One of my objections to mainstream health websites is in order to build maximum traffic they sometimes seem compelled to compromise good health principals.
Knowing that many people in their audience have really bad eating habits, they counsel their readers to adopt less harmful substitutes. Instead of drinking Coca-Cola, drink diet Coke; worried about fat, try 2% milk; not getting enough fiber, here’s a pill you can take instead of eating whole grains and broccoli.
Just today, I happened on an amusing example of this approach at WebMD, concerning fast-food breakfasts, you know, the calorie laden fake food they serve in the morning at places like McDonald’s and Burger King.
To be fare, WebMD says it doesn’t endorse fast-food for breakfast, however, they then go about analyzing the content of various menu options, picking out the worst items and suggesting you try “healthier” substitutes.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to a fast-food “restaurant” so I found some of the breakfast choices to be even more horrible than I would have imagined. My favorite example is Carl’s Junior Breakfast Burger (pictured above)—1/4 hamburger patty, processed cheese, scrambled egg, three strips of bacon, and hash brown nuggets topped with ketchup inside a warm, sesame-seed bun. In terms of measurable nutrition, this two-fisted whopper (sorry, Burger King) weighs in at 830 calories, 47 grams fat, 15 grams saturated fat, 1,580 mg sodium, and a meager 3 grams of fiber.
If these numbers don’t scare you into thinking you can get fat just by driving by, consider what other poisonous ingredients are in this “meal.” I’m talking about high fructose corn syrup in the hamburger bun and in the ketchup, nitrate in the bacon, food colorings and emulsifiers in the “cheese,” added hormones and antibiotics in the “beef,” etc.
A much better choice, according to WebMD, is Burger King’s Ham Omelet Sandwich. Only 290 calories and 4.5 grams of saturated fat, this delicious breakfast consists of four or five layers of very thin “ham,” a microwaved egg, and a slice of processed cheese also between a sesame bun. Ketchup optional, I guess.
What WebMD should be telling their readers is don’t ever eat breakfast at a fast-food restaurant no matter what. Don’t have time to toast a slice of bread before walking out the door in the morning? Grab a banana and eat it in the car. Bananas are surprisingly filling, nutrious and they digest slowly. This may not be the best breakfast, but at least you won’t be poisoning yourself.
You check this out the WebMD article and companion slideshow at: http://www.webmd.com/diet/slideshow-best-and-worst-fast-food-breakfasts