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The phrase 'fast food' was originally part of the title of a trade magazine called Fountain and Fast Food in 1954. The problem with the restaurants which serve this type of food is not the speed, but the cooking oil and huge amounts of sugar, fat, and sodium in its products.
White Castle is generally recognized as the very first of the quick serve restaurants in America. It made its appearance in 1921. White Castle started out by selling hamburgers for 5 cents. Needless to say it has become very successful, and many competitors followed.
The world,s largest quick serve chain is McDonald,s. It first appeared in San Diego, California in 1948. Ray Kroc joined the original McDonald,s founders in 1954 and expanded the franchise. He was originally a distributor of an industrial milkshake mixer that McDonald,s used.
Wendy,s was founded in 1972. It introduced the ,drive-thru, window which is so popular today.
The word ,fast, is there for a reason. These restaurants are designed to serve the customer as quickly as possible. In order to do this, these foods are highly processed (I view this as tampering with natural foods) with standardized ingredients, cooking and production methods.
These restaurants' cooking methods are especially suspect in today,s accelerating obesity rates. Items such as french fries and burgers are deep fried in partially hydrogenated oils (also known as trans fats.) When vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening, trans fatty acids are formed.
Trans fats are found in food staples such as french fries and fried chicken. But these fats go beyond just these restaurants. Processed food manufacturers use trans fats in doughnuts, cookies, crackers, pastries, cereals, and waffles. Trans fats are cheaper than oil, they extend the shelf life of the products, can be used over and over again and they are frequently used to provide flavor and texture.
Trans fatty acids are much more dangerous than the saturated fats they replaced. They have been found to increase the blood levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) while at the same time lowering the levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL cholesterol is the ,bad, cholesterol and HDL is the ,good, cholesterol. Trans fats also clog the arteries, are linked to type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems such as heart disease.
Along with high trans fat products such as french fries and fried chicken, the quick serve restaurants also serve high sugar content sodas. And now they don,t just serve the small standard sized soda. You can choose the super-sized drinks. One meal from any one of these franchises can provide plenty of empty calories from their high fat and sugary products.
A Big Mac, medium coke, and a large order of french fries from McDonald's contains a whopping (sorry Burger King-pun intended) 1,340 calories! And this is only one meal!
Fast foods are engineered to taste good. These franchises have succeeded because they do satisfy the palate. But it's at the expense of your health (See healthier fast food chains....)
Fast food is not food