I decided to return to the subject of the Standard American Diet after seeing this comedian’s skit “What a Chicken McNuggets commercial would look like if McDonald’s were being honest”.
This is the Standard American Diet – aptly abbreviated as SAD – shown as a pie chart:
Here’s another way of looking at the Standard American Diet – as percentages of calories derived from plant, animal and processed foods:
And the SAD as represented in another pie chart – this one showing the number of calories we get from various sources:
No matter how the Standard American Diet is represented, it’s clearly bad news for our health.
The Standard American Diet is how the vast majority of Americans eat. It is characterized by high intake of sweets, animal products, cooking oils, high-fat and processed foods. People living on SAD have a higher incidence of heart disease and cancers. (Fuhrman, 2011) (Hardin, 2013 -a)
It is well known that factory farmed and processed foods are more likely to cause illness than organically grown, unprocessed foods. Yet 90 percent of the American food budget is spent on processed and fast foods. (Schlosser, 2001)
The Standard American Diet is high in refined sugars and red meat, both of which severely acidify the body, producing inflammation – the gateway to many serious ailments. An overly acidic diet is at the core of many symptoms such as fatigue, digestive imbalances, emotional imbalances and anxiety. Adding foods to our daily diet that alkalinize the blood, urine and saliva can help restore balance and health again. (Hardin, 2014 -a)
We all know that adult and childhood obesity has become a serious health issue in the US and elsewhere. Beginning in the 1950′s, when calorie-dense/nutrient poor foods and beverages started becoming standard fare in this country, the number of people consuming the Standard American Diet has steadily risen – much to the detriment of both our microbiota and our overall health. (Hardin, 2013 -c)
THE NITTY GRITTY ON CHICKEN MCNUGGETS
Chicken McNuggets, introduced by McDonald’s in 1983, consist of small pieces of processed chicken meat that have been battered and deep fried.
As of October 9, 2010, the ingredients in McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets within the United States are as follows (Wikipedia, 2014):
Battered and breaded with bleached wheat flour, water, modified food starch, salt, spices, wheat gluten, paprika, dextrose (sugar), yeast, garlic powder, rosemary, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil with mono- and diglycerides, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), natural flavor (plant source) with extractives of paprika.
Chicken McNuggets’ ingredients can vary outside the US.
Nutritional value in 10 pieces of Chicken McNuggets – not including sauce (McDonalds, 2014):
|Nutritional value per 10 pieces (162 g) No sauce|
|Energy||440 kcal (1,800 kJ)|
|Carbohydrates||30 g (10%)|
|Dietary fiber||2 g|
|Fat||30 g (44%)|
|Saturated||5 g (25%)|
|Vitamin A equiv.||(0%)0 μg|
|Vitamin C||(2%)2 mg|
|Energy from fat||270 kcal (1,100 kJ)|
|Cholesterol||65 mg (22%)|
|May vary outside United States.|
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.|
This list doesn’t even include the sauce! The second-most plentiful ingredient in the McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce shown below is sugar. The whole ingredients list for this sauce is:
Water, Sugar, Distilled Vinegar, Cayenne Peppers, Modified Food Starch, Salt, Garlic Puree, Dried Red Peppers, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative)
And … you can be sure the ingredients in Chicken McNuggets, their various sauces and the other items on the McDonald’s menu aren’t organic so you’re getting a good dose of genetically modified organisms with each serving.
In case you’re interested in looking at what’s in other McDonald’s dishes, here’s a list of ingredients published by McDonald’s: McDonald’s USA Ingredients Listing for Popular Menu Items.
See INFLAMMATION to read more about how the Standard American Diet adversely affects our health.
See GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS – OUR FOOD for more information on the problems with consuming genetically engineered foods.
Fuhrman, J. (2011). Super Immunity: The essential nutrition guide for boosting your body’s defenses to live longer, stronger, and disease free.
Hardin, J.R. (2013 -a). Intriguing Facts About the Gut and Brain. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/the-gut-brain-axis/intriguing-facts-about-the-gut-and-brain/
Hardin, J.R. (2013 -b). Inflammation. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/inflammation/
Hardin, J.R. (2013 -c). Weight and Food Intake Regulation. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/weight-and-food-intake-regulation/
Hardin, J.R. (2014 -a). Umeboshi Plums – Tasty and Alkalinizing. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/04/16/umeboshi-plum-vinegar-tasty-alkalinizing-food/ “Umeboshi Plums – Tasty and Alkalinizing
Hardin, J.R. (2014 -b). Genetically Modified Organisms – Our Food. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/?s=genetically
HealthFreedoms.org. (2014). WHAT A MCDONALD’S COMMERCIAL SHOULD LOOK LIKE. See: http://healthfreedoms.org/2014/07/08/what-a-mcdonalds-commercial-should-look-like/
McDonald’s. (2014). McDonald’s USA Ingredients Listing for Popular Menu Items. See: http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf
Schlosser, E. (2001). Fast Food Nation: The dark side of the all-American meal.
Wikipedia. (2014). Chicken McNuggets. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_McNuggetsChicken McNuggets
© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.