Today is National Drive Thru Day, but should you celebrate?
|By Dr. Harold Katz - Bad Breath Expert|
SUMMARY: July 24 is National Drive Thru Day, but you may want to think twice about what you order at a fast food restaurant.
Posted: July 24, 2013
Although there has been a recent resurgence in the importance of slow eating, cooking full meals and natural ingredients, drive thru restaurants are still prevalent in much of the country. July 24 is National Drive Thru day – but that doesn't mean you should scarf down a large fry, hamburger and milkshake to celebrate. Fried and fatty foods not only exacerbate obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and more, they can leave you with bad breath. While the crunchy and salty goodness that comes from a drive thru window may be addictive, there are plenty of reasons why you should avoid these items.
Why is fast food so bad?
Where do we start?! Fried foods are often cooked in canola oil, which is one of the top genetically modified products used in the U.S. This deprives the cells of oxygen and can lead to heart disease and cancer. Additionally, a lot of fried foods contain MSG, a toxic form of salt. These items cause a number of health problems beyond just widening your belt. Foods found at the drive thru are typically void of any nutritional value, which is what your body and mouth need to stay healthy. This makes you feel hungry even after you've consumed 1,000 calories.
It does what to my mouth?
You thought that fast food was only bad for your waistline, but these greasy items are horrible for your oral health as well. The highly processed items you buy from these chains contain little nutritional value, so they do nothing to get rid of the anaerobic bacteria that accumulate in the mouth. These bacteria are what cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease, and are best battled with vitamins, water and a good oral health routine. However, the fat and grease of fast food items may actually feed the bacteria, causing them to accumulate more in the mouth.
According to a study conducted at the University of Alabama, people who ate roughly six meals a week that included items like fried foods, salted meats, processed foods and sugary drinks were 41 percent more likely to experience a stroke than those who had the items only once a month.
"This study does strongly suggest that food does have an influence and people should be trying to avoid these kinds of fatty foods and high sugar content," Dr. Brian Silver, a Brown University neurologist and stroke center director at Rhode Island Hospital, said. "I don't mean to sound like an ogre. I know when I'm in New Orleans I certainly enjoy the food there. But you don't have to make a regular habit of eating all this stuff."
After eating fast food, do you ever feel like it is just sitting in your stomach for hours? Well this is because the body can't properly digest it. This also leads to bad breath because it causes you to feel gassy, or burpy.
And skip that soda, too. Carbonated beverages wreak havoc on the mouth and teeth, and combined with fast food, they can be quite negative for your oral health. This is because soda contains high levels of sugar and acid that cause bad breath. Plus, soda can dry out your mouth more than it can quench your thirst, locking in the anaerobic bacteria in your mouth.
It's true: You are what you eat. While it's not going to have lasting effects on your health if you very seldom decide to consume fast food, you should take note of what it is doing to your body and mouth. When you go to a dining establishment, don't choose the largest portion on the menu or item with the highest caloric intake.