We all know that eating fast food isn’t the best choice, but is it really that bad? No matter how organized you are, you are bound to end up eating fast food at one point or another- so it is best to know what’s in your burger.
According to a study done in 1998, the average burger contained parts from 55 different cows. Most “fast-food” hamburgers were made of meat mixed communally during processing. Soon after, the Cleveland Clinic studied fast food chains and found 25% had bones and cartilage in their burgers, some only containing 2-15% of actual beef! The other 85% consisted of tomato paste, fillers, seasonings, and ammonia (this is the pink slime you may have seen a few years back in news stories).
The good news is the backlash from consumers has changed burger culture! McDonalds and others have changed to an 100% all beef patty! Still, not all burgers are created equal, so the next question would be, does the type of beef matter? You will see marketing for grass-fed burgers, for organic burgers, for free range burgers- all for an upcharge compared to the old- school burger. Is it worth the extra money?
Many will argue there is no difference between organic vs. non-organic cattle, especially free range vs. non-free range. When tested, organic grass-fed beef patties tend to have less overall fat, higher Omega-3 content, and higher CLA content. They also contain Vitamins E & A that grain fed beef lacks. There are also many theories, no actual studies to date, linking the hormones & antibiotics found in non-organic patties with inflammation, digestion issues and cancer.
All of this can be overlooked if you only eat a few burgers a year- just like one workout won’t make you ripped, one burger won’t make you chronically sick. However, if you (and your family) know the drive through cashier by name, this next image is for you!
Have other questions about eating on-the-go or want to talk about how to plan for a busy schedule? Schedule a consult with one of our dietitians!