First, let’s look at some dietary recommendations:
· The American Heart Association recommends less than 7% of calories should come from saturated fat. So, if you consume a 2000-calorie diet you should eat less than 11-13 grams of saturated fat daily. The American Heart Association also calls for limiting trans fat intake to less than 1% of your calories for the day. For a 2000-calorie diet less than 2 grams should come from trans fat. What’s the problem with saturated and trans fat? Both of these fats increase your risk of heart disease and raise your LDL “bad” cholesterol. Trans fat not only raises your “bad” cholesterol, but it also lowers your “good” cholesterol (also called HDL).
· What about added sugars? These are sugars added to foods and beverages, as opposed to milk or fruit sugars, which are a natural part of foods. The American Heart Association suggests women limit their added sugar to about 6 teaspoons of sugar and men to about 9 teaspoons.
· The daily sodium (salt) recommendation is 2400 mg. For people with hypertension issues, the recommendation is lower, as low as 1500 mg.
Buffalo Wild Wings offers traditional bone-in wings and boneless wings, and you can have your pick, with French fries and coleslaw as sides. Chicken is often encouraged because it is a lean protein source. However, Buffalo Wild Wings’ six traditional wings have 670 calories, 22 grams of saturated fat and 2 grams of trans fat! Maybe those all-white meat chicken “boneless wings” are healthy options? Six all-white chicken boneless wings have 580 calories, 12 grams of saturated fat and 1 gram of trans fat. Since chicken is naturally a lean meat, what does BWW do to make their wings so high fat? They fry their wings and fries in beef tallow. To make it worse, the whole combo, with fries, coleslaw and blue cheese dressing totals 2,260 calories, 53 grams of saturated fat, and 4 grams of trans fat. And, in addition, this offers 5,960 milligrams of sodium!
Center for Science in the Public Interest (2013, March). Wild Things. Nutrition Action Health Letter, 16.
The Baconator Double:
How bad can a hamburger really be? The Wendy’s Baconator Double boasts 940 calories, 25 grams of saturated fat, and 1,590 milligrams of sodium. How does that compare to McDonalds and Burger King? McDonald’s biggest burger is the Angus Bacon and Cheese, which has 790 calories and 17 grams of saturated fat. Believe it or not, Burger King’s Triple Whopper with cheese is worse! It has 1,230 calories, 32 grams of saturated fat and 1,550 milligrams of sodium. But, not to be beaten, Wendy’s will fix you a Baconator TRIPLE…if you just ask!
Center for Science in the Public Interest (2011, April). The Terminator. Nutrition Action Health Letter, 16.
Frozen Coffee Drinks:
Sometimes you need an afternoon pick-me-up, and what better than to combine sugar with caffeine? After learning about Dunkin’ Donuts’ frozen coffee drinks, you may want to consider another option. A large Frozen Caramel or Mocha Coffee has 1,050 calories, 30 grams of saturated fat and 30 teaspoons of added sugar. This is the equivalent of eating FOUR chocolate frosted donuts! Frozen coffee isn’t actually coffee at all. It is sugar-based, with coffee extract and other flavorings. A better cold coffee drink option at Dunkin’ is a small Iced Latte Lite made from coffee, fat-free milk and Splenda. This is only 80 calories, and with no saturated fat or added sugar. Maybe you don’t visit Dunkin’, and you’re more of a Starbucks fan. Try a grande Iced Skinny Latte which is the equivalent of the small Iced Latte Lite from Dunkin’. If you are searching for a similar frozen coffee drink, try a grande Coffee Frappucino Light, which has 110 calories, no saturated fat and only 4 teaspoons of added sugar.
Center for Science in the Public Interest (2012, September). Frozen Fatty. Nutrition Action Health Letter, 16.