Eating Out Is Harmful to Your Health

Written by on February 19, 2020 in Food, Drink & Nutrition, Health with 0 Comments

By Dr. Joseph Mercola |

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s sometimes more convenient to eat out than prepare meals, but while it may be much easier, it’s much worse for your overall health.

Half the food on the menu at a full-service restaurant is unhealthy, and a whopping 70% of the food at fast-food restaurants is unhealthy, according to EurekAlert, which reported on a new study by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

The average American eats out often and gets 1 of every 5 calories from restaurant food, according to the study, which found that less than 0.1% — almost none — of all the restaurant meals consumed over the study period were considered nutritional or healthy.

Many restaurants add sugar, additives, and fillers to many of their food items and use unhealthy factory meats and cooking oils, which contribute nothing as far as nutritional value and can be detrimental to your health.

Fast food is defined as food from restaurants without table service and/or those with takeout or drive-thru service. So, besides McDonald's, Pizza Hut and similar establishments, it also includes sandwich shops, Starbucks and other “casual dining” restaurants.

This type of diet combined with a lack of activity may lead to normal but elevated blood glucose levels. “High normal” blood sugar levels may progress to impaired fasting glucose and, eventually, Type 2 diabetes. If your diet causes impaired glucose metabolism, it could lead to a breakdown in cognitive function, meaning too much fast food can shrink your brain function.

Fast food contains many ingredients that compromise health, but of most concern are the endocrine-disrupting chemicals called phthalates — which is a chemical used to make plastics more flexible. Phthalates are found in many processed and fast foods, particularly in burgers and pizza.

Phthalates often leach into foods that are wrapped or packaged in plastic and from the latex gloves that workers wear when processing food.

Phthalates are everywhere, not just in food, but in household cleaners, fragrance, cosmetics, and personal-care products. Exposure to phthalates can be harmful, especially to children and pregnant women. Abstaining from fast food is one way you can significantly reduce your exposure.

The U.S. spends more money on health care than any other nation, in large part due to damage to the environment and public health, and poor nutrition is to blame for many of today’s illnesses and diseases.

About 85% of Americans do not consume the FDA’s recommended intakes of the most important vitamins and minerals necessary for proper physical and mental development, and much of the blame falls to industrial agriculture, factory farms and GMOs.

America's appetite for cheap meat and animal products has created a factory farm system that not only makes us sick but pollutes our water and air, exploits workers, is causing an antibiotic resistance crisis and is unconscionably inhumane.

You can improve your health immensely by foregoing processed and fast food, factory meats, and GMOs and making organic, regenerative and grass-fed food your primary foods. Organic produce contains significantly more antioxidants than chemical food. Higher levels of antioxidants can help you reduce your risk of heart and brain disease and certain cancers.

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