I joined a friend recently at McDonalds for a one-on-one after lunch meeting. We’ve been friends for a while, but never had a chance to get to know each other. I try my best to adhere to certain types of foods to maintain nutritional balance. As a result, I usually have unsweetened iced tea as my drink and refill it a few times while I’m there.
My friend had skipped breakfast and was starving. He bought the basic quarter pounder with cheese and bacon, large fries and a large coke. It got me to thinking about what the nutritional value of that meal might be.
According to what I could find on the Internet, the drink (with seconds) probably exceeded 1000 calories and 100 grams of carbohydrates. The burger weighed in at 600 calories and 48 grams of carbs. The large fries accounted for 520 calories and 63 grams of carbs. He added extra salt to his fries and did not use catsup.
At this one meal, the approximate total was 2100+ calories and 200+ grams of carbohydrates. That one meal probably exceeded his total caloric needs for the day and well exceeded the carbohydrate recommended. But, that’s not the whole story.
The burger was not grass-fed with no antibiotics and hormones added. The wheat bun contained gluten. The potatoes were fried in an omega-6 oil. The salt was processed. The cheese was processed and coke contained lots of high fructose corn syrup.
What does this really mean? From an acidic/alkaline perspective, it was heavily acidic – not a healthy option. From an inflammatory perspective, it was overly high in omega-6 fatty acids – again, not a healthy option. The salt was processed (salt mined, stripped of minerals and had extra additives for stability) – not close to healthy, especially considering the extra amount added.
The gluten in the hamburger bun creates both gut and brain issues. The potatoes were most likely genetically modified. It is hard to find organic potatoes in stores. The caloric count for someone approximately 200 pounds should be around 2000 total for the day if you live on a restricted calories lifestyle – but, that implies balanced nutrition to achieve those 2000 calories.
Overall, it’s one of those habits we get into daily. We don’t have time to eat properly and grab the first thing that comes along to quench our hunger. Since he had not eaten anything for breakfast, I asked if he had drunk water or anything. One cup of coffee was his response. The coffee is considered a diuretic and he was most likely suffering from dehydration than hunger.
The HFCS in the coke is considered a poison by some nutritionists. Long-term usage can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It taxes the liver to process the high levels of fructose. The liver also has to process the toxins included in your normal lifestyle (diet, personal care products, etc.).