Another infographic on what our favorite fast food meals are really like. This time, we took some classics and showed you, based on the meal's fat content, how much butter you'd have to eat to equal the meal. How does this happen? Well, it's food processing that caters to our palate's preference for high fat foods! There's a lot of evolutionary theory hypothesizing that when presented with a calorically dense option to eat, we take it. This would have helped our ancestors when they weren't sure when their next meal would be and they were literally fighting and working to survive. Even more recently, eating dense calorie meals makes sense when your primary job duty is something physically demanding like farming or construction (back in the day construction, like in the 1950s). When our food availability was lower and our work harder, our need for calories was higher.
Fast forward to today where machines make things so much easier for us! Our energy expenditure is considerably lower than our even recent ancestor's but our technology development has far outpaced our evolution. We still like to eat high fat, calorically dense foods even when we don't need them. Eating foods like this trigger us to keep eating despite fullness, knowledge of poor quality, etc. Sounds kind of like an addiction, right? Doing something despite the known dangers because of the dopamine release isn't new and junk food marketers know they can easily get us hooked. Here are a few really interesting articles on how this happens: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/you-illuminated/201108/7-reasons-we-cant-turn-down-fast-food
In western culture, all you need to do is figure out how to mass produce calorically dense foods and make them look delicious. No need to coerce us into working harder to balance out the intake - we'll eat no matter what. Unfortunately, these highly processed foods are so stripped down and altered that they don't offer any of the benefits of actual, whole foods (nor do they even resemble actual food items). All we get from them is a high calorie, salty impression of food that is full of artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol. Nearly no fiber, vitamins, or minerals remain after they've been altered, dipped in and cooked in pure fat and slathered with more fat. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of healthy, unsaturated fats that come from whole foods. These are so important for our brains and bodies! But, the fats from fast food are not these. They are saturated and putting us at risk for disease. It might taste good at the time, but if one of the side effects is heart failure, kidney disease, fatty liver disease or worse, is it worth it?
Take a peek at a few fast food meals we researched...