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What exactly is a kebab? Nutritional properties and risks

What exactly is a kebab? Nutritional properties and risks

January 25, 2022

Pizzas or hamburgers have always been pioneers in the ranking of fast food or junk food, but for a few years now, kebab has also become fashionable in developed countries.

Döner kebab in Turkish, shawarma in Arabic or gyros in Greek is a meat meal with spices which is often consumed in a pitta bread with salad and sauce. Its flavor can be delicious, but it is not, precisely, a healthy product.

It is also possible to consume this meat in a kind of "pancakes" (wraps), and it is called e dürüm.

In this article you can find some information about this food and you will know its nutritional properties and the risks of eating kebab too often.


Poor diet in industrialized societies

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been warning for some time about the bad eating habits of some people and the growth of junk food restaurants, and affirming that this has become a public health problem that has, in many cases, consequences not only aesthetic for people but also pose a risk to health. Obesity is a disease that is affecting industrialized societies, and its main cause is poor diet , rich in bad fats and excessive calories, and a sedentary lifestyle.

In many cases, these bad habits already begin in adolescence. Almost any young man has gone out of clubs to drink alcohol and ended the night with a kebab. Junk food has normalized, and the laws are too tolerant regarding these foods. In fact, a British study recently found that the industrial pastries of some chains like Starbucks were time bombs for our health, and the coffees of some establishments such as Costa Coffee or KFC contained more sugar than a can of Coca-Cola. Nothing good for our health, so governments should do something to change this situation.


From 1000 to 2000 calories per kebab

Kebabs are highly popular nowadays, and this was confirmed by the fast food company justeat.com, because according to a survey of their customers "they are a cheap, delicious and very satisfying delicacy". Kebabs are a traditional Turkish dish, which can be found throughout the Middle East and neighboring countries. Its appearance invites you to consume it, with the thin slices of lamb, chicken or veal meat that is cooked with a vertical rotisserie that is rolled, and that is commonly served in garlic sauce or hot sauce in Europe, although in Greece they can be served with yogurt sauce or teriyaki sauce. Döner means turning in Turkish, gyros and shawarma mean the same in their respective languages.

The döner kebab is not healthy at all, at least the one consumed in the West , and according to a study conducted by Geoffrey Theobald, the kebab can contain up to 1000-2000 calories per unit. Accompanied by potatoes and a Coca-Cola, there would still be many more. The author of this research states that "these data are really worrying" and, in addition, concludes that "at a nutritional level this food does not contribute anything good for our body".


This study has been conducted with 494 samples of kebabs in 76 municipalities, and the author states that the levels of salt, calories and saturated fats that have been reported are simply scandalous.

What does kebab meat contain?

Maybe the kebab meat has a great flavor thanks to the spices it carries, but the meat that we often consume like lamb, veal or chicken, in reality it usually contains viscera of these animals and other types of meat. This is what a British study of Commercial Standards found that was published in the English newspaper Daily Mail, because the results showed that kebabs do not always contain the meat that is indicated on the label of the suppliers. In fact, 15% of the cases the meat was not all of lamb as on the label, but it contained beef.

Worse, even in 6 of the cases studied they found pork, something that goes against the Muslim religion. In addition, individuals in South Asia do not consume veal either because they consider cows to be a sacred animal. Apparently, these problems arise from the manufacturers, so that the points of sale would seem to have no fault of the content of kebab meat.

Why are not they healthy? Risks

Kebabs are a very unhealthy food, and the same study found that they contain extremely high levels of salt . The results suggest that one contains 14.7 grams of salt, more than twice the daily amount that is 6 g.As for the fat content, it is also very high, 117.2 g, which is well above the recommended daily allowance of 95 g for men and 70 g for women.

According to Geoffrey Theobald, the Daily Mail: "We can not consider the kebab as part of a healthy diet, because the health consequences are negative." "While some people may think it is a sensible and light option, kebabs contain a lot of calories and favor overweight when they are consumed frequently and the person has a less active lifestyle." Regarding the falsified meat, Theobald explains: "It is totally unacceptable that people who have certain beliefs are consuming foods that go against their principles."

More nutritious foods

Logically, the kebab is not among the most nutritious and healthy foods we can consume. If you want to know which are the foods that best feel our body, you can read our article: "What are the 14 most nutritious foods that exist?"


15 Horrifying Facts About Processed Meat (January 2022).


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