The sugar, fat and salt in food

July 10, 2009
The food industry is creating and marketing unhealthy food in much the same way that tobacco companies manufactured and sold cigarettes. But overeating doesn’t only affect people who are overweight. In fact, more than 70 million Americans have become conditioned to overeat, and it affects people of all different weights. Most of the foods served at restaurants combine tempting amounts of sugar, fat, and salt.

Potato skins: The potato is hollowed out and the skin is fried, which provides a substantial surface area for “fat pickup.” Then some combination of bacon bits, sour cream, and cheese is added. The result: fat on fat on fat on fat, loaded with salt.

Buffalo wings: The fatty parts of a chicken get deep-fried. Then they are served with creamy or sweet dipping sauce that’s heavily salted. Usually they’re par-fried at a production plant, then fried again at the restaurant, which doubles the fat. The result: sugar on salt on fat on fat on fat.

Spinach dip: The spinach provides little more than color—a high-fat, high-salt dairy product is the main ingredient. The result: a tasty dish of salt on fat.

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