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Is Burger King Bad For You?



Short answer

Burger King (BK) offers a menu rife with over-processed foods which are also high in calories and fat. Eating here is an unhealthy choice.



Long answer

Established as a hamburger joint in 1954, BK has expanded to more than 12,000 restaurants worldwide and diversified its menu to include Chicken and Veggie burgers, as well Fish Fillets and salads. Despite this, the eatery which encourages patrons to “Have it your way” is reputed to be one of the unhealthiest places at which to dine.

Several years ago, admissions of the inclusion of horse meat in its burgers made Burger King largely responsible for calling into question the suspicious content of menu items at all fast food restaurants. While some may consider horse meat distasteful, it is not necessarily unhealthy – but the fact that diners were unknowingly ingesting it underscores the fact that those who opt to eat at fast food restaurants have no idea what ingredients go into making up their favorite indulgences.

All the burgers at BK are high in fat, sodium, and cholesterol – one legendary Whopper will easily provide more than half the daily allowance of each.  However, in addition to being unbalanced, most menu items are highly processed. Access to full nutritional information can lead diners to focus on caloric content while allowing them to ignore a long list of harmful ingredients and additives. 

All buns – sesame as well as Ciabatta and corn-dusted – contain high fructose corn syrup, in addition to dough conditioners. The Whopper Specialty Bun also contains Azodicarbonamide – a dangerous additive used in the production of foam rubber products. Although steakhouse burgers contain dextrose, they are actually healthier than chicken offerings which are loaded with maltodextrin, dextrose as well as a variety of hydrogenated oils. The Tendergrill Chicken Fillet also features caramel coloring, a known carcinogen.

Burger King is also rated amongst the worst offenders for the use of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). It is abundantly present in all chicken and breaded items - Crispy and Tendergrill chicken are off the chart, but even the salad is a bad choice if you use ranch or avocado ranch dressings. The Veggie Burgers contain MSG in disguise, containing hydrolyzed wheat, soy, and corn which breaks down into this dangerous additive through the hydrolyzation process.

Possible short-term side effects

  • water retention
  • dehydration
  • headache
  • nausea / bloating
  • lethargy

Possible long-term side effects

  • cancer
  • obesity
  • high cholesterol
  • hypertension
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease

Ingredients to be aware of

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Healthier alternatives

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Written by Desmond | 02-26-2016

Written by Desmond
Suggest improvement or correction

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