• Why Fast Food Chains use so much Salt

    Fast food chains do not do things randomly.  Their menus, advertising, color schemes, and training are all geared towards getting the customer to buy as much product as possible.  It is clear that people have a hard time saying no to fast food as the nation’s waistline continues to expand.  Fat, sugar, carbs, and salt are the staples of fast food and people are more than happy to keep consuming them.  Do a lot of people know that fast food is not good for them? Probably.  Do they care? Not really.  The question is, why do fast food chains use so much salt? Here are a few reasons for the extensive use of this ingredient.


    People like flavor in their food.  That is a simple truth of eating and restaurants know it.  If people ate certain foods without seasoning, they would be rather bland.  If there is one thing that restaurant-goers will not tolerate, it is bad taste.  People enjoy sauces, dips, and toppings.  When it comes to appetizers, salads, soups, entrees, and sides, salt is a constant ingredient.  Over the years, the salt intake of countries like the United States has increased to the point where people do not realize how much sodium they are consuming.  Therefore, high salt intake has become a societal norm. 

    War on fat and carbs

    While people do continue to eat foods that are bad for them, there are societal trends that at least give an impression that people are trying to follow a healthy diet.  In the past, society avoided calorie intake.  Then, people moved on to reducing fat.  This was followed by a war on carbohydrates.  Now, society has moved back to fat, but society is now targeting particular types of fat.  Restaurants understand societal trends, and they will offer products that meet the demands of their customers.  Since some fast food eaters are currently worried about fat grams, the restaurants are lowering fat.  However, how do restaurants maintain flavor without fat? They increase the level of salt. 

    Relationship with other things

    Finally, fast food restaurants use a lot of salt in their products because it causes the customer to consume other items on the menu.  For example, when people eat a lot of salty french fries they may be more prone to drink more of their caffeinated and highly-sugared soda.  This beverage is designed in such a way that it does not quench the thirst of the individual.  After taking a drink, the customer is now ready for more fries or another bite of their over-sized and very salty burger.  The cycle continues until all the food is gone, but strangely the eater is not satisfied.  Therefore, they head back to the counter and finish off the meal with a little dessert.  The restaurant owner smiles and thinks to himself, “mission accomplished.”  


    1. Why is There So Much Sodium in Restaurant Food? | SparkPeople
    2. Fast Food With the Most Sodium – Health.com

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