most cases, not even shown under fast food facts guides.

E. coli bacteria in tainted burger meat make their way through human intestines, where they multiply and spawn a toxin called shiga. Victims experience symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and fever. The symptoms usually last from 5 to 10 days. In rare cases, the toxin causes hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a life-threatening illness in which the kidneys, two organs in the abdomen that siphon waste products from blood, shut down.

To eradicate tainted ground beef before it leaves a processing plant, some meat producers now zap beef with low-level radiation. The process — called irradiation — destroys E. coli's bacteria DNA (genetic material). While several studies show that irradiation doesn't make meat radioactive, some health experts fear the process can strip foods of vital nutrients found in fast food facts.

Farmland National Beef, one of the largest beef processors in the United States, has teamed up with scientists at California State Polytechnic University to try to conquer the killer bacteria with a natural protein found in cow's milk called lactoferrin. “Lactoferrin is sprayed onto the meat and releases any bacteria that might be firmly attached to its surface,” says Eric Hale, vice president of technology development at Farmland. Should E. coli 0157:H7 -contaminated ground beef escape a processing plant and end up in a fast-food restaurant, the only way to kill the toxin is to thoroughly cook a burger — until it reaches an internal temperature of 71 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit). However, even a well-done burger isn't guaranteed to be free from infection. ”When you go to a fast-food restaurant, you're dependent on food being handled properly,” says David Acheson, associate professor of medicine at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. “Your health is in the hands of the person in the kitchen cooking the burger.”
Either way, what we recommend is checking out the fast food facts of your chosen fast food restaurant. Facts are now showing that by doing so can greatly decrease your chances of obesity.

Take a look at the fast food facts restaurants above and remember, although you eat fast food doesn't mean you can't eat healthy!

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