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The Hard Evidence: Why You Should Exercise & Avoid Fast Food


We know that you hear it all the time, but just in case you needed more proof: Two recent news stories confirm that the benefits of exercise are real and that fast food is dangerous.

Exercise: The Proven Panacea

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article called “The Hidden Benefits of Exercise”. This great article, which headlined the January 5th edition of the magazine, compiles data from numerous research studies and comes to some striking conclusions about how regular, moderate exercise positively benefits our health. We all know that exercise is good for us and see this topic in the news all the time. The particularly striking impact of this article is a result of numerous study outcomes all compiled together.

Here is a summary of the major findings covered in the article. Regular, moderate exercise:

  • Lowers the risk of stroke by 27%
  • Reduces the incidence of diabetes by approximately 50%
  • Reduces the incidence of high blood pressure by approximately 40%
  • Can reduce mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by approximately 50%
  • Can lower the risk of colon cancer by over 60%
  • Can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by approximately 40%
  • Can decrease depression as effectively as Prozac or behavioral therapy

The leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease, cancer and stroke, followed shortly by diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The above data clearly proves that most Americans can significantly reduce their health risk factors with regular exercise. If that is not enough motivation to get someone up and exercising, I don’t know what is. It is the one single thing you can do to almost guarantee a longer, healthier life.

Even more interesting is that people who exercised at a frequency above the minimum recommended amount (30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times per week) experienced even more benefits regarding reduced health risks. Their cells also showed slower rates of aging compared to people of similar ages who were not as active.

Would You Like Some Poison with That Burger?

We have all heard the myths about what goes into fast food burgers, but new information confirms that those “urban legends” may be as bad as we thought. Hamburger patties that are generally low in quality — like those sold in fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King — usually contain a mixture of various forms of meat.

One entrepreneurial beef processing company called Beef Products wanted to figure out a way to utilize the millions of pounds of fatty trimmings that are generated during the processing of beef. (Fatty trimmings are the part of the animal usually relegated to pet food, due to the fact that it often contains very high levels of bacterial contaminants. In addition, as the name implies, it is very high in fat and low in protein.)

Beef Products developed a process that involved injecting ammonia into the meat in order to sterilize it. Keep in mind that this is after the fatty trimmings have already been highly processed to reduce fat content and increase protein content. Ammonia is a toxic chemical often used in cleaning products like glass cleaner. In high enough concentrations, it can cause illness and toxicity. The amount of ammonia needed to disinfect the meat was high enough to possibly cause illness. In fact, many companies who bought this processed meat returned it due to the overwhelming smell and taste of ammonia.

Not only were fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King using this toxic meat, the School Lunch Program used over 5.5 million pounds of this meat in school lunches in 2008.

To make matters worse, the process is now under scrutiny by the USDA because it appears that it doesn’t work as well as was originally thought. Many batches of meat processed in this manner show high levels of bacterial contamination and are rejected from the market. This may have something to do with the fact that ammonia levels were reduced because of the many complaints related to the smell and taste of the meat.

Fast food, and other forms of highly processed food, are known contributors to many diseases. Although they might be cheap and taste good, they often contain ingredients that are literal poisons to your body. Whether it’s ammonia, high levels of saturated fat, excessive sodium or exorbitant amount of calories, it is certainly in your best interest to avoid these foods. Ditching the fast food fix will go a long way in supporting a healthier body.

Dr. Passero completed four years of post-graduate medical education at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado. Dr. Passero has trained with some of the nation’s leading doctors in the field of natural medicine. In his practice, Dr. Passero focuses on restoring harmony to both the body and mind using advanced protocols that incorporate herbal therapy, homeopathy, vitamin therapy and nutritional programs. Through education and guidance patients are able to unlock the natural healing power contained within each one of us. For more information, visit his website, Green Healing Wellness, or follow him on Facebook.

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4 responses to “The Hard Evidence: Why You Should Exercise & Avoid Fast Food”

  1. MaryJane says:

    Wow, its really scary what they put in food. Ammonia in fast food burgers?! I used to be able to eat 5 cheeseburgers in one sitting, now I'll think twice.

    • Lissa says:

      If you really want to learn about what is put in processed and conventional foods now-a-days, read Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food. Truly enlightening and gets you questioning everything you put in your mouth.

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