Fact or Myth: Are Fast Food Buns Safe to Eat?

big hamburger isolated on whiteThis is a MYTH.

When scrutinizing the health risks of menu items at fast food joints, the focus mostly rests on the meats and fries.  But did you know that fast food buns pose just as much of a health risk? In fact, these buns aren’t bread at all, but a mixture of the food industry’s favorite synthetic concoctions—bleached wheat, thiamine mononitrate, and health-compromising conditioners and compounds. For examination purposes, let’s focus on the ingredients of the popular Big Mac bun.

Bleached Wheat:

The whiter the wheat or flour, the more refined, and the fewer the nutrients. Bleached wheat is virtually devoid of any nutrition and contains a dangerous by-product of the bleaching process—alloxan. Alloxan is a toxin used to stimulate diabetes in healthy laboratory animals in order to then test diabetes treatments. Alloxan causes diabetes by flooding the pancreatic beta cells with free radicals, thereby destroying these insulin-producing cells.

Malted Barley Flour:

Malted barley flour has been linked to brain damage, migraines, and autoimmune diseases. It contains high concentrations of the amino acid glutamate, which is an excitotoxin that supercharges the hypothalamus to dangerous levels. The hypothalamus regulates the nervous and endocrine systems, and when it is not functioning properly can cause autoimmune issues. Malted barley flour is also loaded with tannins, which, if you are allergic, can trigger migraines.

Thiamine Mononitrate:

A synthetic (man-made) B-vitamin, thiamine mononitrate is an additive found in enriched flour and fortified cereal. Unfortunately, in synthetic form, it can build up in the liver and other fatty tissues, causing cellular toxicity and liver damage. Avoid not only the Big Mac bun, but also other fortified and enriched breads and grains.

Ammonia Compounds:

Fast food buns are manufactured with ammonia compounds, like ammonium sulfate and ammonium chloride. These preservatives wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal tract, causing diarrhea and nausea.


This conditioner, which is banned in some countries, is used in nearly 500 food products. It’s also used to make yoga mats! Azodicarbonamide has been linked to respiratory distress such as asthma, as well as cancer and skin irritation. It’s an industrial chemical that disrupts human immune cell formation and function, and hormone function. Did we mention it increases gluten? Not good news for the gluten-intolerant!

And, of course, the Big Mac bun, like other fast food buns, is flavored with high fructose corn syrup, soybean and canola oils, and corn syrup, not to mention trans fatty acids that cause a host of health issues, from cancer to heart disease.

McDonald’s buns don’t fare any better, as they are preserved with calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and sodium propionate. Add stearoyl lactylate, DATEM and mono and diglycerides to the mix—with more than a dash of salt, sugar, gluten, and soy lecithin—and that’s one unhealthy fast food bun!