Does McDonald's Have Any Other Health-Harming Secrets They Need to Share?

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February 28, 2006 | 25,883 views

Shortly after revealing that its French fries contain more trans fat than originally thought, McDonald's has admitted that wheat and dairy ingredients are used to flavor the popular menu item.

Until recently, McDonald's had claimed that its fries were free of these substances, which can cause allergic reactions or other medical problems for some.

Medical Problems

McDonald's actions have caused anger and concern among patrons on gluten-free diets. More than 2 million Americans suffer from celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by wheat gluten.

Lying About Fries

This is not the first time McDonald's has been shown to be less than honest about the content of its fries. In 2002, the company paid $10 million for a lawsuit when it was revealed that the fries, which McDonald's had claimed were cooked in pure vegetable oil, actually used an oil containing beef flavoring.

Last February, McDonald's paid $8.5 million in a similar lawsuit after the company indefinitely delayed its promise to switch to a healthier cooking oil.

Seems like stories about the health-harming concoction known as French fries have been coming out of the woodwork recently, particularly when these latest revelations are coupled with the fact that McDonald's fries still contain more trans fats, by far, than any other, despite long-forgotten promises to change.

From a health standpoint, all the chemicals contained in a single French fry may be more harmful to you than smoking a cigarette, which is why fries made my list of the five worst foods you could possibly eat.

Potatoes are bad enough when consumed in their raw state, as their simple sugars are rapidly converted to glucose that raises your insulin levels and can devastate your health. But when they are cooked in fat at high temperatures, all sorts of chemical reactions occur that can harm your health.

Anything that is fried, even vegetables, has the potential issue of trans fat and the potent cancer-causing substance acrylamide. And foods that are fried in vegetable oils like canola, soybean, safflower, corn, and other seed and nut oils are particularly problematic.

These polyunsaturated fats easily become rancid when exposed to oxygen and can produce large amounts of damaging free radicals in your body. They are also very susceptible to heat-induced damage from cooking. These oils can actually cause aging, clotting, inflammation, cancer and weight gain. You can read the article "Secrets of the Edible Oil Industry" for more information.

In all honesty, though, it's not as if most of you haven't realized that French fries and other forms of fast food are a poor choice for your health. Even though most people know this, the average American has four orders of fries a week.

Most of the time, when we go to fast-food restaurants we are seeking convenience and looking for something tasty, not healthy. While some of you may not know the serious dangers of fast foods, most of you have realized that fast-food restaurants are not a healthy choice.

You, or someone you pay, must invest time in the kitchen so you have access to high-quality food if you are going to achieve high level wellness.

The problem has never been in our ability to distinguish healthy from unhealthy, but instead to choose healthy over unhealthy. The failure to do so is what makes people unhealthy, not what is or isn't available at McDonald's.

If you'd like to start eating healthier, but don't know where to start, I would encourage you to review Colleen Huber's excellent article for a number of practical and inexpensive tips on how to fit healthy eating into your life. And to make the healthiest possible choices for both your eating habits and your lifestyle, you should consider my Total Health Program, a book that's guaranteed to make a difference.

[+]Sources and References [-]Sources and References