Fast food diets based on meat have become very popular, but the ingredients they contain are not necessarily evident to the eye.
What is a Fast Food Diet?
A diet based on fast food is a tendency to eat meals that have been prepared quickly. This saves time in cooking, and usually turns out cheaper than a traditional meal. Fast food meat, though, such as a sausage or a burger, is a compressed form of minced meat that could contain ingredients that one would not normally eat.
Fast Food Meat
As the ingredients in fast food, such as sausages, burgers and doner kebabs, are not individually visible to the eye, it's hard to determine what this kind of meat product contains, and how much fat is mixed with the meat. It is also hard to know how much saturated fat is in the sausage, burger or doner kebab.
If these ingredients were distributed individually on a plate, many people would probably not eat the whole meal, but once compressed into a single item and heated, these same ingredients are then consumed as a fast food meal based on meat.
For more on what is inside a fast food meat diet:
Fast Food Diets Based on Meat
Calories and Nutritional Values in a Fast Food Diet
Fast food diets based on meat and fat do not reveal the composition of the ingredients
What is a Diet?
Fast food diets have changed people's eating habits in the western world, with cheap ready-made meals and sugar-rich drinks being consumed in place of more traditional meals. Britain's National Health Service (NHS), in its online publication NHS choices diet, reviewed 28. 01. 2010, indicates the term diet as referring to 'the food that a person eats during the course of a day or a week'.
This guideline assumes that people need to know what they are eating. Many people following a fast food diet based on meat and soft drinks, however, may be unaware of the amounts of fat, salt and sugar they are consuming, as fast food products are each made up of different ingredients. This unawareness could be one of the reasons that contribute to the wide-spread consumption of fast foods in western society, yet there are also other decisive factors.
The Fast Food Time-Factor
One reason why people go for fast food lies in the name fast food: a dish that is already prepared, heated and ready for eating. One need only order, and it will be served immediately, or at least within a very short time. Plenty of time is spared, as no shopping is involved, no carrying bags of food through the town all the way to the door-step, no unpacking of shopping inside the kitchen. Vegetables needn't be cleaned and sliced, and sticky wrappers containing meat needn't be disposed of in the bin. There is no need to stand in front of the oven and hot-plates tending to the cooking. Pots, pans, plates and cutlery needn't be washed and dried after the meal has been eaten.
The Fast Food Cost-Factor
Fast food is generally cheap, as the ingredients it contains are produced using low-cost products. Fast food meat burgers and sausages contain a high content of fat, while water-based soft drinks contain added gas and sugar. Burgers and sausages are produced in enormous quantities in food-processing factories using machinery. The production method is cheap, and the resulting product is a minced and compressed mixture of meat and fat.
It can actually work out cheaper to buy a ready-prepared fast food meal than to buy the ingredients in a shop, even without calculating the time saved on shopping, cooking and washing the dishes. The reason for this lies in the high amount of fat in fast food meat ingredients and the fact that meat cuttings and fat have been compressed into a paste that, once shaped into a burger or sausage, needs only a short time to be heated and cooked.
Fast Food Appearance
Fast foods are usually represented by big pictures visible inside the catering shops that serve them, such as a bread-roll containing a large hamburger, dressing and tomato ketchup. This often attracts the appetite of passers-by, and, combined with the low cost factor in obtaining a fast food meal, has a tremendous effect on people's decision to opt out of a cooking session at home or a more expensive meal in a restaurant.
The combination of fast food with drinks produced from water to which gas and sugar have been added, completes the diet cycle deriving from a fast and economic meal. Traditional drinks like ale, wine and mineral water do not tend to be consumed with a typical fast food dish, whereas artificially sweetened drinks commonly served with fast food have an appealing effect on a person's appetite owing to the gas they contain.
The visual aspect of fast food meat products does not reveal their content of fat and assortments of different meat, and so a burger or a sausage is essentially a unified product deriving from various ingredients that cannot be separated from each other before being consumed. Whereas a steak or lamb-chop can be served with the fat, and this can be separated from the meat with knife and fork, a fast food burger or sausage can only be consumed with all its ingredients intact.
Fast food based on meat and animal fat does not visibly reveal the individual ingredients that make up the product, so the consumer cannot know how to determine its nutritional value and the calories it contains. This can result in excessive consumption of saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol. Similarly, the added sugar content in soft drinks remains an integral part of the beverage and is not discernible to the eye.
The recommended daily consumption of various kinds of food in relation to their nutritional value, and the total recommended intake of calories, both for children and adults, is based on government-approved guidelines. These guidelines have been set out in order to prevent obesity and various forms of diet-related problems, including heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol.
Article written by D. Alexander