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What NOT to Eat on St. Patricks Day

A traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast of corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and soda bread is a fairly balanced meal, if a little high in carbs and soda bread.  It’s also a much healthier choice than a lot of the other St. Patrick’s Day foods and dishes currently on the menu at a number of chain restaurants. These foods may be green, but they are not exactly good for you! So, if you plan to splurge today, go ahead and enjoy the real Irish deal, not these unhealthy options!

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Mint Oreo Creme Donut from Dunkin’ Donuts: This dessert disguised as breakfast is sort of like Ben and Jerry’s Mint Cookie Ice Cream, only in donut form. The bakers at this largely Eastern and Central chain start with a yeast donut, cover it with mint frosting and bit of Oreo cookies, and top it off  with a heaping helping of frosting in the center. The thing weighs in at 400 calories, 22 grams of fat, and 9 grams of saturated fat–or about 45% of your recommended daily allowance.


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Burger King Introduces Bacon Sundae as Part of Summer Menu

This summer, Burger King is giving the term ‘baconator’ a whole new meaning. It’s taking this savory, smoked treat and adding to an ice cream sundae. You heard right: bacon and ice cream in one dish.

We reported earlier that Burger King was testing out their bacon sundae at a few select locations in Nashville, Tennessee. And apparently after seeing a fair amount of success, the fast food giant announced this week that it will be debuting the unlikely dessert at stores nationwide starting Thursday, June 14.

The sundae won’t be showing up alone; it’s bringing several meaty friends along with it. As part of a special summer menu, Burger King is also introducing a handful of chicken, pork and beef sandwiches as limited-time offers.
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Fast Food Chains Adding Alcohol to Their Menus

“I’d like a double cheeseburger, the jumbo fries, and a DIET soda.” Does this fast food order sound familiar? The patron stressing the diet soda to lighten some part of the gut busting meal is a pretty common occurrence. Now, we might start hearing something like, “…and a LIGHT beer” tacked on to a fast food order. Alcohol is now being served at fast food chains around the U.S.

Very popular chains like Burger King, Sonic, and even Starbucks have begun introducing alcoholic menu concepts at select locations. The controversial change could be a result of the economy, as many say alcohol will allow them to compete with the casual dinning restaurants in the evening. While that fact may be true as adults may want to eat somewhere that has an alcohol option on the menu, that addition to fast food menus could cause more harm than reward.

Thankfully none of these restaurants allow for alcohol to be ordered from a drive-thru or car stall, but there are still some possible hazards. The risk of getting a quick meal and a quick beer and then driving off pose obvious dangers. However, assuming that adults are responsible enough to gauge what’s appropriate consumption, what about the health factor?


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Fast Food Companies Fight Back Against Toy Bans in Kids’ Meals

When I was a little kid, I wanted to go to McDonald’s every week to get the newest Happy Meal toy. Sure, the food was yummy, but my main motivation was definitely the toy. Now, toys in Happy Meals and other fast food meals are facing extinction as new legislation is attempting to decrease childhood obesity in our country spreads from San Francisco to other cities, such as New York City.

Many activists – including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition, and obesity experts at Tufts University – are claiming that the toys used to promote children’s fast food meals are a main contributor to the childhood obesity epidemic. They claim that these toys encourage children to eat unhealthier meals, such as chicken nuggets and french fries.

Although this can be the case at times (as it was for me when I was younger), banning these restaurants from using toys to promote their products does not seem right to me. McDonald’s, Sonic, and several other fast food restaurants have started offering milk and juice with their kids’ meals instead of soda. They are also offering apple slices instead of french fries. When it comes down to it, it is the parent’s responsibility to monitor what their child eats; the parents allow their children to order sugary sodas and fattening french fries. Banning restaurants from using promotional items will not stop parents from buying their children unhealthy foods.


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Healthiest Meal Choices at Sonic

When it comes to most fast-food places I don’t have a problem driving by, but there’s something about Sonic that really tests my willpower. (Mostly it’s the tater tots, Cherry Limeades and the novelty of have someone serve you in your car.) In our ongoing review of what to eat and what to avoid at fast-food restaurants across the country, today we’re putting Sonic’s menu to the test. The below menu options meet the recommendations of our registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield’s healthy guidelines of having less than 500 calories and less than 500 milligrams of sodium, according to the the new daily sodium recommendations.


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