23 May 2011

PCRM names the five worst healthy fast food items

The non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has revealed the five worst “healthy” fast food items. Wait a second, healthy fast food?

Even though the idea of nutritionally sound fast food, especially from the big chains like McDonald’s and Wendy’s, is a ridiculous concept for anyone with even a remedial understanding of food and health, the average misinformed consumer is susceptible to disingenuous advertising campaigns.

You know the ones that make you believe vitality increasing, cholesterol reducing oatmeal can be purchased at an establishment that normally features belt busting food such as the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder and the highly processed McNuggets.

Speaking of which, McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal made the cut, yes it is unhealthy, healthy fast food.

Hold on, oatmeal and fruit is bad for you? Well according to PCRM, Mickey D’s healthy breakfast option contains more sugar than a Snickers Bar.

But McDonald's is not alone, obviously.

The remaining not-so-healthy healthy five include:

  • Wendy’s Baja Salad  1,990 milligrams of sodium—more than most people should consume in an entire day.
  • Subway Fresh Fit 6”  Turkey Breast Sub With standards such as cheese and mayo, this “low-fat” sandwich jumps to 24 grams of fat. Contains processed meat, which is linked to increased cancer risk.
  • Sonic Strawberry Smoothie More sugar than five Twinkies.
  • KFC Kentucky Grilled Chicken Contains PhIP, a chemical classified as a carcinogen by the federal government.

“Your health and your waistline will thank you for saying no to these so-called healthy foods,” said PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Fast-food chains hope to cash in on consumer ignorance with labels like ‘fat-free’ and ‘low-calorie.’ But some of these foods contain more sugar, sodium, or fat than anyone should eat in an entire day, and eating them can increase your risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.”

Needless to say, if you are looking for truly healthy food avoid the aforementioned health foods and try something whole and unprocessed. Like real fruit without the maple syrup.

Eric Fortney | @elfortney | email
Eric is the co-founder and executive editor of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. In addition to his work at TDIV, Eric is a father of three, runner, and lover of the outdoors.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/theimpulsivebuy