Recently while perusing the ever-fascinating food section of the Huffington Post, I came across an article about a study focusing on the effects of a fast food diet. Specifically, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are looking for participants who are willing to eat only fast food for three months straight in exchange for $3500. Study participants may choose from the menus at McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut—regardless of which fare they choose, they must gain at least 5% of their body weight.
Would you participate? If not, at what price tag would you consider it?
In light of my recent weight struggles, the compensation would have to be pretty high (i.e. at least 6 digits) for me to agree to purposefully gain 5% of my body weight on a fast food diet.
That being said, this study reminded me of an article I wrote as part of my graduate practicum project this past spring. The topic? How to eat (relatively) healthfully at a fast food establishment. I tediously pored through the nutritional information provided by major fast food retailers and picked out the least offensive menu items. I’ve copied it below for your enjoyment.
Multigrain Oatmeal with roasted nut topping & dried fruit + fruit cup (medium) = 315 Calories, 11g fat, 45mg sodium, 7g fiber, 7g protein
Yogurt Parfait with Granola = 290 Calories, 6g fat, 85mg sodium, 1g fiber, 7g protein
Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich + side salad with light Italian dressing = 375 Calories, 9g fat, 1650mg sodium, 5g fiber, 34g protein
Chargrilled Chicken Salad with light Italian dressing and roasted sunflower kernels + fruit cup (medium) = 355 Calories, 14g fat, 1215mg sodium, 7g fiber, 26g protein
Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup (large) + fruit cup (medium) + soft serve cone = 460 Calories, 10g fat, 1875mg sodium, 5g fiber, 18g protein
6” Egg White & Cheese Omelet Sandwich with veggies on wheat bread = 320 Calories, 8g fat, 940mg sodium, 4g fiber, 19g protein
Egg White Morning Melt with cheese & black forest ham + Yogurt Parfait = 340 Calories, 7g fat, 745mg sodium, 3g fiber, 18g protein
6” Turkey Breast Sub with unlimited veggies on whole wheat bread + apple slices = 315 Calories, 3.5g fat, 810mg sodium, 7g fiber, 18g protein
Grilled Chicken & Baby Spinach Salad with fat free Italian dressing + Yogurt Parfait = 325 Calories, 4.5g fat, 1125mg sodium, 6g fiber, 26g protein
6” Veggie Delite Sub with unlimited veggies on whole wheat bread + Chicken Tortilla Soup = 340 Calories, 4g fat, 750mg sodium, 8g fiber, 14g protein
Honey BBQ Sandwich + side of green beans = 345 Calories, 3.5g fat, 1030mg sodium, 5g fiber, 25g protein
BBQ Baked Beans + corn on the cob + house side salad with light Italian dressing = 380 Calories, 3g fat, 1305mg sodium, 13g fiber, 14g protein
Grilled Chicken Breast + mashed potatoes with gravy + side of green beans = 365 Calories, 11g fat, 1520mg sodium, 3g fiber, 43g protein
Fruit & Maple Oatmeal without brown sugar + 1% low-fat milk = 360 Calories, 8.5g fat, 240mg sodium, 5g fiber, 17g protein
Egg McMuffin + apple dippers = 335 Calories, 12g fat, 820mg sodium, 4g fiber, 18g protein
Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken with ½ packet dressing + apple dippers = 375 Calories, 14g fat, 990mg sodium, 9g fiber, 28g protein
Hamburger + side salad with light Italian dressing = 320 Calories, 11.5g fat, 910mg sodium, 3g fiber, 13g protein
Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich = 350 Calories, 9g fat, 990mg sodium, 3g fiber, 28g protein
2 slices Veggie Lover’s Thin n Crispy Pizza (1 slice = 1/8 medium pizza) = 360 Calories, 12g fat, 1060mg sodium, 2g fiber, 16g protein
2 slices Ham, Pineapple, & Tomato Fit n Delicious Pizza (1 slice = 1/8 medium pizza) = 320 Calories, 9g fat, 1100mg sodium, 2g fiber, 14g protein
2 slices cheese Hand-Tossed Pizza (1 slice = 1/8 medium pizza) = 440 Calories, 16g fat, 1100mg sodium, 2g fiber, 20g protein
If you ate three months of those choices you might not gain tremendous amounts of weight…but I bet your blood pressure would still escalate, and you’d probably be constipated. Lovely.
What are your stand-bys if you have to eat fast food?
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