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Warning: Don’t Let Anyone You Love Go Near a McDonald’s

We are all guilty of occasionally indulging in the convenience and taste of fast-food chains, with McDonald’s often being the go-to option. But, what if the implications of such indulgences are far more severe than we imagined? When you uncover the reality of what you’re truly consuming – the myriad of synthetic and artificial ingredients – you might reevaluate exposing your body, and those of your loved ones, to such detrimental health risks.

What Happens After 10 Days of Eating McDonald’s

An enlightening experiment conducted by King’s College London professor Tim Spector sheds light on the effects of intensive fast-food consumption on the human body, particularly focusing on McDonald’s meals. His son Tom, a genetics student, agreed to become the subject of this study, intending to explore the alterations in gut microbes as one switches from a balanced diet to a fast-food-dominated one over ten days.

Tom pledged to consume all his meals from McDonald’s for this duration, his options being a Big Mac or Chicken nuggets, accompanied by fries and Coke. He was permitted to intake additional vitamins through beer and crisps in the evenings. This immersive experience required him to monitor his health closely, submitting samples regularly to analyze the changes occurring within his body.

Woman in Brown Classic Trench Coat Eating Mcdo Fries during Daytime

The Experience

Initially exhilarated by the prospect of an unlimited junk food budget, Tom soon found his enthusiasm waning. The initial excitement turned into lethargy, and his complexion grew noticeably unhealthy. His eagerness for salads and fruits by the end of this fast-food spree was telling of the transformation within him. Though the experiment was harsh, it was devoid of any addictive withdrawal symptoms, making the findings even more noteworthy.

The Outcome

The results from multiple reputable sources, including Cornell University and the British Gut Project, were unanimous: Tom’s microbiome had suffered significantly. His gut experienced enormous shifts, with substantial losses in friendly bifidobacteria that combat inflammation and a 40% reduction in species diversity, indicative of ill health observed in obese and diabetic individuals. Surprisingly, the repercussions lingered, with his microbes struggling to recover even two weeks post-experiment, emphasizing the prolonged and unseen effects of such dietary choices.

McDonald’s Menu Exposed

So, why such drastic internal alterations after just 10 days of consuming fast food? The answer could lie in the myriad of ingredients hidden within the seemingly simple and innocuous menu items at McDonald’s. It’s imperative that we delve into the true nature of these components and unravel the secrets that might be impacting our health more than we realize.

Let’s take a look at the listed ingredients of some of the most popular items as listed on McDonald’s website:

McDonalds Nuggets
  • Chicken McNuggets: White Boneless Chicken, Water, Vegetable Oil (canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Enriched Flour (bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Bleached Wheat Flour, Yellow Corn Flour, Vegetable Starch (modified Corn, Wheat, Rice, Pea, Corn), Salt, Leavening (baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Calcium Lactate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Spices, Yeast Extract, Lemon Juice Solids, Dextrose, Natural Flavors.
  • World Famous Fries: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat And Milk Derivatives]*), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt. *Natural Beef Flavor Contains Hydrolyzed Wheat And Hydrolyzed Milk As Starting Ingredients.
  • Strawberry Shake: Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream –Milk, Sugar, Cream, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavor, Mono And Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate; Strawberry Shake Syrup – Sugar, Strawberries, Corn Syrup, Glycerin, Strawberry Puree Concentrate, Water, Contains 2% Or Less: Natural Flavor, Vegetable Juice And Beta Carotene (color), Citric Acid, Pectin, Salt, Potassium Sorbate (preservative), Calcium Chloride; Whipped Light Cream – Cream, Nonfat Milk, Milk, Liquid Sugar, Contains 2% Or Less: Mono And Diglycerides, Natural Flavors, Carrageenan. Whipping Propellant (nitrous Oxide).

Among these ingredients, here’s a closer look at the most concerning additives you should pay attention to:

TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone)

TBHQ is a synthetic antioxidant that comes from petroleum and is related to butane. The implications of consuming TBHQ can range from nausea, vomiting, and ringing in the ear to delirium and collapse. Studies have demonstrated that TBHQ can induce the formation of precancerous stomach lesions in lab animals. This chemical, found in the oil used to cook nuggets and fries, has been shown to fragment DNA and cause damage to human lung and umbilical cells. Given its potential toxicity and contribution to cellular dysfunction, its presence in food raises serious health concerns.

Hydrogenated Soybean Oil

Hydrogenated soybean oil is a man-made trans fat derived from soybean oil, a generally unhealthy oil. The consumption of this oil is linked to cellular dysfunction and various health risks, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and heart disease. It can also lead to elevated levels of bad cholesterol and reduced levels of good cholesterol, weaken immune function, and create reproductive problems. This component disrupts our body’s ability to utilize omega-3 fats and can induce conditions conducive to cellular and metabolic diseases.

Modified Starch

Modified starch is treated with acid to lower viscosity, making it hard for the body to digest. The presence of gluten in modified starch can exacerbate celiac disease, and the ingredient may also lower blood sugar levels, posing a risk to diabetics. Additionally, it may interfere with blood sugar levels during and after surgery. Thus, it’s recommended to avoid it at least two weeks before scheduled surgery to prevent complications. The ingestion of this starch can lead to physical discomforts such as nausea, gas, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting, making its presence in food items a matter of concern.

Sodium Phosphate

Sodium phosphate may contain trace amounts of arsenic, a known carcinogen, and its consumption can lead to various health issues such as kidney problems, dizziness, vomiting, and dehydration. The harmful impacts of this chemical additive make it a significant risk factor in food items, especially those consumed regularly.


This chemical is a form of silicone used primarily as an anti-foaming agent. It is also found in non-food items such as Silly Putty, caulking agents, and sealants. The inclusion of such a chemical in food items, as seen in McNuggets, raises critical questions about food safety and the long-term impacts of consuming such substances.

Corn Oil and Corn Starch

Derived from corn, these ingredients are noteworthy as 92% of non-organic corn is genetically modified. Although the long-term impacts of GMOs on human health are still under study, their prevalence in food items poses potential health risks and emphasizes the need for transparent labeling and thorough research into their safety for consumption.

Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate

Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate is a coloring preservative utilized to maintain the visual appeal of items such as French fries. However, this additive is categorized as “hazardous for ingestion” on chemical industry’s safety data sheets, causing concern over its use in consumable products. This potential hazard raises alarms about the compromise in food quality for aesthetic maintenance and draws attention to the urgent need for rigorous food safety evaluations.

Mono and Diglycerides

Mono and Diglycerides are additives, employed to merge fats and water in food products. The manufacturing of these additives involves a spectrum of chemicals, some of which may linger in the final product, posing health risks. The presence of substances like tartaric acid, synthetic lactic acid, nickel, ricinus fatty acids, and sodium hydroxide in these emulsifiers highlights the possible detrimental effects these additives can have on consumer health and accentuates the significance of comprehensive food ingredient scrutiny.


Carrageenan is known for its properties to lower blood pressure and slow blood clotting, but it is also linked to intestinal lesions, ulceration, and malignant tumors. Despite repeated warnings from scientists over the past four decades stating that carrageenan is not safe for human consumption, it continues to be a part of our food supply. The consistent inclusion of such a harmful substance in consumables stresses the urgency of reevaluating food safety standards and ensuring the well-being of consumers through responsible food manufacturing practices.

The Path From Convenience to Conscious Eating

Wooden plate with metal spoons on beige background

The presence of harmful additives and chemicals in such widely consumed products is alarming, emphasizing the importance of informed and conscious eating. Being knowledgeable about what we consume is not a mere dietary preference – it’s a health imperative that could shape our well-being and lifestyle.

In a world enthralled by the convenience of fast food, it is crucial to reflect on the actual cost of such convenience. The long-term health impacts of regularly indulging in fast food cannot be overlooked. A balanced and nutritious diet, coupled with an active lifestyle, is essential in warding off the potential hazards posed by such food. Choosing whole, unprocessed foods, staying hydrated, and incorporating regular physical activity can pave the way for a healthier life, far removed from the risks associated with fast-food consumption.

This insight into the world of fast food is not aimed at spreading fear but at fostering awareness and prompting healthier, more responsible food choices. It’s a reminder to not only seek flavor and convenience but also to prioritize nutrition and well-being, opting for choices that nourish rather tha

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