5/31/2011

Fat Attack: The Cold Hard Facts about Five Fast Food Burgers

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Let's be honest.  Like most people, I have heard the "fact" that fast food is bad for my health.  For the most part, I cook all of my meals at home ( I have watched too many episodes of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares to do otherwise), but last night I decided to look up the nutritional facts of 5 popular fast food menu items.  While I already knew that some of the information would be alarming, the truth ended up being more surprising than I expected.  Here are the cold hard facts about 5 favorite fast food items.

1.  McDonald's Angus Bacon and Cheese
This is one of the newer sandwiches that have been added to this restaurant's menu.  The amount of calories in the sandwich alone was not what surprised me the most.  The amount of sodium that it contains is staggering.

Just the Facts:
790 calories, 350 calories from Fat, 39 g of Fat, 17 g of Saturated Fat, 145 mg Cholesterol, 2070 mg of Sodium
(See the source below for the full nutritional information for this item.)

What does that mean?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a limit of 1500 mg of sodium each day.  Increased sodium intake increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke among other things.
Chart: Average daily sodium intake age 2 and up: 3,436 mg. Tolerable upper intake level: 2,300 mg. Recommended adequate intake level: 1,500 mg. How much daily sodium our bodies need: 180-500. Decreasing sodium intake could prevent thousands of deaths annually, because nearly 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to high blood pressure.

McDonald's Nutritional Informational Source: http://www1.mcdonalds.com/bagamcmeal/


2.  Burger King Triple Stacker with Cheese
Based on the sound of the name alone, this burger screams everything but healthy.

Just the facts
1230 calories , 82 g of fat, 32 g of Saturated fat, 225 mg of Cholesterol, 1550 mg of sodium.
(See the source below for the full nutritional information for this item.)

What does this mean?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a limit of 20 g of saturated fat per day.  Not only does this burger contain a whopping 1230 calories, but it also contains 12 g more of saturated fat that is recommended for a person on a limit of  2000 calories per day.  The amount is still considered excessive for individuals on a 3000 calories per day eating plan as well.

Burger King's Nutritional Information Source:  http://www.bk.com/en/us/menu-nutrition/category1/menu-item161/index.html


3. Wendy's Double Baconator
I was a little shocked about this one, especially because I used to (years ago) order this without cheese.

Just the facts:
930 calories, 520 calories from Fat, 58 g of Fat, 25 g of Saturated Fat, 195mg Cholesterol, 1840 mg of Sodium
(See the source below for the full nutritional information for this item.)

What does this mean?
The total number of calories that I strive to eat each day is between 1200- 1500.  This burger alone has more than 2/3 of the amount of food that I eat each day!


Wendy's Nutritional Information Source:  http://www.wendys.com/food/Nutrition.jsp

4.  Krystal's Double Big Angus Bacon Cheeseburger
This burger is not quite as calorie packed as the last one although it still is quite hefty.

Just the facts 850 calories, 530 calories from Fat, 59 g of Fat, 22 g of Saturated Fat, 120 mg Cholesterol, 1580 mg of Sodium
(See the source below for the full nutritional information for this item.)

What does this mean?
The majority of the calories in this burger (similar to the other ones that have been posted) come from fat.

Krystal's Nutritional Information Source:  http://krystal.com/menu/

5.  Hardee's 2/3 lb. Monster ThickerBurger

This burger is called a "monster" for a reason.

Just the facts 1320 calories, 860 calories from Fat, 95 g of Fat, 36 g of Saturated Fat, 210 mg Cholesterol, 3020  mg of Sodium
(See the source below for the full nutritional information for this item.)

What does this mean?
This burger alone is equivalent to all of the calories that I eat in one day!
Hardee's Nutritional Information Source: http://www.hardees.com/menu

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