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You Won't Believe What’s Actually in Your Fast Food

You Won't Believe What’s Actually in Your Fast Food

These 10 ingredients range from gross to bizarre

The fast-food industry taps into a lot of complex chemistry to make sure the food it delivers has a consistent look, taste, and aroma

At this point, it’s common knowledge that the fast-food industry taps into a lot of complex chemistry to make sure the food it delivers has a consistent look, taste, and aroma. Most of these ingredients, such as ammonium sulfate and propylene glycol, have been vetted for safety by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, earning them the title of GRAS (generally recognized as safe).

Click here to view the You Won't Believe What’s Actually in Your Fast Food Slideshow

But the FDA frequently re-evaluates additives in light of new findings, and just this year, a group of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which are commonly used to coat pizza boxes, pastry wrappers, and take-out containers, were found to have adverse effects on hormones, neurological systems, and were linked to certain cancers. The FDA is also considering banning certain previously approved flavoring agents — which are currently unlisted on ingredient labels — because of evidence that they might be carcinogenic.

Though many of the stabilizers, emulsifiers, flavoring agents, and preservatives added to fast foods are most likely safe, they still raise the question: What am I actually eating?

Here are 10 ingredients that you won’t believe are in your fast food.


Need An Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan? Here's Your 7-Day Brunch And Dinner Plan To Break Your Fast

These recipes from the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting will give you energy and keep you full.

The concept behind intermittent fasting (IF) is pretty straightforward and simple: You eat all of your meals and snacks for the day in a specific window of time (say, between noon and 8 p.m.). Easy enough, right? Well, if you're new to a fasting diet, you're probably still wondering, what am I actually supposed to eat as far as foods go on the diet?

It's a valid question, and despite the fact that fasting diets tend to focus more on the clock than the foods, what you eat for your meals does matter if your goal is weight loss. Many people assume that because you're eating in a shortened time window and likely cutting out some calories by skipping a meal (say, breakfast, if you follow something like the 16:8 diet), you can eat whatever you want once it's time to eat.

But if you totally disregard calories and don't think about the macronutrients that you're putting into your body, you could end up going overboard on calories when it comes time to eat&mdashor you might not get enough proteins, fat, or carbs to properly fuel your body.

Don't worry, though, because our friends at Men's Health recently released a new bookazine, the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, that details allllll things IF&mdashincluding exactly what to eat to break your fast, what to have for snacks, and what to prep for dinner&mdashso you can do intermittent fasting and see weight-loss results if that's your goal. (And remember, before you start a fasting diet, touch base with your doc or a nutritionist to make sure you approach it in a way that makes sense for you and your health.)

What you'll get in the book:

  • 40+ recipes for brunch and dinner (plus keto options!)
  • Advice for how to not feel hangry
  • Tips for how to do IF if you're also following an intense workout routine
  • A macronutrient breakdown to make sure each meal you make gives you energy and satiety
  • And more

Ready to dive into an IF diet? Ahead, a seven-day meal plan preview from the new MH guide that you can follow to make sure your meals power you up and make the fasting period fly by. Mix and match these brunch and dinner recipes (and add healthy snacks between meals if you need to!), and you'll be an IF pro in a week.

Brunch Recipes


Need An Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan? Here's Your 7-Day Brunch And Dinner Plan To Break Your Fast

These recipes from the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting will give you energy and keep you full.

The concept behind intermittent fasting (IF) is pretty straightforward and simple: You eat all of your meals and snacks for the day in a specific window of time (say, between noon and 8 p.m.). Easy enough, right? Well, if you're new to a fasting diet, you're probably still wondering, what am I actually supposed to eat as far as foods go on the diet?

It's a valid question, and despite the fact that fasting diets tend to focus more on the clock than the foods, what you eat for your meals does matter if your goal is weight loss. Many people assume that because you're eating in a shortened time window and likely cutting out some calories by skipping a meal (say, breakfast, if you follow something like the 16:8 diet), you can eat whatever you want once it's time to eat.

But if you totally disregard calories and don't think about the macronutrients that you're putting into your body, you could end up going overboard on calories when it comes time to eat&mdashor you might not get enough proteins, fat, or carbs to properly fuel your body.

Don't worry, though, because our friends at Men's Health recently released a new bookazine, the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, that details allllll things IF&mdashincluding exactly what to eat to break your fast, what to have for snacks, and what to prep for dinner&mdashso you can do intermittent fasting and see weight-loss results if that's your goal. (And remember, before you start a fasting diet, touch base with your doc or a nutritionist to make sure you approach it in a way that makes sense for you and your health.)

What you'll get in the book:

  • 40+ recipes for brunch and dinner (plus keto options!)
  • Advice for how to not feel hangry
  • Tips for how to do IF if you're also following an intense workout routine
  • A macronutrient breakdown to make sure each meal you make gives you energy and satiety
  • And more

Ready to dive into an IF diet? Ahead, a seven-day meal plan preview from the new MH guide that you can follow to make sure your meals power you up and make the fasting period fly by. Mix and match these brunch and dinner recipes (and add healthy snacks between meals if you need to!), and you'll be an IF pro in a week.

Brunch Recipes


Need An Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan? Here's Your 7-Day Brunch And Dinner Plan To Break Your Fast

These recipes from the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting will give you energy and keep you full.

The concept behind intermittent fasting (IF) is pretty straightforward and simple: You eat all of your meals and snacks for the day in a specific window of time (say, between noon and 8 p.m.). Easy enough, right? Well, if you're new to a fasting diet, you're probably still wondering, what am I actually supposed to eat as far as foods go on the diet?

It's a valid question, and despite the fact that fasting diets tend to focus more on the clock than the foods, what you eat for your meals does matter if your goal is weight loss. Many people assume that because you're eating in a shortened time window and likely cutting out some calories by skipping a meal (say, breakfast, if you follow something like the 16:8 diet), you can eat whatever you want once it's time to eat.

But if you totally disregard calories and don't think about the macronutrients that you're putting into your body, you could end up going overboard on calories when it comes time to eat&mdashor you might not get enough proteins, fat, or carbs to properly fuel your body.

Don't worry, though, because our friends at Men's Health recently released a new bookazine, the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, that details allllll things IF&mdashincluding exactly what to eat to break your fast, what to have for snacks, and what to prep for dinner&mdashso you can do intermittent fasting and see weight-loss results if that's your goal. (And remember, before you start a fasting diet, touch base with your doc or a nutritionist to make sure you approach it in a way that makes sense for you and your health.)

What you'll get in the book:

  • 40+ recipes for brunch and dinner (plus keto options!)
  • Advice for how to not feel hangry
  • Tips for how to do IF if you're also following an intense workout routine
  • A macronutrient breakdown to make sure each meal you make gives you energy and satiety
  • And more

Ready to dive into an IF diet? Ahead, a seven-day meal plan preview from the new MH guide that you can follow to make sure your meals power you up and make the fasting period fly by. Mix and match these brunch and dinner recipes (and add healthy snacks between meals if you need to!), and you'll be an IF pro in a week.

Brunch Recipes


Need An Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan? Here's Your 7-Day Brunch And Dinner Plan To Break Your Fast

These recipes from the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting will give you energy and keep you full.

The concept behind intermittent fasting (IF) is pretty straightforward and simple: You eat all of your meals and snacks for the day in a specific window of time (say, between noon and 8 p.m.). Easy enough, right? Well, if you're new to a fasting diet, you're probably still wondering, what am I actually supposed to eat as far as foods go on the diet?

It's a valid question, and despite the fact that fasting diets tend to focus more on the clock than the foods, what you eat for your meals does matter if your goal is weight loss. Many people assume that because you're eating in a shortened time window and likely cutting out some calories by skipping a meal (say, breakfast, if you follow something like the 16:8 diet), you can eat whatever you want once it's time to eat.

But if you totally disregard calories and don't think about the macronutrients that you're putting into your body, you could end up going overboard on calories when it comes time to eat&mdashor you might not get enough proteins, fat, or carbs to properly fuel your body.

Don't worry, though, because our friends at Men's Health recently released a new bookazine, the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, that details allllll things IF&mdashincluding exactly what to eat to break your fast, what to have for snacks, and what to prep for dinner&mdashso you can do intermittent fasting and see weight-loss results if that's your goal. (And remember, before you start a fasting diet, touch base with your doc or a nutritionist to make sure you approach it in a way that makes sense for you and your health.)

What you'll get in the book:

  • 40+ recipes for brunch and dinner (plus keto options!)
  • Advice for how to not feel hangry
  • Tips for how to do IF if you're also following an intense workout routine
  • A macronutrient breakdown to make sure each meal you make gives you energy and satiety
  • And more

Ready to dive into an IF diet? Ahead, a seven-day meal plan preview from the new MH guide that you can follow to make sure your meals power you up and make the fasting period fly by. Mix and match these brunch and dinner recipes (and add healthy snacks between meals if you need to!), and you'll be an IF pro in a week.

Brunch Recipes


Need An Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan? Here's Your 7-Day Brunch And Dinner Plan To Break Your Fast

These recipes from the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting will give you energy and keep you full.

The concept behind intermittent fasting (IF) is pretty straightforward and simple: You eat all of your meals and snacks for the day in a specific window of time (say, between noon and 8 p.m.). Easy enough, right? Well, if you're new to a fasting diet, you're probably still wondering, what am I actually supposed to eat as far as foods go on the diet?

It's a valid question, and despite the fact that fasting diets tend to focus more on the clock than the foods, what you eat for your meals does matter if your goal is weight loss. Many people assume that because you're eating in a shortened time window and likely cutting out some calories by skipping a meal (say, breakfast, if you follow something like the 16:8 diet), you can eat whatever you want once it's time to eat.

But if you totally disregard calories and don't think about the macronutrients that you're putting into your body, you could end up going overboard on calories when it comes time to eat&mdashor you might not get enough proteins, fat, or carbs to properly fuel your body.

Don't worry, though, because our friends at Men's Health recently released a new bookazine, the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, that details allllll things IF&mdashincluding exactly what to eat to break your fast, what to have for snacks, and what to prep for dinner&mdashso you can do intermittent fasting and see weight-loss results if that's your goal. (And remember, before you start a fasting diet, touch base with your doc or a nutritionist to make sure you approach it in a way that makes sense for you and your health.)

What you'll get in the book:

  • 40+ recipes for brunch and dinner (plus keto options!)
  • Advice for how to not feel hangry
  • Tips for how to do IF if you're also following an intense workout routine
  • A macronutrient breakdown to make sure each meal you make gives you energy and satiety
  • And more

Ready to dive into an IF diet? Ahead, a seven-day meal plan preview from the new MH guide that you can follow to make sure your meals power you up and make the fasting period fly by. Mix and match these brunch and dinner recipes (and add healthy snacks between meals if you need to!), and you'll be an IF pro in a week.

Brunch Recipes


Need An Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan? Here's Your 7-Day Brunch And Dinner Plan To Break Your Fast

These recipes from the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting will give you energy and keep you full.

The concept behind intermittent fasting (IF) is pretty straightforward and simple: You eat all of your meals and snacks for the day in a specific window of time (say, between noon and 8 p.m.). Easy enough, right? Well, if you're new to a fasting diet, you're probably still wondering, what am I actually supposed to eat as far as foods go on the diet?

It's a valid question, and despite the fact that fasting diets tend to focus more on the clock than the foods, what you eat for your meals does matter if your goal is weight loss. Many people assume that because you're eating in a shortened time window and likely cutting out some calories by skipping a meal (say, breakfast, if you follow something like the 16:8 diet), you can eat whatever you want once it's time to eat.

But if you totally disregard calories and don't think about the macronutrients that you're putting into your body, you could end up going overboard on calories when it comes time to eat&mdashor you might not get enough proteins, fat, or carbs to properly fuel your body.

Don't worry, though, because our friends at Men's Health recently released a new bookazine, the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, that details allllll things IF&mdashincluding exactly what to eat to break your fast, what to have for snacks, and what to prep for dinner&mdashso you can do intermittent fasting and see weight-loss results if that's your goal. (And remember, before you start a fasting diet, touch base with your doc or a nutritionist to make sure you approach it in a way that makes sense for you and your health.)

What you'll get in the book:

  • 40+ recipes for brunch and dinner (plus keto options!)
  • Advice for how to not feel hangry
  • Tips for how to do IF if you're also following an intense workout routine
  • A macronutrient breakdown to make sure each meal you make gives you energy and satiety
  • And more

Ready to dive into an IF diet? Ahead, a seven-day meal plan preview from the new MH guide that you can follow to make sure your meals power you up and make the fasting period fly by. Mix and match these brunch and dinner recipes (and add healthy snacks between meals if you need to!), and you'll be an IF pro in a week.

Brunch Recipes


Need An Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan? Here's Your 7-Day Brunch And Dinner Plan To Break Your Fast

These recipes from the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting will give you energy and keep you full.

The concept behind intermittent fasting (IF) is pretty straightforward and simple: You eat all of your meals and snacks for the day in a specific window of time (say, between noon and 8 p.m.). Easy enough, right? Well, if you're new to a fasting diet, you're probably still wondering, what am I actually supposed to eat as far as foods go on the diet?

It's a valid question, and despite the fact that fasting diets tend to focus more on the clock than the foods, what you eat for your meals does matter if your goal is weight loss. Many people assume that because you're eating in a shortened time window and likely cutting out some calories by skipping a meal (say, breakfast, if you follow something like the 16:8 diet), you can eat whatever you want once it's time to eat.

But if you totally disregard calories and don't think about the macronutrients that you're putting into your body, you could end up going overboard on calories when it comes time to eat&mdashor you might not get enough proteins, fat, or carbs to properly fuel your body.

Don't worry, though, because our friends at Men's Health recently released a new bookazine, the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, that details allllll things IF&mdashincluding exactly what to eat to break your fast, what to have for snacks, and what to prep for dinner&mdashso you can do intermittent fasting and see weight-loss results if that's your goal. (And remember, before you start a fasting diet, touch base with your doc or a nutritionist to make sure you approach it in a way that makes sense for you and your health.)

What you'll get in the book:

  • 40+ recipes for brunch and dinner (plus keto options!)
  • Advice for how to not feel hangry
  • Tips for how to do IF if you're also following an intense workout routine
  • A macronutrient breakdown to make sure each meal you make gives you energy and satiety
  • And more

Ready to dive into an IF diet? Ahead, a seven-day meal plan preview from the new MH guide that you can follow to make sure your meals power you up and make the fasting period fly by. Mix and match these brunch and dinner recipes (and add healthy snacks between meals if you need to!), and you'll be an IF pro in a week.

Brunch Recipes


Need An Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan? Here's Your 7-Day Brunch And Dinner Plan To Break Your Fast

These recipes from the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting will give you energy and keep you full.

The concept behind intermittent fasting (IF) is pretty straightforward and simple: You eat all of your meals and snacks for the day in a specific window of time (say, between noon and 8 p.m.). Easy enough, right? Well, if you're new to a fasting diet, you're probably still wondering, what am I actually supposed to eat as far as foods go on the diet?

It's a valid question, and despite the fact that fasting diets tend to focus more on the clock than the foods, what you eat for your meals does matter if your goal is weight loss. Many people assume that because you're eating in a shortened time window and likely cutting out some calories by skipping a meal (say, breakfast, if you follow something like the 16:8 diet), you can eat whatever you want once it's time to eat.

But if you totally disregard calories and don't think about the macronutrients that you're putting into your body, you could end up going overboard on calories when it comes time to eat&mdashor you might not get enough proteins, fat, or carbs to properly fuel your body.

Don't worry, though, because our friends at Men's Health recently released a new bookazine, the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, that details allllll things IF&mdashincluding exactly what to eat to break your fast, what to have for snacks, and what to prep for dinner&mdashso you can do intermittent fasting and see weight-loss results if that's your goal. (And remember, before you start a fasting diet, touch base with your doc or a nutritionist to make sure you approach it in a way that makes sense for you and your health.)

What you'll get in the book:

  • 40+ recipes for brunch and dinner (plus keto options!)
  • Advice for how to not feel hangry
  • Tips for how to do IF if you're also following an intense workout routine
  • A macronutrient breakdown to make sure each meal you make gives you energy and satiety
  • And more

Ready to dive into an IF diet? Ahead, a seven-day meal plan preview from the new MH guide that you can follow to make sure your meals power you up and make the fasting period fly by. Mix and match these brunch and dinner recipes (and add healthy snacks between meals if you need to!), and you'll be an IF pro in a week.

Brunch Recipes


Need An Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan? Here's Your 7-Day Brunch And Dinner Plan To Break Your Fast

These recipes from the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting will give you energy and keep you full.

The concept behind intermittent fasting (IF) is pretty straightforward and simple: You eat all of your meals and snacks for the day in a specific window of time (say, between noon and 8 p.m.). Easy enough, right? Well, if you're new to a fasting diet, you're probably still wondering, what am I actually supposed to eat as far as foods go on the diet?

It's a valid question, and despite the fact that fasting diets tend to focus more on the clock than the foods, what you eat for your meals does matter if your goal is weight loss. Many people assume that because you're eating in a shortened time window and likely cutting out some calories by skipping a meal (say, breakfast, if you follow something like the 16:8 diet), you can eat whatever you want once it's time to eat.

But if you totally disregard calories and don't think about the macronutrients that you're putting into your body, you could end up going overboard on calories when it comes time to eat&mdashor you might not get enough proteins, fat, or carbs to properly fuel your body.

Don't worry, though, because our friends at Men's Health recently released a new bookazine, the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, that details allllll things IF&mdashincluding exactly what to eat to break your fast, what to have for snacks, and what to prep for dinner&mdashso you can do intermittent fasting and see weight-loss results if that's your goal. (And remember, before you start a fasting diet, touch base with your doc or a nutritionist to make sure you approach it in a way that makes sense for you and your health.)

What you'll get in the book:

  • 40+ recipes for brunch and dinner (plus keto options!)
  • Advice for how to not feel hangry
  • Tips for how to do IF if you're also following an intense workout routine
  • A macronutrient breakdown to make sure each meal you make gives you energy and satiety
  • And more

Ready to dive into an IF diet? Ahead, a seven-day meal plan preview from the new MH guide that you can follow to make sure your meals power you up and make the fasting period fly by. Mix and match these brunch and dinner recipes (and add healthy snacks between meals if you need to!), and you'll be an IF pro in a week.

Brunch Recipes


Need An Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan? Here's Your 7-Day Brunch And Dinner Plan To Break Your Fast

These recipes from the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting will give you energy and keep you full.

The concept behind intermittent fasting (IF) is pretty straightforward and simple: You eat all of your meals and snacks for the day in a specific window of time (say, between noon and 8 p.m.). Easy enough, right? Well, if you're new to a fasting diet, you're probably still wondering, what am I actually supposed to eat as far as foods go on the diet?

It's a valid question, and despite the fact that fasting diets tend to focus more on the clock than the foods, what you eat for your meals does matter if your goal is weight loss. Many people assume that because you're eating in a shortened time window and likely cutting out some calories by skipping a meal (say, breakfast, if you follow something like the 16:8 diet), you can eat whatever you want once it's time to eat.

But if you totally disregard calories and don't think about the macronutrients that you're putting into your body, you could end up going overboard on calories when it comes time to eat&mdashor you might not get enough proteins, fat, or carbs to properly fuel your body.

Don't worry, though, because our friends at Men's Health recently released a new bookazine, the Men's Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting, that details allllll things IF&mdashincluding exactly what to eat to break your fast, what to have for snacks, and what to prep for dinner&mdashso you can do intermittent fasting and see weight-loss results if that's your goal. (And remember, before you start a fasting diet, touch base with your doc or a nutritionist to make sure you approach it in a way that makes sense for you and your health.)

What you'll get in the book:

  • 40+ recipes for brunch and dinner (plus keto options!)
  • Advice for how to not feel hangry
  • Tips for how to do IF if you're also following an intense workout routine
  • A macronutrient breakdown to make sure each meal you make gives you energy and satiety
  • And more

Ready to dive into an IF diet? Ahead, a seven-day meal plan preview from the new MH guide that you can follow to make sure your meals power you up and make the fasting period fly by. Mix and match these brunch and dinner recipes (and add healthy snacks between meals if you need to!), and you'll be an IF pro in a week.

Brunch Recipes