McDonald’s: Not Lovin’ It

You ever have one of these mornings? You hit the snooze button one too many times because you got to bed late and the pillow and comforter both feel so incredibly perfect, then you get up in a mad rush because it’s 10 minutes until you have to leave and you still haven’t gotten ready. After getting ready, you race out of the house, without having eaten breakfast, figuring you can pick something up from McDonald’s along the way.

Needless to say, that’s what just happened to me.

So I stop by McD’s and pick up a couple of Sausage McMuffins with Egg, figuring one probably won’t do it. After getting to the office, I down one of the McMuffins and start my work. “Man,” I start thinking, “I’m pretty full.” This was surprising to me because I used to eat two of these up to three mornings a week when I was younger. Today I started to get stuffed with just one! What’s up with that?!

Now, I’ll admit, recently I’ve been super careful with what I eat (for the most part). I’ve been working out a lot and have had to be careful about what I put in, so during that process my body has addapted to a new diet regimen: lots of fruits, and vegetables, lots of fish and chicken, a bit of wheat bread, and very little cheese, beef, white bread, rice, pasta, or sodium. In other words, healthier stuff with an overall lower carb and sodium intake. As such, I’ve become pretty sensitive to junky foods. Still, it was surprising to me that after eating that one McMuffin I started feeling so massively full, much fuller than I have ever been after eating just one of those things.

Remembering the feeling, later that day I decided to look for the nutritional information on the McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin with Egg. I knew they weren’t healthy: I figured that McMuffins had something like 350 calories, lots of cholesterol (because of the egg), some fat, and maybe 600mg of sodium. I was wrong. Very wrong. They weren’t even that healthy. They were frighteningly unhealthy. In fact, here’s what I found when I went to McDonalds.com:

Calories: 450
Total Fat (g): 27 (42% Daily Value)
Saturated Fat (g): 10 (50 % Daily Value)
Transfat (g): 0.5
Cholesterol (mg): 255 (85% Daily Value)
Sodium (mg): 950 (39% Daily Value)
Carbohydrates (g): 31 (10% Daily Value)
Dietary Fiber (g): 2 (6% Daily Value)
Proteing (g): 20

(Based on a 2,000 Calorie per day diet)

Ingredients:
English Muffin
Enriched bleached wheat flour (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, iron, folic acid; may contain malted barley flour), water, vital wheat gluten, yeast. Following ingredients 2 percent or less: wheat gluten, salt, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and/or cottonseed oil, vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, and/or dextrose, corn meal, soy flour, dough conditioners (calcium peroxide, mono- and diglycerides, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate), yeast nutrients (ammonium sulfate, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, ammonium chloride, monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), calcium sulfate, fungal enzymes, fumaric acid, acetic acid, calcium propionate and potassium sorbate as a preservative, citric acid, ascorbic acid, corn starch. Contains wheat, milk and soybean ingredients.

Sausage Patty
Pork, whey protein concentrate, water, salt, spices, corn syrup solids, dextrose, monosodium glutamate, BHA, propyl gallate, citric acid. Contains milk ingredients.

Egg
USDA Grade A eggs

Pasteurized Process American Cheese
Milk, milkfat, water, cream, sodium citrate, salt, sodium phosphate, sorbic acid (preservative), artificial color, cheese culture, acetic acid, soy lecithin, enzymes, with starch added for slice separation. Contains milk and soybean ingredients.

Liquid Margarine
Liquid soybean oil, water, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, vegetable monoglycerides and soy lecithin (emulsifiers), sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), artificial flavor, vitamin A palmitate, colored with beta carotene (source of vitamin A). Contains soybean ingredients.

Having eaten this stuff and other things like this continually as a kid, it’s no wonder I grew up fat! (And no, I didn’t eat the second one. I don’t think my heart or stomach could have taken it.) Again, I knew this stuff was bad for you — I just didn’t know how bad.

Speaking of which, here’s something else I’ve learned: during drives down from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale, I used to stop by McD’s and pick up a large order of fries, just to have something to munch on while on the road. (Is it just me, or do people get hungrier when they’re driving/traveling long distances?) Here is the nutritional info on those oh so sinfully delicious fries:

Calories: 570
Total Fat (g): 30 (47% Daily Value)
Saturated Fat (g): 6 (30% Daily Value)
Transfat (g): 8
Cholesterol (mg): 0 (0% Daily Value)
Sodium (mg): 330 (14% Daily Value)
Carbohydrates (g): 70 (23% Daily Value)
Dietary Fiber (g): 7 (28% Daily Value)
Proteing (g): 6

(Based on a 2,000 Calorie per day diet)

Ingredients:
Large French Fries
Potatoes, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor (beef, wheat and dairy sources), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (to preserve natural color). 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). Contains derivatives of wheat and dairy.
Salt

Scary, isn’t it? Although I am surprised that the fries have no cholesterol.

Anyway, that’s enough for me to eschew McDonald’s altogether. What about you? Have you ever had an experience like this, where you found out something about a food or restaurant which was so revolting to you that you stopped going there altogether? Any tips, advice, or warnings are welcome.

Finally, I hope this post has helped make you a bit more health conscious. If you want to dig up more information on nutritional facts for restaurant/fast food joint food, check out DietFacts.com.

One thought on “McDonald’s: Not Lovin’ It

  1. I just had a meeting with a personal trainer today. Discussed all the benefits of food and stuff.

    I just thought it was really funny to come across an article on your site discussing similar topics just a few minutes later.

    Similar experiences? I should say not. I haven’t really checked though. My policy, don’t ask, don’t eat there in the first place unless it can be avoided.

    As for traveling. I can’t explain it either. By sittign down and not doing anything, i feel hungrier versus a normal days activity. Prolly out of boredome i suppose.

    But hey, you can hate on mcdonalds, but leave the fries out of this…for gods sake man, leave the fries out of this…

Share your thoughts