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.
Last week, I posted an article on a few menu options at Hardee’s that were – um, how should we say – less than healthy? (See the Fried Bologna Biscuit for yourself.) So in order to give this fast-food chain a fair shake, we took a closer look at their alternative menu, which is touted as being healthier and able to meet the specific dietary needs of its customers.
Rather than creating a menu of low-cal fast-food options, Hardee’s instead takes its traditional menu of burgers and sandwiches and gives you the option to reduce carbs, lower the fat, eliminate the gluten, trim the calories or lose the meat for a vegetarian option.
But is this alternative menu all that healthy? At closer inspection, it resembles a sneaky marketing ploy that slaps on catchy healthy lingo to high-fat and high-calorie fast-food eats. (more…)
Wasn’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…)