fast food

  1. Fast food industry and diabetes grow together

    We are what we eat

    Two recent studies caught my eye -- and while they're separate studies, they're directly related.

    The first finds that fast food industry now makes up more than 11 percent of the typical American's calories -- and nearly 15 percent of the calories consumed by young adults between the ages of 20 and 29.

    That's actually a slight drop from the numbers we saw earlier in the decade... but while the fast food industry will tell you that 10 or 15 percent shows it's a "moderate" habit, the second new study shows the truth: it's far too much.

    That's because this second study of diabetes and the fast food industry shows that 1 in 8 Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. That's close to 30 million of us, and that number doesn't include the millions more who have the disease but haven't actually been handed a diagnoses yet.

    They'll find out soon enough.

    And even that number is just a drop in the bucket -- because an estimated 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes.

    That means more than a third of us have either diabetes or the condition that will eventually lead to the disease -- and if people continue to get between 10 and 15 percent of their calories from the fast food industry, that number will climb even higher.

    The refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and processed foods in these meals will cause weight gain as well as metabolic changes, even with a so-called "moderate" intake of 10-15 percent.

    That, in turn, will lead to metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, and diabetes -- and even if you manage to avoid diabetes, you'll still be at risk for heart disease and more.

    There's one way to avoid it, and it's not to find some magic level of moderate junk food intake. It's to stick to a diet of healthy, fresh foods prepared from scratch at home and not by the fast food industry.

    I'll have more on diet this weekend -- including the one common-sense diet that can help prevent these diseases instead of causing them. And the best part of all? This diet is rich in a wide range of the foods you already love -- even chocolate.

    Yes, chocolate. But, sorry -- no fast food.

    Stay tuned!

  2. Junk food kills sperm

    You already know what junk food will do to your waistline -- but for men, a diet rich in poor choices can also hit below the belt.

    To put it simply, junk food kills sperm the way RAID kills roaches.

    Researchers examined sperm samples from 188 young men and found that those who ate the most fast food and other junk were far more likely to have serious problems "down there" than those who ate real food.

    More specifically, their junk-fed sperm were more likely to drop dead before they'd ever have a chance to reach an egg -- and if you can't reach the egg, you sure can't fertilize it.

    If that's not bad enough, a second new study finds that men who eat the most trans fats have dramatically lower sperm concentrations: 48 million sperm per ml in men who ate the most trans fats versus 79 million in those who ate the least.

    What's more, these junk-filled men even had trans fat floating around in their semen -- almost as if the sperm were eating junk food, too. Give them a sofa, a TV, and a remote control and I bet they won't even try to reach the egg!

    The obvious answer here is to avoid junk food if you hope to be a dad someday -- especially trans fats.

    But believe it or not, that's not as easy as you'd think -- because if you rely on nutritional labels for information, you could find yourself loading up on trans fat without even realizing it.

    There's a nasty little loophole in the labeling laws that allows food manufacturers to list trans fats as "zero" if the item contains .5 grams or less per serving.

    Not only that, but the company can even put a "ZERO TRANS FATS!" blurb right onto the front of the package -- when in reality, just a few servings a day of these "zero trans fats" foods can push you right past the recommended limit of 2 grams.

    Look at the ingredients carefully -- if something contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, it's going to have at least some trans fat... even if the label says otherwise.

  3. McStatins on the fast food menus?

    British researchers say you can now safely gulp down a gut-busting fast-food meal anytime you want. In fact, it's practically health food now.

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