Tag Archives: McDonald’s
One of our problems in this junk food filled world is that our taste buds get distorted by those over-sugared, over-salted, over-fatted foods. Not only fast foods, but also most processed foods are loaded with these ‘extras’ to extend the food’s shelf life and to take a cattle prod to our taste buds.
Check out my post – A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s – NOT for more details on this.
Trying to get off these foods can be frustrating because unprocessed healthy foods don’t create the same reaction in our mouths. We bite into fresh fruit and it doesn’t explode on the palate like McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. We need to guard against the erroneous conclusion that the fresh fruit doesn’t have much taste. I don’t mean to single out Mickey D’s except that they are the biggest fast food chain and sell the most.
I wrote about why you shouldn’t drink their Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. You can click the link to read the entire post, but one main item is that the drink contains ” … 67 grams of sugar … 15.95 teaspoonfuls. Are you ready for that? In terms of a cup, that amounts to 1/3 of an 8 ounce cup.” It’s hard to compete with that kind of taste jolt.
As a guy with a sweet tooth as well as a salty tooth, I struggled with my weight for years. Fries, especially at Mickey D’s were always a frightful temptation for me. Love ’em to death. So, it was enlightening to learn what some of the ingredients are in those delicious tid bits.
I thought these were fun. If they help you to eat less/move more and live longer, so much the better.
This picture is one of those Pinterest gag posts that people put on their ‘Funny’ pin boards. An ironic juxtaposition of two billboards. The top one warning about childhood obesity and the lower one trumpeting that king of burgers – McDonald’s.
As the billboard says, “Don’t take it lightly.”
Obesity is not a joke. I don’t know how many times I have written “60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese.” This is twice as many as 20 years ago. Even our children are getting fatter. Among young people, 15 percent of those ages 6 to 19 are seriously overweight. That’s nearly 9 million, triple the number of cancers that a person is vulnerable to.
Also, a study published in 2013 by the National Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reported that the total number of knee replacement more than tripled between 1993 and 2009 more than tripled. They said the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the U.S. accounted for 95 percent of the higher demand for knee replacements, with younger patients affected to a greater degree.
So, if you feel you ‘deserve a break today’ you might either miss McDonald’s or pick from their salad menu.
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.
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.
… 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.
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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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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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
I really enjoy the information available from WebMD. They offer articles, studies and quizzes on healthy subjects.
I want to tell you about this recent one – Test Your Fast Food Smarts.
I have been writing this blog for the best part of four years. As a result of this project, I have taken off 15 pounds from what I had thought was my ideal weight 165 pounds. In addition I have a resting heart rate below 50 beats per minute and my body fat remains under 17 per cent. Before I took the quiz I thought I had a really good fix on fast food even though I don’t eat very much of it. However, of the 16 questions in the quiz I got less than half of them right.
Here are a couple of examples of questions in the quiz. I hope they will whet your appetite for more info on the subject.
How many Americans eat fast food every day?
How many of us guzzle sugary drinks daily?
To burn off an order of medium fries, a 155 pound adult needs to? Ride a stationary bike hard for 30 minutes or do high impact aerobics for 30 minutes or strength train for 60 minutes?
On average a teen will grab a fast food meal that has how many calories? 500 to 800; 800 to 1100; 1100 to 1500 calories?
No, I am not going to spoil your fun by giving you any of the answers. I hope you will take the test and derive the full benefit from it. At the risk of using a cliche – You’ll thank me for it.
Mickey D’s has just released some new variations on their theme of quarter pounders. I haven’t eaten any yet, but here is how they break out nutritionally according to the McDonald’s website:
Quarter Pounder with Cheese
Total Fat 26 grams
Saturated fat 12 grams
Trans fat 1.5 grams
Cholesterol 95 mg
Sodium 1100 mg
Carbohydrates 41 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Protein 30 grams
Bacon Habanero Ranch
Tot Fat 31 grams
Saturated fat 13 grams
Trans fat 1.5 grams
Cholesterol 105 mg
Sodium 1180 mg
Carbohydrates 46 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Protein 37 grams Continue reading
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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)
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)
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