Category Archives: fast food

Can junk food destroy your sense of smell?

iStock_000014140533SmallWe’re all pretty comfortable with the knowledge that junk food is bad for our health. We know that an unhealthy diet has been linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Junk food isn’t just nutritionally vacant, it has known negative health effects that severely debilitate lifestyles and can result in serious medical problems and even death. But are there other problems that can result from the consumption of junk food that we haven’t been aware of?

A new study has revealed eating junk food could increase the risk of a person destroying their sense of smell.

The findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, show diet may impact a range of human traits apart from weight.

Dr Nicolas Thiebaud, of Florida State University, said: ‘This opens up a lot of possibilities for obesity research.’

It is the first time researchers have been able to demonstrate a firm link between a bad diet and a loss of smell.

In the six-month study mice were given a high-fat daily diet, while also being taught to associate between an odour and a reward of a drink of water.

Mice given the food were slower to learn the association than a control group given their usual meals.

And when researchers introduced a new fragrance to monitor their adjustment, the mice with the high-fat diets could not rapidly adapt, demonstrating reduced ability to smell.
Fellow researcher Professor Debra Ann Fadool said: ‘Moreover, when high-fat reared mice were placed on a diet of control chow – during which they returned to normal body weight and blood chemistry – they still had reduced olfactory [smell] capacities.

Scientists at Florida State University found links between a high-fat diet and major structural and functional changes in the nasal system

‘Mice that were exposed to high-fat diets just had 50 percent of the neurons that could operate to encode odour signals.’

The team will now begin looking at whether exercise could slow down a high-fat diet’s impact on smell.

They will also investigate if a high-sugar diet would also have the same negative effect.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the study comes at an important time with obesity rates at all time highs throughout the world.

It certainly appears that the effects of junk food reach further than any of us expected. FoodFacts.com can’t help but wonder whether there may be other damaging effects related to junk food consumption that haven yet to be uncovered.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2701382/Junk-food-destroy-sense-SMELL-scientists-warn.html#ixzz39TgEfjmW

Russia takes McDonald’s to court for selling food with too much fat and too many carbs

1406288418000-AP-HONG-KONG-SUSPECT-MEAT-66054766Russia has been in the news on a daily basis these days. But what we’re watching on our news networks each night has nothing to do with the news we’re sharing with our community here. This fascinating story focuses on Russia taking a stand regarding the food supply of its citizens. And they’re up in arms against McDonald’s.

Nearly a quarter-century after McDonald’s startled and delighted Soviets with their first taste of American fast-food culture, the company’s now facing a suit that could ban it from selling some of its signature products.

The Russian consumer protection agency said last Friday it is taking the company to court for selling foods that contain more fats and carbohydrates than are allowed by national regulations.

The suit comes amid especially high tensions between Moscow and Washington over the Ukraine crisis; the United States has slapped an array of sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine for allegedly supporting separatist rebels who are fighting in eastern Ukraine.

There’s no demonstrable connection between the McDonald’s suit and the tensions, but the consumer protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor, has a history of actions that appear to dovetail Russia’s political agenda. As tensions between Russia and Georgia escalated before their 2008 war, Russia banned the import of Georgian wine and mineral water — two of its major export products — for failing to meet sanitary norms. Last year, as tensions heated up over Ukraine’s desire to sign a trade pact with the European Union, Russia banned imports of chocolates made by the company of Petro Poroshenko, a tycoon who supported the EU deal and is now Ukraine’s president.

Rospotrebnadzor said on its website that it brought the case after inspections of two of the company’s restaurants in Novgorod.

According to the statement, some food was found with microbial contamination and several items had caloric values two to three times higher than allowed by national regulations. Products that were mentioned for incorrect nutritional information were cheeseburgers, Royal Cheeseburgers — the local equivalent of the Quarter Pounder — fish sandwiches and several milkshake varieties.

The suits asks that sale of McDonald’s products that do not meet the regulations be declared illegal, but it was not clear what penalty the company could face. The two restaurants in Novgorod were to be fined 70,000 rubles ($2,100).

McDonald’s prompted the ire of Russian nationalists earlier this year after it closed its outlets in Crimea.

The animosity is a far cry from the fascination that Muscovites had for McDonald’s when it opened its first outlet in the Soviet Union in 1990; customers waited in hours-long lines to experience the efficient service and reliable availability of items — rare novelties in the Soviet era.

We do get the idea that the lawsuit is likely spurred by current political tensions. It wouldn’t be the first time that politics influenced business — in Russia, or any other country, for that matter. FoodFacts.com does find it interesting, though, that Russia appears to have national regulations regarding fat and carbohydrate content in foods.

While it just can’t be that Russia’s consumer protection agency never realized that McDonald’s was breaking their national rules before, it does make you wonder even more about our own “rules” here in the U.S. T

his is never an easy subject. Land of the free that we are, Americans generally don’t like the government sticking its nose in our private lives. Unfortunately for all of us, in the last three decades or so the rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes have skyrocketed “coincidentally” with the proliferation of massive numbers of processed food choices, fast food restaurants and casual fast food eateries around our nation. When you read a story like this one, it does lead you to question if we might not all be better off with better regulations surrounding the foods that are adding to, if not fueling, the health problems that increasingly afflict massive numbers of our citizens every day. It’s a complicated question, but it’s certainly worth some real discussion.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/25/russia-mcdonalds-food-has-too-many-calories/13190573/

Dunkin’s newest summertime treat … the Frozen Oreo Coffee Coolatta

1398160875255It had to happen sooner or later, after all there are Oreos featured in hundreds of different products. Ice cream, ice cream cake, pudding, cheesecake, cereal, cake frosting … Oreos are everywhere. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Dunkin Donuts latest Coolatta features the Oreo.

On the Dunkin website, the new Coolatta flavor is promoted as “The Best of Both Worlds. The perfect blend of everything that’s delicious in the world. Our signature Frozen Coffee flavor with delicious OREO® cookie pieces mixed in. Just what your taste buds ordered.” O.k. maybe it’s what someone’s taste buds ordered, but what about someone’s healthy lifestyle?

Let’s find out.

Right away, it’s easy to notice that the nutrition facts for the new Dunkin Frozen Coffee Oreo Coolatta leave a lot to be desired. The facts listed are for the medium size of the beverage (the most common size sold for frozen drinks). It’s also for the skim milk version, because we’re being kind.

Calories:           440
Fat:                   4.5 g
Sugar:              83 g

That’s right, 83 grams of sugar in the medium-sized drink — or to be more specific 20.75 teaspoons of sugar in just one Frozen Coffee Oreo Coolatta. Imagine that for a moment if you will; someone adding 20.75 teaspoons of sugar into a 24 ounce beverage. That’s almost a teaspoon of sugar per ounce. A bit much for us.

Here are the ingredients:

Frozen Coffee Base: Water, Frozen Coffee Concentrate (Water, Sugar, Coffee Extract, Caramel Color, Natural and Artificial Flavor); Skim Milk; Oreo® Chocolate Base Cake Cookie Crumbs: Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Canola Oil, Cocoa processed with alkali, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Leavening (Baking Soda and/or Calcium Phosphate), Salt, Soy Lecithin, Chocolate, Vanillin (an Artificial Flavor).

So for 440 calories, we would be enjoying caramel color, natural and artificial flavors and some high fructose corn syrup.

FoodFacts.com can definitely find a better use for 440 calories during any given day. So for us, this is one of many Oreo-laden treats in which we won’t be indulging.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/beverages/frozenbeverages/coffee1/oreo_frozen_coffee_coolatta.html?DRP_FLAVOR=Oreo&DRP_SIZE=Medium&DRP_DAIRY=Skim+Milk

How about some chicken with your salt? While concerns about salt intake are on the rise, so is the sodium content of KFC meals

kfc-chicken-mealWe consume too much sodium. That’s not exactly big news. We hear about it fairly consistently. You would think that with all that news, it might make sense to find that food manufacturers and fast food chains are lowering the amount of sodium in their products and menu items. Not so, apparently.

With an increased concern about the role high sodium levels play in high blood pressure, kidney disease and other health issues, a number of restaurant chains have been attempting to cut back on the salt in recent years. A new review of meals from 17 of the nation’s most popular fast food and family eateries shows that most chains are slowly reducing the amounts of sodium in their food (though it’s still very high), while a small number of others have actually gone the other direction.

A new survey from the Center for Science in the Public Interest looks at a total of 136 meals from the 17 restaurant chains to see whether the sodium levels in those meals changed between 2009 and 2013.

While there is no hard-and-fast number on recommended sodium intake, both the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control say that 1,500mg a day is a good number for those looking to avoid high blood pressure.

The CSPI study found that 79% of the adult meals surveyed were still above that 1,500mg line, with seven meals — mostly from family restaurants — containing more than three days’ worth of sodium.

In general, sodium levels have fallen, but not by much. According to the CSPI, the overall sodium reduction between 2009 and 2013 was only 6%, or 1.5% per year. Kids’ meals only dropped by 2.6% during the four-year period, and much of that was due to restaurants replacing french fries with fruit options.

The biggest names in fast food are also responsible for the biggest reductions in sodium. All of the meals surveyed at Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell demonstrated some level of sodium reduction.

Of that group, Subway’s efforts to cut salt were the most effective, reducing sodium levels nearly 28%, followed by Burger King at 27%. BK’s cheeseburger kids’ meal had the most substantial decrease in sodium (44%), going from 1,200mg to 840mg.

On the opposite end of the survey are those popular eateries where sodium levels actually went up.

While Wendy’s and Sonic were each able to reduce the sodium on 50% of their surveyed meals, increases in other menu items resulted in a net increases in sodium of 2.7% and 1.3%, respectively.

But that was nothing compared to KFC, which only reduced sodium on 14% of one of its seven meals in the CSPI survey. While the reduction for that particular meal was significant (22%), four of the six other meals had double-digit percentage increases in sodium, resulting in a whopping 12.4% net sodium increase for the chicken chain.

The biggest single meal sodium increase also came from KFC, where the kids’ meal with a grilled chicken drumstick, corn on the cob, string cheese, and Capri Sun juice drink resulted in a 52% increase from the 2009 version of the meal. The not-horrible news is that the sodium level for this meal is still under the 1,200mg daily intake figure recommended for children.

The FDA puts no limits on sodium content in food, which some public health advocates believe is a mistake. The CSPI points to the restaurant industry’s slow and inconsistent efforts to reduce sodium as evidence that regulation is needed.

“For far too long, the FDA has relied on a voluntary, wait-and-see approach when it comes to reducing sodium in packaged and restaurant food,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “If chains like KFC, Jack in the Box, and Red Lobster are actually raising sodium levels in some meals, FDA’s current approach clearly isn’t working.”

According to this fascinating survey, You can consume an entire day’s worth of sodium in one KFC fast food meal. That’s just too much for FoodFacts.com. And it should be too much for millions of consumers as well. We’re not exactly sure how many of those millions think to find out about the sodium content of their food choices at KFC before they sit down for their meal. We are pretty certain that all of them leave much thirstier than they were before they walked through the doors — not to mention a higher risk for a whole host of health issues.

http://consumerist.com/2014/07/02/while-other-restaurant-chains-cut-down-on-sodium-kfc-meals-have-been-getting-saltier/

McDonald’s burger declared the worst in America according to a new Consumer Reports Survey

McDonalds Sales.JPEG-054a3We know that the majority of fast food burgers aren’t exactly what we’d call healthy. Too many calories, too much fat, and a variety of bad ingredients makes the staple of American fast food a less than desirable choice for consumers. But what do you think would happen if you asked consumers to rank the fast food burgers? Do you think there might be some surprises?

Some major fast-food chains – McDonald’s, KFC, Taco Bell – may find the latest Consumer Reports fast-food survey hard to swallow.

According to the survey, released on Wednesday, more than 30,000 Consumer Reports subscribers say these restaurants’ signature items are the worst in their categories: McDonald’s has the worst burger; KFC has the worst chicken; and Taco Bell has the worst burrito.

Consumer Reports surveyed 32,405 subscribers about their experiences at 65 fast-food and fast-casual chains. This is what they were asked: “On a scale of  1 to 10, from least delicious to most delicious you’ve ever eaten, how would you rate the taste” of their signature dishes?

Habit Burger Grill, In-n-Out and Five Guys Burgers received the highest rating for their burgers, 8.1, 8.0 and 7.9 respectively. Meanwhile, McDonald’s scored a paltry 5.8 rating.

McDonald’s has been busy changing its menu in an effort to attract more customers. But despite the novelty items the company promoted in 2013 – Fish McBites in February, McWraps in March, Mighty Wings in September, etc. – the company’s U.S. sales dropped 0.2 percent last year.

During a conference call with investors, McDonald’s chief financial officer Peter Bensen said the company “probably did things a little bit too quickly” in terms of introducing those new menu items. The constant changes and bold experiments with the menu put pressure to the restaurants’ kitchens,which sometimes took too long to fill orders. But new items introduced this year will be welcomed by the chain’s new kitchen equipment. Prep tables will be replaced with larger surfaces that are able to hold more sauces and ingredients.

In 2014, Bensen said, the company will “refocus the core,” including tried-and-true favorites such as the Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets and the Quarter Pounder, as well as breakfast.

Research shows Americans are spending $683.4 billion a year dining out, and they are also demanding better food quality and greater variety from restaurants to make sure their money is well spent.

When deciding where to dine, consumers are giving more consideration to food quality, according to the Consumer Reports survey. The restaurant’s location is less important than it was in 2011, when the group last conducted the survey. Diners today are more willing to go out of their way and find tasty meals that can be customized.

“Fast-casual dining in places like Chipotle and Panda Express lets the consumer guide the staff to prepare their meal just the way they like it,” Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a food-service consulting firm, said in the report.

While many of the traditional chains have lagged in offering higher-quality ingredients, he said, some food chains — including Chipotle, Noodles & Company and Panera — have been offering meat raised without using antibiotics in animal feed, a feature that attracts consumers searching for healthier options.

FoodFacts.com has to wonder whether or not bad food is catching up with the king of fast food. Sales are dropping. Over 30,000 Consumer Reports subscribers have let the world know that McDonald’s burgers taste about as good as their nutrition facts and ingredient lists reflect. While Panera and Chipotle may not be our favorite eateries, we can still agree with those subscribers who have stated that the food from those fast-casual establishments is fresher and tastes better than a McDonald’s hamburger. McDonald’s still serves up millions of burgers every day. Consumer opinions create change. We can only hope change will start with this survey.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2014/07/02/consumer-reports-mcdonalds-burger-ranked-worst-in-the-u-s/

Is it a quesadilla? Is it a burrito? It’s both — the new Taco Bell Quesarito

Taco Bell QuesaritoWe’re living in a world of mash-ups. Music mash-ups are making headlines. Two or more different musical genres making their way into one recording often create a brand new listening experience. Artists of different eras have come together to bring new meaning to old songs. Website mash-ups bring together different technical functions to bring us new processes and performance. Some things can be brought together easily with amazing results.

And some things can’t. And that about sums up the new Taco Bell Quesarito.

Think about this. A cheese quesadilla is cheese melted between two soft taco shells. A burrito is meat, rice, cheese and typically beans rolled inside a soft taco shell. So now lets take that quesadilla and roll the burrito filling inside it. We’ll leave out the cheese in that filling and replace it with chipotle sauce and sour cream. Maybe it’s just as, but FoodFacts.com really can’t wrap our heads around the combination. It just doesn’t sound appetizing. Instead it sounds more like a wet, gooey roll with beef and rice. In all fairness we haven’t tasted it … and we’re not going to. For us, this is one mash-up we’ll be happy to miss.

Just in case you want to try it, though, we thought we should fill you in on the nutrition facts for the Quesarito.

Calories:                          650
Fat:                                  34 g.
Saturated Fat:                12 g.
Cholesterol:                    60 mg.
Sodium:                          1450 mg.

The quick assessment for the Quesarito is that the facts are just not good. But let’s go a little further. You can actually eat a Big Mac (which is definitely not a healthy choice) for better nutritional value. Specifically a Big Mac contains 100 less calories, 6 fewer grams of fat, 2 less grams of saturated fat and and 480 fewer mg. of sodium. The only thing the Big Mac gives you more of is cholesterol.

So not only do we not think this odd mash-up works, even bad fast food is better for you (even if it’s only minimally). Taco Bell, this is really just a bad interpretation of Mexican food. It doesn’t work.

http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/quesarito?gclid=COGswdeh_b4CFUNgMgodYykAgA

Dunkin’s newest Coolatta … the Frozen Arnold Palmer

iStock_000021757029Small (1)Summertime is here, and along with it new introductions of iced and frozen beverage from the fast food chains. The Dunkin Donuts Coolatta has been providing consumers with an icy cold way to beat the heat since 1997. Flavors have ranged from coffee varieties to strawberry, orange and blue raspberry in addition to the popular vanilla bean.

For a variety of reasons, FoodFacts.com hasn’t been a tremendous fan of the Coolatta. Some of those reasons are artificial colors and too much sugar. But we stand by the idea that every new product introduction deserves a fair chance. So when Dunkin announced the new Frozen Arnold Palmer Coolatta, we waited to take a look at the nutrition facts and ingredient list before we decided we wouldn’t be trying it.

It’s official now, though, we won’t be trying it. We wanted to fill you in on how we came to that decision.

Here are the nutrition facts for the medium size drink

Calories:                 270
Fat:                         0 g
Sodium:                 35 mg
Sugar:                    67 g

We’re highlighting the medium drink because this is the most common size sold. We’re not attempting to make it appear worse than it is. We’re certain we don’t like the idea of spending 270 calories on a drink. To put it into further perspective, the medium Frozen Arnold Palmer Coolatta weighs in at 16 ounces. A 20 ounce bottle of Pepsi has 250 calories. That’s four ounces more for 20 calories less. That same bottle of Pepsi has roughly the same amount of sugar as this frozen beverage. Everyone in our community already knows how we feel about soda. Since the nutrition facts here look quite comparable, our feelings are pretty much the same.

Here’s the ingredient list:

Frozen Neutral Base: Water, Neutral Base (Sugar, Glucose, Fructose, Silicon Dioxide, Malic Acid, Xanthan Gum); Arnold Palmer Half & Half Coolatta Base: Lemon Juice from Concentrate, Pear Juice from Concentrate, Filtered Water, Citric Acid, Black Tea, Natural Flavor, Dextrose, Xanthan Gum, Sucralose, Gum Acacia, Acesulfame Potassium, Ester Gum.

O.k. there aren’t any artificial colors in the Frozen Arnold Palmer Coolatta. But there are still many ingredients we really don’t like. More importantly, we have a serious question about these ingredients. There’s so much sugar in here — a little over 11 TEASPOONS in 16 ounces. You can see the Sugar, Glucose and Fructose listed. Why then, was it necessary to make things even worse with the addition of Acesulfame Potassium to the ingredients?  Someone thought they needed to sweeten the beverage even more — we get that. But it isn’t a “diet” drink, so how did it make sense to add artificial sweetener to the product?

FoodFacts.com’s assessment: we don’t need 11 teaspoons of sugar in 16 ounces of anything. As the weather heats up, we still like actual brewed, unsweetened iced tea. And if we want to sweeten it, we like deciding on the sweetener we use — and controlling how much of it we’ll be consuming.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/beverages/frozenbeverages/coolatta/new_frozen_arnold_palmer_coolatta.html?DRP_FLAVOR=Frozen+Arnold+Palmer&DRP_SIZE=Medium

Under the Bun: The Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger

rtttertte566edit334This week we have the pleasure of featuring another Under the Bun installment. Here, we turn our attention to the new Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger. That’s right, the Extra Long Cheeseburger. Kind of looks like a hot dog, but there are two burgers inside the bun instead. You may be asking why anyone needs a cheeseburger that’s sort of like a hot dog. What’ the attraction here, anyway? Couldn’t someone just order a double cheeseburger?

FoodFacts.com wants to report that, in fact, the Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger is actually just an odd translation of a double cheeseburger (except for the crispy onion rings topping the two burgers that lay side by side on a hoagie roll). Not the most original fast food creation. But let’s take a look at the nutrition facts before we make any decisions.

Here are the nutrition facts for the new sandwich:

Calories:                 590
Fat:                         28 g.
Saturated Fat:       11 g.
Trans Fat:              1.5 g.
Cholesterol:          70 mg.
Sugar:                   14 g.
Sodium:                1080 mg.

The Extra-Long Cheeseburger might be a translation of a double cheeseburger, but it’s certainly no better. With more calories, more fat, more trans fat and more sodium. In addition, you’ll be treated to 55% of your RDI for saturated fat.

While we don’t yet have access to the ingredient list, we can say with confidence that we won’t be trying this sandwich after looking at the nutrition facts listed.

And really, Burger King, there are better directions to go for new product introductions. We don’t get this sandwich at all. It didn’t take much creativity or thought. With fast food chains at least attempting to introduce healthier foods (even when their attempts aren’t incredibly successful), Burger King should be trying to follow suit. It’s called staying relevant. This sandwich isn’t.

http://www.bk.com/en/us/menu-nutrition/lunch-and-dinner-menu-202/fire-grilled-burgers-and-sandwiches-220/extra-long-bbq-cheeseburger-m2738/index.html

Under the Bun: Dunkin Donuts Grilled Chicken Flatbread

1400146640078Dunkin Donuts recently introduced another new lunch option, the Grilled Chicken Flatbread. Of course, it’s being promoted as a healthier selection in the regular Dunkin lineup. On the surface it appears to be at least a passable possibility. Grilled chicken, reduced fat cheddar cheese with ancho chipotle sauce. Certainly doesn’t sound terrible, does it?

Let’s go under the bun with FoodFacts.com and find out if there’s more going on with the new Dunkin Grilled Chicken Flatbread than meets the eye.

We’ll start with the nutrition facts:

Calories:                      360
Fat:                              12 g.
Saturated Fat:            3.5 g.
Cholesterol:                65 mg.
Sodium:                      1020 mg.

While the Grilled Chicken Flatbread isn’t perfect, it’s certainly not the worst fast food sandwich we’ve seen. It’s under 400 calories and it contains 12 g of fat. We could live without the cholesterol and sodium levels. But overall, the numbers aren’t terrible.

What ingredients can you expect to consume with this sandwich. Let’s take a look:

Grilled Chicken: Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Natural Flavor, Salt, Yeast Extract, Sunflower Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Silicon Dioxide), Sodium Phosphates, Seasoning [Modified Corn Starch, Grill Flavor (from Partially Hydrogenated Soybean/Cottonseed Oil), Maltodextrin, Smoke Flavor, Hydrated Silicon Dioxide]; Multigrain Flatbread: Whole Wheat Flour, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Multigrain Blend [Water, Wheat Sourdough, Wheat Grains, Rye Grains, Oat Grains, Flax Seed, Rye Sourdough, Millet Seed, Teff Seed, Salt, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)], Yeast, Sugar, Dough Conditioner [Water, Mono and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Natural Flavor, Enzymes], Oat Fiber, Salt, Soybean Oil, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Soy (Trace); Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese: Pasteurized Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto (Color); Ancho Chipotle Sauce: Water, Vegetable Oil (Soybean and/or Canola), Vinegar, Sugar, Tomato Paste, Egg Yolk, Salt, Contains less than 2% of: Chipotle Sauce (Water, Sugar, Chipotle Peppers, Vinegar, Salt, Modified Food Starch), Molasses, Spice, Garlic, Ancho Chili Pepper, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Modified Food Starch, Xantham Gum, Lactic Acid, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Benzoate and Calcium Disodium EDTA (Preservatives), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Onion, Caramel Color, Buttermilk Solids, Citric Acid, Sour Cream Solids, Yellow 6, Yellow 5.

That’s about 90 ingredients with almost 20 controversial ingredients. Not our idea of a healthy option — even for fast food. We should also mention that among those controversial ingredients are some of our least favorite items (not that we have favorite controversial ingredients – because we don’t). We’re especially sensitive about things like partially hydrogenated oils, Sodium Benzoate, Caramel Color and Artificial Colors. They’re all in there.

Sorry, Dunkin, but you’ll have to keep trying when it comes to healthier menu items. This one isn’t really working out for us.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/food/sandwiches/Bakery_Sandwiches/new_grilled_chicken_flatbread.html

Under the Bun: Dunkin Donuts Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

Dunkin Donuts Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast SandwichWe’re going under the bun with the latest from Dunkin Donuts — the Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast Sandwich. The big attraction here is the chicken apple sausage. It not only promises fast food consumers more flavor, it also holds the added benefit of a more healthful selection than regular pork sausage. But is that just a perceived benefit? And, more importantly, are the ingredients in the chicken apple sausage — and the entire sandwich, for that matter — worth that benefit?

We’ll start with the nutrition facts for the sandwich:
 

Calories:                         360
Fat:                                 11 g
Saturated Fat:                   4 g
Cholesterol:                    120 mg
Sodium:                         1240 mg
Sugar:                              7 g

If all you’re simply concerned about calories and fat, this may not appear to be the worst choice you can make at Dunkin. If you compare it to the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Bagel sandwich at Dunkin, this new option contains 260 fewer calories, 15 fewer grams of fat, and 7 fewer grams of saturated fat. There’s also less sodium and a bit more cholesterol in the Chicken Apple Sausage sandwich.

FoodFacts.com wants to get to the “meat” of the situation — the ingredient list. For us, that’s the defining factor for any product, fast food sandwiches included. So let’s take a look:

Sausage (Chicken, Water, Corn Syrup, Sugar Brown, Apples Dehydrated, Contains 2% or less of the following: [Salt, Sodium Lactate, Dextrose, Sodium Phosphate, Parsley, Sodium Diacetate, Flavors Natural, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrate Nitrite] ) , English Muffin(Wheat Enriched Bleached Flour [Wheat Flour, Barley Malted Flour, Niacin Vitamin B3, Iron Reduced, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1, Riboflavin Vitamin B2, Folic Acid Vitamin B9] ,Water, Wheat Starch, Yeast, Sugar Cane Fiber, Contains 2% or less of the following: [Corn Syrup High Fructose, Chicory Root, Corn Flour Yellow Degerminated, Corn Meal Degerminated Yellow, Wheat Durum Flour Whole, Wheat Gluten, Vinegar, Calcium Propionate,Salt, Dextrose, Soybeans Oil, Calcium Sulphate, Fumaric Acid] ) , Eggs (Eggs Whites, Water,Eggs Yolks, Corn Starch Modified, Flavors Natural Sauteed [Soybeans Oil, Triglycerides Medium Chain, Flavors Natural] , Salt, Flavors Artificial Butter [Propylene Glycol, Flavors Artificial] , Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Peppers Black Coarse Ground) , Cheese Cheddar Reduced Fat (Milk Pasteurized Part Skim, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto Color)

While the chicken apple sausage does, in fact, contain less fat than traditional pork sausage, it’s important to point out that it still contains sodium nitrate. So the benefits consumers may perceive are limited to fat content and don’t extend to the ingredients. Add to that some high-fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial flavors plus propylene glycol and you’ve pretty much got a very typical fast food breakfast sandwich.

Our conclusion for Dunkin Donuts Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast Sandwich is simple. We can come up with more than a few better ways to spend 360 calories for our morning meal. This one is lighter in fat and calories than some other choices, but the ingredient list is a definite turn-off.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/food/sandwiches/breakfastsandwiches/new_chicken_apple_sausage_breakfast_sandwich.html
http://www.foodfacts.com/ci/nutritionfacts/Sandwiches-Wraps/Dunkin-Donuts-Chicken-Apple-Sausage-Breakfast-Sandwich-/92402