A documentary called Super Size Me that was released in 2004 opens so many people’s eyes. A man named Morgan Spurlock directed this documentary and experimented on himself by eating McDonald’s’ foods for every meal in 30 days. The experiment was done and filmed from February 1 to March 2, 2003. In a day, his calorie intake was about 5000 calories.
After a month, he “gained 11.1 kilograms (24 lb), a 13% body mass increase, increased his cholesterol to 230 mg/dL (6.0 mmol/L), and experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and fat accumulation in his liver.” And to get back to his previous health condition, “It took Spurlock fourteen months to lose all the weight gained from his experiment using a vegan diet supervised by his then-girlfriend, a chef who specialises in gourmet vegan dishes.” (1)
The impact of real fast food on human health is indisputable. Many studies have shown how a Standard American Diet (SAD) is really sad for our health. It increases the risk for overweight and abdominal fat gain, impaired insulin and glucose homeostasis, lipid and lipoprotein disorders, induction of systemic inflammation and oxidative stress of developmental diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular diseases. (2)
Since veganism is on the rise in recent years, interestingly enough, fast food restaurants have started to offer plant-based/vegan options in their restaurants, such as plant-based whopper from Burger King. However, are those foods healthier than animal-based fast foods?
Because vegan fast foods are just on the rise recently, unfortunately, no study has tried comparing the effect of fast food vs vegan fast foods intake for a certain period. No clinical research study has been done on this. It would be fascinating if any experiment or research is doing what Morgan Spurlock did on the Super Size Me documentary but doing it with vegan fast foods.
One thing we know for sure, that in vegan fast foods, there is no cholesterol. But, often, vegan fast foods do not have as much fiber as natural plants that are whole foods or cooked with deep frying it or contain a lot of oil and are higher in calories than whole plant foods.
So vegan fast foods can be high in saturated fat, trans fat, and low in fiber. They can be once in a while food or transition food for those who want to try a vegan diet. We should keep striving to eat a whole food plant-based diet and more toward a less processed, balanced and well planned whole food plant-based diet.