According to dieters, bloggers and those with sophisticated palates, the culinary world as we know it is about to end.
What caused this pending disaster, the Mayan calendar of menus?
KFC’s new Double Down.
If you have somehow missed the hype surrounding this new “sandwich,” allow me to attempt to explain. It’s bacon strips, cheese and a KFC “zesty” sauce surrounded not by bread but instead by two pieces of boneless chicken. In this age of Atkins, South Beach and other diets du jour, it’s an interesting twist on the breadless sandwich.
The outcry, of course, is outstanding. People have started posted comments and pictures on sites such as thisiswhyyourefat.com, and Facebook users are filling statuses with cries of “American are such gluttons” and “Fast food chains should stop killing us.”
I say malarkey.
Is the Double Down an artery clogger? Yes. Is it something you should eat daily? No. Most importantly, is it good? You bet.
I tried one Tuesday night, and it met my expectations. Now that I’ve had one, I doubt I’ll eat another anytime soon, but that’s more to do with the fact I don’t often eat at fast food joints and less to do with the supposed god-awfulness of the Double Down and its negative impact on society.
KFC is riding a whirlwind of hype on this new sandwich – really, when’s the last time you saw anyone blog about the Colonel’s food? Too bad most of it is negative and, if you get down to it, erroneous.
People are acting as if this is the single worst thing to happen to America’s diners, taking one look at the picture and making unreasonable outbursts. When you take a closer look, you’ll realize it’s far from the worst thing on your typical fast food menu. Actually, it’s hardly even average.
The Double Down comes in with the following nutritional values:
While the fat grams are high and the sodium content exceptionally high, the calories are surprisingly low, and the protein gives it some value.
Looking across other common items ordered at McDonald’s and Burger King, you’ll see it’s not an unusual item:
OK, so that’s comparing chicken to red meat, which isn’t entirely fair. Burger King’s chicken sandwich doesn’t fare any better:
Even the king of “healthy” options, Subway, has more than its fair share of questionable nutritional value:
6-inch sweet onion chicken teriyaki
Granted, that’s much better than the Double Down or any of the other previous selections, but it’s also not a completely healthy meal, given that high level of sodium. Another one of my Subway favorites, an Italian BMT, is much worse:
Anyone who has watched television recently, particularly the NCAA Tournament, has been bombarded with Subway’s promotion for $5 footlongs. Now, anyone who orders a 12-inch hoagie should be bright enough to know it’s not good for you, but that still hasn’t stopped Subway from growing increasingly popular with a health-conscious crowd.
That “health” isn’t all it’s made out to be. A footlong oven roasted chicken sandwich has:
Despite that, when’s the last time you saw anyone scream about how Subway is making us fat?
So, here’s a little secret: Subway doesn’t make us fat. Neither does KFC. Or McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s or Jack in the Box. They simply make the food and provide it. Consumers make the choice when to eat it and how much of it to eat.
Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we have to take it.
Blaming the restaurants for someone’s obesity is like blaming Budweiser for someone’s alcoholism or blaming women’s vaginas for Tiger Woods’ infidelity.
But, really, being fat isn’t what makes us American. Blaming someone else, now that’s as American as it gets.