Category Archives: McDonald’s

How Much Sugar is in Your Favorite Drink? – Infographic

I just ran across this superb infographic and had to share it with you. It shows you popular soft and energy drinks with the amount of sugar in each. Did you know that Mountain Dew had 19+ teaspoons of sugar in a 20 ounce bottle? I sure didn’t. There are 4.2 grams in a teaspoon full of sugar. If you carry that away with you, you will know a very valuable little factoid. So, when you look at the ingredients panel and it says 30 grams of sugar, you will know that you are thinking of drinking seven teaspoons of sugar. Maybe it will give you pause.

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In earlier posts I have taken issue with McDonald’s and their beverages. Check out:
How Many Calories in McDonald’s Chocolate Chip Frappe and How Much Sugar?
Why McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is a Sugar Monster
What Does The American Heart Association Say About Sugar?
Why You Shouldn’t Drink McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade.

Tony

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I’m Lovin’ it – Friceps – McDonald’s

On the day we learn that McDonald’s is cutting back on some of its less salubrious offerings, I thought this was a timely photo. One picture is worth a thousand words.

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Check out the following posts for more on Mickey D’s: Why McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is a Sugar Monster,  Why You Shouldn’t Drink McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade, McDonald’s Oatmeal Taste Test.

Tony

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Gluten-free Food – Against the Grain

… according to a survey by Kantar, a research firm, only 22% of people who buy gluten-free food say they do so for non-medical reasons. This could be one foodie trend that turns out to be much more than a fad.

Cooking with Kathy Man

A growing desire to avoid gluten is changing the food industry.

McDonald’s is by no means the most accommodating of fast-food chains to people with special dietary requirements. Many of its restaurants in America and Britain do not even serve a meat-free burger for vegetarians. But in a week-long trial ending on October 21st, the chain’s British outlets offered a new burger whose fillings did not contain gluten, an allergen commonly found in wheat, with a view to making the new product a permanent addition to its menu.

At first, that may seem to be an odd decision. Vegetarians outnumber those who avoid gluten. But the food industry is finding that there is no longer much money to be made in making meat-free products. Sales of alternatives to meat have flattened in America in real terms since 2008; in Britain they have plunged by a third.

Consumer demand for products…

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Food Trend: Healthy Fast Food

Their success marks a milestone: After decades of public hand-wringing about the empty calories and environmental impact of fast food, the farm-to-table notions that have revolutionized higher-end American restaurants have finally found a lucrative spot in the takeout line. The result already has a nickname: farm to counter.

Cooking with Kathy Man

The numbers were startling: Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill shot up 12 percent after the company reported a nearly 26 percent spurt in its quarterly profit. For the fast-food industry, this was fresh evidence that the world of Big Macs and Doritos Locos Tacos has room for a menu with healthier-than-average food and higher-than-average prices.

But it came as no surprise to a new generation of smaller fast-food chains that are coming up fast behind Chipotle and its peers, and taking its “food with integrity” mantra even further.

A handful of rapidly growing regional chains around the country — including Tender Greens, LYFE Kitchen, SweetGreen and Native Foods — offer enticements like grass-fed beef, organic produce, sustainable seafood and menus that change with the season. Most promise local ingredients; some are exclusively vegetarian or even vegan. A few impose calorie ceilings, and others adopt service touches like busboys and china…

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What Are The Long Term Effects of That Fast Food Meal? – Infographic

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For specifics on some fast food meals, check out my Page: Fast Food Nutritional Information.

In case you missed the final sentence – a diet rich in whole foods beats a fast food diet any day for health and longecivty.

Tony

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How Many Calories in McDonald’s Chicken Clubhouse Sandwich?

LeBron James is the newest member of the exclusive club that also includes Johnny Football. We see him entering the exclusive gathering. Lucky LeBron – he gets to  have McDonald’s newest creation – the Chicken Club Houe Sandwich. So goes the TV commercial.

Maybe not so lucky LeBron.

mcdonalds-Premium-Crispy-Chicken-Club-Sandwich

There are 670 calories in the sammy. That comes to around a third of a normal person’s calorie needs in a single day. But wait. Does anyone go to Mickey D’s and just have a sammy? Probably not. There are drinks and shakes galore that kick up the calorie count. Not to mention fries.

So if you just go for the sandwich, you are a third of the way there on your food for the day, but if you add a soft drink or fries, you will up the ante by several hundred calories and either have to eat less later or go over your calorie budget for the day.

Here is further nutrition info: 36 grams of protein. Not bad. The average adult needs around 55 grams per day, so the Chicken Club does a good job in satisfying your protein quota.

There are 33 grams of fat. That’s kind of high.

Cholesterol, 85 mg, not bad at all.

Fiber, 3 grams. This is a small amount. The average adult needs around 35 to 40 grams to maintain good health.

Carbs, 58 grams, okay.

Sodium, at 1410 mg, is problematic. As I wrote in reviewing the new quarter pounders, “The guidelines issued by the government say that adults should reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2300 mg per day. For those over age 51, or with a medical condition like diabetes or hypertension, salt intake should fall below 1500 mg. The American Heart Association puts the limit at 1500 mg per day for the entire population.”

Too much sodium puts you at risk for high blood pressure and kidney disease.

So, the new Chicken Club House Sandwich is a high calorie concoction with a lot of protein, but too much sodium. Calorie count could also put  you over your daily budget.

Tony

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Filed under blood pressure, chicken, fast food, Fiber, healthy living, McDonald's, McDonald's Chicken Club Sandwich, portion control, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Daily Sugar Guidelines Lowered – WHO

Here’s some news that doesn’t need sugar coating. The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) wants people to restrict their sugar intake to no more than five percent of their daily calorie intake from the current recommended 10 percent. Put into familiar usage, five percent of our calories comes to around six teaspoons of sugar a day, or 24 grams. That’s less than the amount of sugar in a can of soda.

Sugar

These guidelines are not directed at the sugar intrinsic in whole foods like fruits and vegetables.

They are directed at glucose and fructose, like table sugar, honey, syrup and fruit juices.

The American Heart Association recommends 25 grams of sugar a day for women and 38 grams for men. I posted What does the American Heart Association say about Sugar for a good rundown on calories from sugar.

Just a reminder McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade has 67 grams of sugar in the 16 ounce size. That is 15+ teaspoons full.

Check out Why McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is a sugar monster.

This recommendation from the WHO is not a welcome one in some quarters. In 2004 when the WHO tried to include the ten percent sugar limit recommendation in its Global Strategy for Diet, Physical Activity and Health, the U.S. Congress — under pressure from the sugar industry lobby — threatened to withdraw U.S. funding for the agency. The direct reference to the ten percent figure was removed from the final report.

Sugar contributes to obesity, tooth decay and diabetes to name a few. Check out the tags at the right to read more on these important topics.

I hope you can decide for yourself that you don’t need to consume as much sugar as is offered by fast food and processed food purveyors whether the WHO recommendation is adopted or not.

Tony

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Mc Donald’s Mc Rib Chemical Additives Rated by CSPI

“Few fast-food items have achieved the cultural prominence of the McRib. Object of satire, conspiracy theory, and fevered online speculation, the McRib typically appears on McDonald’s menus with great fanfare only to vanish, fleetingly, some time later,” according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

“As Ian Bogost wrote in The Atlantic, we experience the McRib as (quasi-)foodstuff, as marketing campaign, as cult object, as Internet meme, but those experiences don’t sufficiently explain it.

“Indeed.

After-a-20-year-love-affair-the-McRib-McReturns1

“To better explain the McRib, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has taken a closer look at a few of its chemical ingredients. There’s more to the McRib, it turns out, than bun, pork, sauce, pickles and onions.

“McRib Pork Patty: BHA, propyl gallate, and citric acid are used as preservatives in the patty. While citric acid is safe, CSPI recommends that consumers avoid BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and propyl gallate. The Food and Drug Administration permits the use of BHA in food, even though its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, says that BHA is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” It is often used with propyl gallate to prevent fats and oils from spoiling. CSPI says that propyl gallate may be an endocrine disruptor and needs to be better studied.

“McRib Sauce: After water, the main ingredient in the sauce is high-fructose corn syrup. It’s not true that HFCS is worse than regular sugar, but CSPI recommends everyone cut back on both. Xanthan gum, which is secreted by bacteria, is safe, at least in this application. (Used in a product called SimplyThick, it has caused problems in infants.) Sodium benzoate appears to be safe, though it causes allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. It is unclear exactly which of several caramel color varieties is used in McRib Sauce, but when it is produced with ammonia, carcinogenic contaminants form. That’s been a problem in caramel-colored soft drinks, but regardless of how the caramel coloring in McRib Sauce was produced, the amount one would consume is small and not a problem. Good for McDonald’s for using beet powder to color the sauce instead of Red 3 (a carcinogen) or Red 40 (one of several dyes which in Europe must be labeled as having “an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”). Continue reading

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What are the Best and Worst Breakfasts at McDonald’s? – WebMD

I have written numerous blog posts on McDonald’s entrees objecting to the amount of sugar, fat and salt included. You can read some of them in the Fast Food Nutritional Info link at the top of this page.

WebMD offered its version which I thought you would like to check out.

McDonald’s worst choice, according to WebMD is “McDonald’s Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes. It’ll weigh you down with 1,090 calories, 56 g fat, and 19 g saturated fat — close to the daily limit for this unhealthy fat. Even the biscuit is loaded with saturated fat, topping even the sausage patty or eggs. The sodium hits 2,150 mg, nearly the daily limit.”

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Just to expand on this analysis, 1090 calories amounts to half the calories a 150 pound man requires in an entire day. So, plan on a light lunch and dinner if you have this for breakfast.

Also, the 2150 mg of sodium is near the daily limit for most people. If you are over 50 or have any kind of blood pressure problem experts say you shouldn’t have more than 1500 mg of sodium.

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On the positive side, WebMD suggests: “The Egg McMuffin is a better choice under the golden arches at 300 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, and 2 g fiber. Lean Canadian bacon offers protein and a meaty taste with very little fat. In any restaurant, ask for the nutrition information. Items with some fiber and protein will keep you satisfied for hours.  Sodium watchers take note: the Egg McMuffin has 820 mg.”

Tony

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How Many Calories in the New McDonald’s Chicken McWraps?

The new McDonald’s  Premium McWraps look like some low-cal winners at first glance. Chicken instead of beef – check. Wraps instead of buns – check. So far; so good.

The calorie counts aren’t horrible, either. The Chicken and Bacon (Crispy) tops them out with 600 calories while the Chicken and Sweet Chili (Grilled) covers the low end with 360 calories. Serving sizes range down from 11 ounces to nine ounces. Pretty big. Always keep in mind, however, that these nutritional breakdowns cover the McWraps alone. Do you want fries or a drink with that? Get ready to possibly double those calories.

Serving sizes range from 9.3 ounces to 11 ounces. That's a fistfull.

Serving sizes range from 9.3 ounces to 11 ounces. That’s a fist full.

Each of the McWraps comes in two choices, grilled chicken or fried chicken. They call fried chicken crispy chicken. A rose by any other name would still be a McRose. They cost $3.99 each.

The Nutritional Breakdown follows:

Chicken & Bacon (crispy)
Calories 600
Total fat 30 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
Cholesterol 70 mg
Sodium 1420 mg
Carbohydrates 54 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Sugar 7 grams
Protein 33 grams

Chicken & Bacon (grilled)
Calories 440
Total fat 16 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
Cholesterol 90 mg
Sodium 1250 mg
Carbohydrates 40 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Sugar 5 grams
Protein 30 grams Continue reading

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How Many Calories in McDonald’s Egg White Delight?

McDonald’s is taking a walk on the mild side with their new lower calorie Egg White Delight this spring. The total calories drop to 260 from 300 on the Egg McMuffin.

Contents include Canadian bacon (leaner than regular  bacon), white cheddar cheese. The egg whites will be grilled, not fried, and served between whole grain slices. These all sound like positive steps in reducing calories and upping nutritive value.
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In addition, the company will be cutting out its Chicken Selects and is considering the removal of the Angus burgers.

I have had a problem with the sugar, salt and fat content of a number of McDonald’s offerings in the past. Why You Shouldn’t Drink McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is an example.

In this Egg White Delight case, it sounds like they are heading in the right direction. It will be interesting to see the actual size of this. Often when fast food firms cut calorie size, they end up with a nearly bite size product. From the photo this looks like a nice hand full.

On the bright side, anything that takes a swipe at the 60 percent of the population that is overweight and 30 percent outright obese has to be a good thing.

To read more about this subject check out the Fast Food Nutrition page.

Tony

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What About Sugar?

I have written a number of times about the sugar content in various foods, Why You Shouldn’t Drink McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is one example. The drink has 67 grams of sugar in 16 ounces. That amounts to 15 teaspoons full.

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As is the case with salt, there is a lot of sugar hidden in processed foods. The key idea I try to get across here is there are 4.2 grams of sugar in a teaspoon. People read the sugar content in grams and it just doesn’t register with them.

WebMD has a nice quiz on sugar which you can take. Continue reading

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How Many Calories in Wendy’s New Fish Sandwich?

With Lent in full swing, Wendy’s has brought back their special hand made fish sandwich. It weighs 3.4 ounces which is pretty big, by my reckoning it comes in bigger than McDonald’s fish sammy. The Wendy’s offering is also hand-cut 100 percent North Pacific Cod and covered with a panko crumb coating.

You can almost feel the  chill North Pacific wind

You can almost feel the chill North Pacific wind

Here is the nutritional breakdown according to Caloriecount:
Calories 480
Total fat 24 grams
Sat fat 4.0 grams
Cholesterol 50 mg
Sodium 980 mg
Carbohydrates 50 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Protein 17 grams

This is definitely a larger offering than McDonald’s which comes in with a total of 380 calories. You can read my full write up of the Filet-o-Fish here.

Regarding the Wendy’s offering, that’s a lot of fat for a fish sandwich. More importantly I have a problem with the 980 mg of Sodium. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say we shouldn’t consume more than 1500 mg in a day and this is 2/3 of that in one meal without a soft drink or fries being considered.

As far as taste goes, you will have to decide that for yourself. I don’t expect to be throwing my line in for one of these any time soon. I have a problem with that much fat and salt in a fish sammy, though.

Tony

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How Many Calories in a McDonald’s Fish Sandwich and Double Fish Sandwich?

As a fan of battered fish, I confess that I have eaten a boatload of these over the years. so I was curious when I saw a McDonald’s ad for a ‘double’ fish filet sandwich.

This is the single fish sandwich. No double pics available yet.

This is the single fish sandwich. No double pics available yet.

Maybe I am just ignorant, but I had trouble finding a nutritional breakdown for the new double sandwich. So, I will give you what I was able to find for the regular single sandwich which includes a fish filet patty, regular bun, tartar sauce and American cheese slice from the McDonald’s site.

Regular fish filet:

Calories 390
Protein 15 grams
Total Fat 19 grams
Saturated Fat 4 grams
Carbohydrates 19 grams
Cholesterol 15 mg
Sodium 590 mg
Sugar 5 grams

The following is for a double fish filet sandwich:
Calories 540
Protein 25 grams
Total Fat 26 grams
Saturated Fat 5 grams
Carbohydrates 49 grams
Sodium 830 mg
Sugar 5 grams

The new double fish sammy comes out a little on the heavy side for my money and my tummy. The 540 calories amounts to a bulging quarter of the caloric needs for the average person who has a 2000 budget for the entire day. Don’t forget there are no fries included with this, nor beverage which could easily add several hundred more calories. The Sodium total is at least worth looking at. Experts recommend a total of no more than 1500 mg for the entire day. So, this eats up more than half of the Sodium you should have all day.

Here we are back at the portion size and portion control dilemma. Much as I love battered fish, I will be tossing back the double. In this case, I believe you can have too much of a good thing.

Tony

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Filed under calories, fast food, fish sandwich, McDonald's, McDonald's fish sandwich, portion size, salt, sodium, Weight

McDonald’s Varies Menu Overseas – The McCamembert Burger

McDonald’s may be a burger chain for us stateside folks, but overseas it’s a different story, according to the Guardian.

The McArabia

The McArabia

Middle East fast food fans indulge in the McArabia, a grilled chicken sandwich on a flatbread.

In Japan a Mega Teriyaki is an entree and Thailand features jasmine rice patties.

Perhaps the most spectacular is the McCamembert Burger just introduced in France. Ironically, this attempt to satisfy local tastes has irritated the Camembert producers in Normandy.

The McCamembert Burger

The McCamembert Burger

The Guardian reported that the French Newspaper L’Express said that camembert fans “”will be disappointed”, because it lacked taste and, horror, “could even be confused for brie.”

They deserve a break today.

Tony

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How Many Calories in McDonald’s Fish McBites?

McDonald’s announced it is putting its new Fish McBites into Happy Meals today, just in time for Lent.

How many calories in the new McDonald’s offering and, possibly as importantly, how does it compare with Chicken McNuggets?

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The new Happy Meal size of Fish McBites breaks down as follows:
Serving size 2.4 ounces
170 calories
8 grams protein
9 grams fat
15 grams of carbs
300 mg of Sodium

This compares with the 3.4 ounce serving of Chicken McNuggets:
280 calories
13 grams protein
18 grams fat
18 grams of carbs
540 mg of Sodium

My kids are grown, but a parent of small kids friend of mine said that she didn’t think her children would go for a change from the Chicken McNuggets because they love them so much. That is unfortunate in my view as the McNuggets have nearly double the Sodium in a single serving and most folks eat too much Sodium (salt) already. Health experts suggest no more than 2300 mg per day for an adult and 1500 mg per day for an adult over age 50. Presumably, the total is less for child-size bodies.

A couple of other observations: The Fish McBites are about a third smaller serving than the McNuggets. This might leave children feeling unsatisfied if they are used to getting the bigger serving – more to eat.

It will be interesting to see how the McBites fare in the marketplace with Mickey D’s marketing muscle being them.

There is a 3.4 ounce serving – ‘Snack Size’ – available. It breaks down as follows:
250 calories
11 g protein
13 grams fat
2 g sat fat
21 g carbs
420 mg Sodium

The Sodium picks up, but still falls short of the McNuggets.

For adults, there is a ‘Regular Size’ of Fish McBites 5.2 ounces:
370 calories
17 g protein
20 grams fat
2.5 g sat fat
31 g carbs
630 mg sodium

For my money the 17 grams of protein are positive, but I don’t care for the 20 grams of fat and I like less the 630 mg of Sodium.

They also offer a Shareable size which is just larger. You can see all you need to know about the nutrition in it from the foregoing to make up your mind about whether to order it or not.

As far as beverages go, stick with nice healthy water. You can read all about McDonald’s Drinks if you want details.

Buon Appetito!

Tony

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