This probably won't surprise you, but 70 million fast-food meals are served daily across the U.S. The problem with fast food—or any sort of meal-on-the-go, like TV dinners, turkey potpies, or chicken nuggets—is that you and your family are eating processed foods in a form not healthy for your body. Processed foods have been adulterated with sugars, salt, chemically charged additives,and unhealthy preservatives that make them cheaper to mass-produce, but much costlier in terms of health. One of those costs is that processed foods are nearly devoid of enzymes.
A diet composed exclusively of processed or cooked food can put severe strain on the pancreas, drawing down its reserves, so to speak. If the pancreas is constantly overstimulated to produce enzymes that ought to be in foods, the result over time can result in inhibited function of the pancreas. People eating an enzyme-poor diet comprised primarily of over-cooked or over-processed food use up a tremendous amount of their enzyme potential in the outpouring of secretions from the pancreas and other digestive organs.
The result, according to the late Dr. Edward Howell, a noted pioneer in the field of enzyme research, is a shortened life span, illness and lowered resistance to stress of all types. Howell points out that humans and animals on a diet comprised largely of cooked food, particularly grains, have enlarged pancreas while other glands and organs, notably the brain, actually shrink in size.
Dr. Howell formulated the following Enzyme Nutrition Axiom: "The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism. The increased use of food enzymes promotes a decreased rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential."
Another rule can be expressed as follows: Whole foods support good health; enzyme-rich foods provide high energy. Unfortunately, however, our diets do not primarily consist of these health-supporting foods--and that includes much of what our children typically eat.
The number of children and teens consuming grain-based snacks regularly--including crackers, popcorn, pretzels and corn chips--have more than doubled (60%) in the last couple of decades, but that is not all. About one-half of preschoolers eat away from home on any given day--and one of the primary places they eat is at a fast food restaurant. By the teen years, fast food restaurants become the most frequent choice of outside food for teenage boys, and a close second to the school cafeteria for teenage girls.
For American children some of the most popular choices for foods eaten away from home include French fries,grain mixtures such as pizza, lasagna and ravioli, and Mexican foods such as tacos and burritos.
That's not exactly a diet full of nutrition or necessary enzymes--and therefore, does not quite make the grade.