Tag Archives: unhealthy fast-food

The Goodbun: A Fast Food Revolution

Alec Fernandez and Daniel del Campo, two young, innovative gentleman from Miami, Florida, have a grand plan: to revolutionize the fast food industry as we know it. Ferndandez and del Campo fully understand the struggles of balancing a jam-packed schedule and eating healthy on the fly because, let’s face it: sometimes, the only option is to grab food on the go. Their idea is to create better options for Americans who need to occasionally rely on fast food.

On a recent Nielsen survey, the number one reason people choose fast food is to save time. People are literally claiming to not have the right time to eat healthfully, and that is something that we have to change. The duo acknowledges that there is no real good-for-you-fast-food choice. Until now. (more…)

Worst Burger of the Year: 3,000 Calorie “The Beast” in Kansas

If you’ve got $20+ to blow, and happen to be in Kansas, fast-food restaurant Spangles has a challenge for you.

Launched on Christmas Eve, the Beast is a limited-time offering by Spangles, though will continue to be sold while customer demand for it exists. The burger itself features six 1/3-pound steak burger patties, 12 slices of American cheese, mustard, ketchup, onion, and pickle.

We asked Mary Hartley, R.D., to break down the Beast nutritionally. While Spangles says the burger has 3,000 calories, she estimates that the number is closer to 3,570. “To put it in perspective, one burger provides almost two days worth of calories, sodium, and calcium; 3.5 days worth of fat, cholesterol and iron; 6 days worth of protein; and 16.5 days worth of saturated fat; but (oops!) no fiber.”


11 Scary Unhealthy Fast Food Breakfasts

By Melissa Breyer for Care2.com

How would you like to meet your daily sodium and saturated fat allowance, as well as nearly half of your daily calorie needs, in one quick breakfast eaten on the road? It’s becoming progressively easy these day as food technicians, chefs and market researchers, holed away in corporate fast food “studios,” are busy developing monstrous new breakfast items. Trying to claim as much of the $57 billion fast food breakfast market as they can, the fast food giants are drumming up increasingly cheesy, steak-y, fried chicken-y breakfast dishes that tap into flavor combinations that have proven successful for lunch and dinner items. It’s no longer eggs and English muffins for fast food breakfast…breakfast burger anyone?

What’s most striking about some of these high-calorie items–aside from the unsustainable, industrial, often GMO and synthetic ingredients–is the very high sodium and saturated fat content. According to the USDA, the current recommendation for sodium consumption is less than 2,300 milligrams a day. For saturated fat, the maximum allowance is between 18 grams to 31 grams, depending on your caloric intake needs. (You can calculate your caloric need with this calculator from the Mayo Clinic.) Many of these breakfast items meet or exceed the daily sodium and fat allowances, and provide much more than one-third of your daily caloric needs.


Wendy’s New “Natural” Fries Are No Different

In the latest twist towards more “real” food, Wendy’s is rolling out new french fries. The fast food giant is introducing fries that are thinner, smaller, and crispier than the current offerings. The revamped sides are made with Russet potatoes, with the skin left on, and topped with sea salt. The fries were transformed to appeal to a more diverse and upscale palate.

“We want every ingredient to be a simple ingredient, to be one you can pronounce and one your grandmother would recognize in her pantry,” said Ken Calwell, Wendy’s chief marketing officer.  “People want foods that are less processed,” he continued, “and by leaving the skins on, it reminds people where the fries come from.” Testing done by the company indicates that many consumers feel that fries are processed foods. In addition, there is a common misconception that sea salt is healthier. (more…)

Fast Food Nightmare: Taco Bell’s XXL Chalupa

Taco Bell's XXL Chalupa

Image via Corner Booth

Tacos don’t have to be unhealthy. You can make healthy tacos with low-fat beef or turkey, lots of healthy veggies and beans, and whole wheat tortillas. But Taco Bell‘s effort to top the XXL Chalupa with reduced-fat sour cream isn’t enough to turn this monster into something that’s good for you.

This taco boat is loaded up with 650 calories worth of ground beef, “red strips,” nacho cheese sauce and three cheese blend–and a minimal amount of salsa and lettuce. The mysterious “red strips” are pretty much strips of corn chip that have been pumped full of artificially coloring. The XXL chalupa is basically a regular Taco Bell chalupa, only on a flatbread that’s about 50 percent bigger with additional filling.


McDonald’s Representative Claims No Child Will Actually Eat Healthier Happy Meals

Kids Meal ToysOfficials in San Francisco are debating creating new nutritional standards for meals intended for children. Of a meal’s total calories, officials want to require that no more than 10 percent are from “added caloric sweeteners” and no more than 35 percent are from fat. They also want to prohibit the bundling of toys with meals that have over 600 calories total. The ordinance will further require kids’ meals to include a half cup of vegetables, or fruit if the meal is served at breakfast. Lastly, they ask that meals have a serving of multi-grains. Toys would be permitted if attached to healthier meals.

Many spoke out in favor of the new ordinance at public hearings this week, including representatives of nonprofit health advocacy groups, teachers and parents. Some feel that mandating healthier fast food goes beyond childhood nutrition, and is in fact a civil rights issue. Eric Mar, co-author of the ordinance, pointed out that Latinos and blacks have higher rates of obesity and diabetes.

But McDonald’s representatives paint a very different story, in an effort to protect its economic interests. They portrayed healthier kids’ meals as undermining parental authority. “We believe in giving our customers the right to choose,” said Karen Wells, McDonald’s USA vice president of U.S. strategy and menu. “Parents are telling us it is their decision what they want to feed their children and not necessarily in the hands of legislators.”

Fast-Food Nightmares: Hardee’s Fried Bologna Biscuit Sandwich and French Dip Thick Burger

Is it me or has the fast-food industry recently gone mad with their new and shameful creations of Angus burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and now fried bologna breakfast biscuits?

hardees fried bologna biscuitWasn’t it just a few short months ago, KFC introduced their new grilled chicken menu and McDonald’s started placing ads in every parent magazine about how nutritious their small hamburger, apple slices and low-fat milk lunches are?

Maybe it’s a backlash to their healthier intentions, but Hardees has joined the low ranks of KFC and McDonald’s and just launched their new Oscar Mayer Fried Bologna Biscuit sandwich, which is being touted as a throwback comfort food of sorts. Apparently, Hardees like many other fast-food and chain restaurants is trying to appeal to the economically-downtrodden fast-food nation as we seek solace in cheap, processed, comfort foods like fried bologna and biscuits. (more…)

Eating low-fat fast-food

Fast-food chains have definitely taken a beating in the past few years particularly following the release of the explosive documentary, “Super Size Me.” Given the recent Swedish findings that a diet high in fattening fast food choices can not only add on pounds, but can also damage the liver is another red check mark for these restaurant conglomerates. t

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had a full meal at a fast-food chain. I do admit though to zipping through the drive-thru every now and then to pick up a McDonald’s ice cream cone, especially during the summer. Today, most fast-food restaurants offer a few low-fat options, but how many of fast food diners eat them? Do you order a grilled chicken breast salad because it’s your own preference for lunch or is it because you happen to be with a group of people who have chosen a fast-food joint as their place of eating and you don’t want the usual fare of burger and fries? All judgments of fast-food restaurants aside, I am just very curious about the reasons.