10 Disturbing Facts About Fast Food

| Food

We all know we shouldn't be eating fast food. But sometimes the convenience of it outweighs our better judgement! Next time you're about to pull off the highway for a quick fix meal, keep these 10 disturbing facts in mind.

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"Natural flavors" have an interesting origin. Castoreum is a common food additive to give the "natural vanilla flavoring" in fast food desserts. What makes castoreum natural? It comes from the anal glands of a beaver. Enjoy!

They have extra ingredients. According to the Food and Drug Administration, those tomato-based sauces we like to smother our food in may have a few more ingredients than you bargained for. For every 100 grams of sauce, the FDA allows for "30 or more fly eggs" and "2 or more maggots." But hey, at least it's protein!

fast food

Your chicken nugget doesn't have much chicken. While your nuggets may be "white boneless meat" they are made from an appetizing concoction called meat slurry and formed into the shapes we all have come to know as a nugget. A 2013 study of chicken nuggets from two different chains found that "Striated muscle (chicken meat) was not the predominate component in either nugget. Fat was present in equal or greater quantities along with epithelium, bone, nerve, and connective tissue."

You can't count on calorie counts. According to a study from Tufts University, around 20 percent of foods with listed caloric values in chain restaurants are off by more than 100 calories. If you're counting your calories, your best bet is to eat at home.

The tea is a little too sweet. A large sweet tea from McDonald's has 54 grams of sugar. The average women is recommended to have no mare than six tablespoons a day, which is about 37.5 grams. One sweet tea has more sugar than two full-sized Snickers bars!

Photo Credit: McDonald's
(Photo: McDonald's)

>> Join the Challenge: Sugar-Free Challenge

Burgers don't rot. A burger from McDonald's will not rot. It also doesn't get moldy. This is due to the fact that there is such little water present in the burger that it's closer to jerky. But just because it won't rot doesn't mean we recommend eating an old Happy Meal.

Shakes or soaps? A strawberry shake from McDonald's has over 50 chemicals in its "artificial flavoring." One of those chemicals, phenethyl alcohol, is also found in soaps and detergents as a preservative. Some of the other chemicals can be found in fertilizer and perfume.

>> Read more: Shake Up Your Day with Protein: 14 Protein Shake Recipes

There's more in your cherry than just a cherry. When you order a shake from McDonald's, it will come topped with a tasty cherry. Here are the ingredients in a McDonald's maraschino cherry: cherries, water, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, malic acid, citric acid, natural (plant source) and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), red 40, sulfur dioxide as preservative (contains sulfites). Delish!

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(Photo: Img Buddy)

There are a lot of cows in one patty. In one burger, you could find product from over 100 different cows. We aren't here to preach vegetarianism, but next time you consume your several hundred calorie burger as you cruise down the highway, you could be eating the sibling of every cow in that farm you just passed. (Try this delicious cheeseburger instead!)

There's sand in your chili. Silicon dioxide or silica, also known as sand, is used as an anti-caking agent in meat-based products like chili. In fact, you can find it in both Wendy's and Taco Bell's chili. It's also found in glass, cement and optical fibers. Yum!