(NaturalNews) Dining at fast food restaurants is a bit like voting in the American political system -- it's rare that you find a truly positive option, more often you have to choose the lesser of the available evils. Just as with politics, it's best if you educate yourself before making your selection. Wendy's serves as a good example of this analogy, making promises and boasts about its nutrition but you may wonder if the reality matches the hype.
We did some research to turn up a few facts which may influence your dining decisions. We know most NaturalNews readers are aware of the health hazards of eating things like bacon cheeseburgers and French fries, so we decided to focus on the choices health conscious consumers might make while visiting Wendy's -- like a salad accompanied by a beverage.
1. Salad Dressings Containing Sugar and Corn Syrup
Wendy's website states that the chain uses Marzetti's salad dressings, noting that "with no preservatives, they're as all-natural as they are delicious." Recently, NaturalNews included this brand of salad dressing in our expose of most commercial salad dressings containing sugar and/or corn syrup: (http://www.naturalnews.com/033987_salad_dres...) Unfortunately, most fast food restaurants do not have plain oil and vinegar available for those who want to avoid corn syrup-laden dressings. Instead, you might try asking for a slice of lemon to squeeze on your salad.
Autolyzed yeast extract is an MSG alias which can cause neurological problems in some people and which many health experts believe may be a hidden factor in the current obesity epidemic through its overstimulation of appetite. According to the ingredients list on their website, Wendy's uses this industrial food substance in both the chili used on their Baja Salad and the seasonings for the Homestyle Chicken Filet in their BLT Cobb Salad. NaturalNews has previously written about this industrial ingredient here: http://www.naturalnews.com/020426.html
3. More Scary Hidden Ingredients -- Soy Lecithin
Both the Roasted Pecans in Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad and the Seasoned Tortilla Chips in their Baja Salad contain soy lecithin. Soy lecithin is an industrial by-product, the sludge residue left after the soybean oil "de-gumming" process. Like Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), soy lecithin is often treated by the highly flammable and toxic petroleum product hexane.
If you believe in eating only organic produce, you're unlikely to get these at Wendy's. Also, the meats and cheeses on menu items like Caesar Side Salad, BLT Cobb Salad or Baja Salad are unlikely to come from hormone-free sources. (Wendy's doesn't say anything about this either way though we can reasonably assume they'd boast about if they were going organic.)
You probably already know about the health dangers of sodas. But even some of the more healthy-sounding drink choices at fast food restaurants can contain the ingredients you strive to avoid. For example, if you order the Wild Berry Tea at Wendy's, you'll be quaffing a concoction which includes not just berries and tea but also sugar and corn syrup.
You might think the Nestea Unsweetened Iced Tea or the Minute Maid Light Lemonade are safe health bets. But because these are commercially mass-produced beverage, they contain the preservative sodium benzoate. Used to prevent mold, this substance can become carcinogenic when mixed with Vitamin C, and studies have linked it to Parkinson's disease, cirrhosis of the liver and hyperactivity in children. (You can read more of what NaturalNews has reported on this food additive here: http://www.naturalnews.com/024197_sodium_ben...)