by Dr. Alan Inglis

Is your fast food coming with a side of kidney disease? With all the links to heart disease, obesity and depression, you really don't need another reason to stop eating processed foods, whether they come from McDonald's or your local supermarket.

But here's another reason anyway. A new study has found that these foods are often loaded with phosphorous, which can be deadly if you have advanced kidney disease.

We've all known for years that fast food and processed food companies are using phosphate salts to help improve the taste and shelf lives of their products. What we didn't really know is just how widespread the practice had become.

That's because there is no requirement to print phosphorous content on food labels. That leaves an awful lot of people in the dark.

The researchers found that by giving kidney patients with elevated phosphorous levels a list of foods they shouldn't eat – foods that these patients may have otherwise thought were safe – they were able to significantly reduce phosphorous levels in the subjects' blood within a short period of time.

This is critical, because high phosphorous levels in kidney patients can result in heart disease, bone disease and even death.

The researchers recommended stricter labeling guidelines, which I think makes sense. If people truly understood what was in their Big Macs or microwaveable TV dinners, I believe most of them would make different food choices.

I've told you before that these food conglomerates will throw everything – including the kitchen sink – into their products to make them taste less terrible and so they can sell them for longer before the food turns rancid. Even if you don't have kidney disease, there is plenty of junk in these products worth avoiding.