Processed foods are everywhere; they are fast, convenient and cheap, consequently; they come at a cost to our health. Eating processed foods that contain amounts high fructose corn syrup, sodium-containing additives, trans fats (or trans fatty acids), synthetic dyes, and/or preservatives in our diet regularly is unhealthy and may cause many health problems such as; obesity, organ failure, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and tumors. The majority of people that are eating a large amount of fast food on a regular basis may not be aware of what ingredients are actually in the food they are consuming. People may be completely unaware that there are many unhealthy added ingredients to food which are used to preserve, add flavor, texture and colors to the processed foods. Yet we continue to eat food that we have no idea what it really is.
Fast foods primarily consist of processed foods. The processing of food can remove nutrients and fiber, which leaves low nutrient value and empty calories. There are many controversial food additives in processed foods. For the most part, a high percentage of processed foods contain these ingredients; if not all of them. Eating large amounts of processed foods containing these ingredients has been known to trigger many health concerns and as society we really need to stop this fast food trend.
As a consumer we may assume that unhealthy or unsafe food could not be sold to us but the food is sold every day. Restaurants are not required to disclose all the ingredients in their foods or drinks. Some ingredients people eat or drink are considered safe when consumed in small quantities; or considered safer for one specific age group rather than the next. If consumed in larger than assumed portions, there is a possibility people can become unhealthy. We do not need these ingredients in our food and we would have a much healthier diet without them. Some of these artificial ingredients require a warning label in other countries. The following ingredients are bad for you yet they continue to be in our foods; even though all the data is available on the dangers they may cause to our health.
For instance, one of the many synthetic dyes used in foods is known as Red #3. Red #3 is in food and the majorities of us are unaware of it, or know nothing about it. As stated in the article, Mechanisms Of Behavioral, Atopic, And Other Reactions To Artificial Food Colors In Children, “In 1990, Red #3 was banned by the FDA from cosmetics and externally applied drugs because it was shown to cause thyroid tumors in animals. However, it is still allowed in foods, and small amounts (1 mg/capita/day is certified by the FDA) are used to color maraschino cherries, sausage casings, baked goods, and candies.” (Stevens, Kuczek, Burgess, Stochelski, Arnold, and Galland 269). Where does that leave the consumer who has no idea how much Red #3 should be consumed on a daily basis? Some people may consume larger than assumed...