Despite the slogan, no Mr Ronald McDonald, I’m not loving it.
I was surfing the web today and I came across a bunch of articles promoting McDonald’s fast food restaurants as a weight loss Mecca. There was one man who claimed to lose 79 llbs on the “McDonalds diet” and a US woman who apparently lost 33 llbs in 90 days on a similar “McDonalds weight loss program”.
These claims, whether they are true or not give people the completely wrong idea – for sure, it is possible to lose weight eating junk like McDonalds simply by eating less calories, but here are the reasons why you shouldn’t use any kind of fast food diet plan…
McDonalds has been trying to re-brand itself for years as healthy and nutritious food, but there is no escaping the cold hard facts – the nutritional value of McDonalds products are poor at best. Take the humble Big Mac: weighing in at 490 calories, that’s a quarter of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for women this popular burger spells trouble for people concerned with their weight. A large French Fries is another 490 calories and when you add on a large Coca-Cola the total calories is your meal is a whopping (excuse the pun) 1160 calories – nearly 60% of your recommended daily allowance!
But this isn’t the bad part – you can still lose weight if you ate only a large McDonalds meal in a day. The real killer is the salt, saturated fat and sugar content of the food and the lack of essential vitamins and minerals. Take our meal above – Big Mac, large fries, large coke: with this you are consuming 67% of your sugar RDA, 62% of your salt RDA and over 50% of your saturated fat allowance. Eating this type of junk food every day is basically a passport to obesity and a heart attack.
I couldn’t believe it when I heard that the famed weight loss company Weight Watchers had decided to join forces with McDonalds and help promote three of its meals. Weight Watchers extolled the virtues of these meals to its members in New Zealand and amongst the foods recommended for the Weight Watchers diet plan were McDonalds McChicken Nuggets. Let me tell you a little bit about McChicken Nuggets…
These little blighters have been a favourite amongst families for ages, parents unwittingly purchase these “chicken nuggets” with the assumption that they are made from real chicken – this couldn’t be further from the truth. Chicken is included, along with the following:
- Modified cornstarch
- Sodium phosphates
- Chicken broth powder (chicken broth, salt, and natural flavoring (chicken source)
- Seasoning (vegetable oil, extracts of rosemary, mono, di- and triglycerides, lecithin)
- Battered and breaded with water
- Enriched bleached wheat flour (niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
- Yellow corn flour
- Bleached wheat flour
- Leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate)
- Wheat starch
- Dried whey
- Corn starch
- Batter set in vegetable shortening
- Cooked in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, (may contain partially hydrogenated soybean oil and/or partially hydrogenated corn oil and/or partially hydrogenated canola oil and/or cottonseed oil and/or sunflower oil and/or corn oil)
- TBHQ and citric acid added to help preserve freshness. Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an anti-foaming agent.
As you can see, there are a lot of other ingredients in McNuggets, 38 in total and many of them made from corn. Towards the end of our list things get frightening – the emulsifiers that keep fats and water from separating, the ingredients that come from petroleum products to keep items from spoiling after being confined to the freezer for months.
Some of the ingredients: sodium aluminum phosphate; mono-calcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and calcium lactate are used to keep the animal and vegetable fats from turning rancid. Then you have anti foaming agents like dimethylpolysiloxene which according to the Handbook of Food Additives, is a material which is an established mutagen, tumorigenic, and reproductive effector as well as being a suspected carcinogen.
Finally, the most scary ingredient in McDonald’s nuggets is “tertiary butyl hydroquinone”, also known as TBHQ which is derived from petroleum and is sprayed either directly on the nugget or inside the box to “help preserve freshness”. The FDA only allows processors to use this substance sparingly in our food and consequently it is only allowed to comprise no more than 0.02% of the oil in the nugget. Thank goodness for the FDA, but let’s just hope McDonalds adheres to their guidelines as ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.” Ingesting just five grams of the stuff can be fatal – it’s ok though – McDonalds only use a little bit!
Knowing all this, surely you’ll agree that any weight loss program that actually recommends McDonalds as a good food choice MUST be avoided. McDonalds aren’t interested in your health, and neither are Weight Watchers – it would seem to me that they are simply on the lookout to make as much money as possible, and this promotion would to proves it, my suggestion is not to fall for the Weight Watchers scam.
Let me leave you with the words of McDonalds Chief Financial Officer Matthew Paull who told an investors’ conference; “If you eat too much of anything it’s a problem if you don’t exercise,” “There’s no such thing as good food and bad food.” Well let me tell you, there is such a thing as good and bad food and McDonalds is right on the bottom of the scale. For your weight, and ultimately for your health you should be avoiding not just McDonalds but all fast food.
I’m not “lovin’ it” and neither should you.