Of course, you want French fries with that. Is it necessary for the server behind the counter to even ask? Let's face it, no meal at McDonald's is complete without an order of their delicious chips. And to think that the world famous French fries were added to the menu only as a last minute idea. They replaced old and flat potatoes in 1949, nine years after the first restaurant opened its doors to the public in California.
So, you assume these tasty chips are terrible for you, right? Before taking your eyes off the screen so we do not ruin another delicious meal forever, hear this: there are many elements of the fast food menu that are much worse for your health (we will mention some of them later in this article).
THE SUSPICIOUS: McDonald's chips, large (5, 4 oz).
THE DETECTIVE: Dr. Christopher Ochner (associate researcher at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center Research Center at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center) is very familiar with the McDonald's menu. A few years ago Ochner, who has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, carried out his own experimental diet of the style of "Super Size Me": every day for two months he ate at the fast food restaurant as part of a study. Your results have not yet been published.
NUTRITIONAL LABEL: 500 calories, 25 grams of fat, 63 grams of carbohydrates, 350 milligrams of sodium, 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein.
FIGUREING INGREDIENTS: potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural meat flavoring [wheat and milk derivatives] *, citric acid [preservative]), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (for maintain color), salt and dimethylpolysiloxane. The oil used for frying also mentions terbutilhidroquinona (TBHQ).
* Natural meat flavor contains hydrolysed wheat and hydrolysed milk as starter ingredients.
Surprisingly, these chips are not vegetarian.
Dr. Christopher Ochner, research associate at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center.
UNDER THE LUPA
VEGETABLE OIL (MIXING): To make batter-style fries you have to fry potatoes, an otherwise healthy carbohydrate, in something caloric and greasy. McDonald's potatoes are dipped in an oil bath twice. According to Ochner, manufacturers cut and boil and possibly fry them once before freezing them and sending them to restaurants, where they are fried again. This is what happens in that hot potato bath:
a) canola oil: this commonly used cooking oil is considered "good for you", compared to others in its category, but still loaded with calories and therefore manages to gain weight if you consume too much of it.It is difficult to know what part of this special oil is used against less healthy, and even more greasy options. Because canola oil is a bit more expensive, Ochner speculates that McDonald probably uses less of the good and more of the others, such as corn oil and soybean oil.
b) hydrogenated soybean oil: when regular soybean oil goes through a hydrogenation process, its unsaturated fats are converted into saturated fats, which in turn makes it easier to cook and helps to conserve heat. The disadvantage is that this new fat also becomes a trans fat, which has been strongly linked to heart disease. One might think that the recent mandatory national call for the elimination of trans fats in food would have forced McDonald's to rethink its recipe. But no. Ochner says that the FDA's definition of "zero trans fats per serving" means less than 1 gram per tablespoon, and that McDonald found his exception and still continues to serve a relatively low amount of trans fat in his potatoes.
c) flavor of natural meat: about 50 years ago, McDonald's cooked their potatoes in cow fat. When he switched to a vegetable oil mixture, he did not want the potato chips to lose their famous flavor, so they chose to flavor the meat with natural flavor. Hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk are used as starter ingredients of the flavoring substance. Surprisingly, these chips are not vegetarian. In 2002, McDonald paid $ 10 million to members of a Hindu vegetarian community who had sued the chain for not revealing how the food was prepared.
d) Citric acid: this common preservative is considered safe to ingest, but there is something disturbing about how it works. If you remember Morgan Spurlock's alarming documentary of 2. 004, "Super Size Me," you'll remember how McDonald's French fries can last for months without breaking down, while still looking as if you bought them yesterday.
e) TBHQ (terbutilhidroquinona): this super-potent preservative, found in many foods, is what could help citric acid prevent long-dead potato chips from becoming zombies. Although they also say it's safe, studies in animals have linked it to stomach ulcers and DNA damage.
DEXTROSE: another word for sugar. This is the third ingredient, following potatoes and oil, in McDonald's potato chips. Now, why would such a tasty food need a hint of sweetness? Well, it's simple: it gives a better flavor and also increases addiction and cravings. New research shows that the body can convert sugar from food into body fat more easily than it can convert the fat found in food into body fat.So sugar can be worse for you than fat.
SODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE ACID: This preservative is the reason why McDonalds potatoes keep a fresh golden appearance instead of turning black when you put them in a jar for two months. Ups. This same principle is often found in commercially prepared cakes, puddings, waffles, pancakes and muffin mixes; and also it is added to the refrigerated pasta products, flavored milk, sausages, products with potato and canned fish.
DIMETHYLOLISILOXANE: what does an antifoam agent do in your potato chips? Strangely, this silicone has a purpose: McDonald's manufacturers probably add a little water by boiling the potatoes before frying and freezing them for shipping. This probably helps to speed up the process (without foam spreading) and facilitates cleaning later. There is no evidence that ingesting this material is harmful, but why would you want to do it?
THE VERDICT: all this sounds quite questionable, right? Despite all the potentially dangerous ingredients hidden in these potato chips, Ochner says that saturated fat in foods like these is the most dangerous part to your overall health. However, at McDonald's (and other fast food restaurants) there are many things on the menu that are worse than stick fries, based only on calories and fat. Some examples to avoid: McDonald's Angus with bacon and cheese, which has 820 calories and 41 grams of fat; Chicken Pie from KFC Pot, which has 790 calories and 45 grams of fat; the Double Whopper of Burger King, which has 830 calories and 50 grams of fat, and the seemingly healthy breakfast sensitive to low-carb gluten from Hardee's, which has 740 calories and 61 grams of fat.
THE SENTENCE: McDonald's chips contain questionable ingredients, a large amount of fat content and a minimum amount of nutrition (proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants). Having said that, we understand that some might still find the siren songs of "Do you want fries with that?" very tempting. Our hope is that this information will push us to eat less often or maybe at least convince us to choose a smaller portion of potato chips. Only by ordering the small version compared to the large size of potatoes, you will avoid 270 calories, 14 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 34 grams of carbohydrates.