Tag Archives: fat

Under the Bun: Wendy’s Smoked Gouda Chicken on Brioche

iStock_000019738970SmallWendy’s newest sandwich offering almost sounds like it shouldn’t be fast food. Smoked Gouda Chicken on Brioche has a rather upscale ring to it, which was probably the intent. But let’s not forget that a fast food menu item with some higher end ingredients is still a fast food menu item.

That’s certainly true here. Plus it appears to be a bit “overloaded.”

FoodFacts.com went under the bun to find a lightly breaded, boneless chicken breast, topped with horseradish Dijon sauce, sliced red onions, spring-mix greens, caramelized onion sauce and smoked Gouda cheese on a toasted brioche bun. Have to wonder if you can still find the chicken with all the “fixins” they’re including here.

Let’s look a little closer, starting with the nutrition facts:

Calories:               600
Fat:                       28 g
Saturated Fat:       8 g
Cholesterol:       100 mg
Sodium:           1550 mg

We feel it’s important to mention that most fast food consumers choose chicken sandwiches because they feel, intuitively, that chicken sandwiches are a healthier choice than burgers. Their intuition would be incorrect here. Dave’s Hot ‘n Juicy quarter pound burger contains 20 less calories, 3 additional grams of fat, the same read on cholesterol and less sodium than the new Smoked Gouda Chicken on Brioche. Might as well have the burger.

The ingredient list for this new sandwich is huge. Take a quick look:

Bun: Enriched Wheat Flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Sugar, Yeast, Buttermilk Powder (whey solids, enzyme-modified butter, maltodextrin, salt, guar gum, annatto and turmeric [color]), Egg Yolks, Butter, Salt, Dough Conditioner (wheat flour, DATEM, contains 2% or less of: silicon dioxide [flow aid], soybean oil, enzymes [wheat], calcium sulfate, salt), Dry Malt, Calcium Propionate, Dough Conditioner (degermed yellow corn flour, turmeric and paprika [color], contains 2% or less of: natural flavor), Egg Wash (eggs, water). CONTAINS: WHEAT, EGG, MILK. Chicken: Chicken Breast, Water, Seasoning (salt, autolyzed yeast extract, sugar, flavor, chicken, maltodextrin, gum arabic, silicon dioxide, lactic acid, sunflower oil, canola oil, dextrose, grill flavor [from canola oil], citric acid), Modified Potato Starch, Sodium Phosphates. Breaded With: Wheat Flour, Water, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor, Lactic Acid, Extractives of Turmeric. Cooked in Vegetable Oil (soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, citric acid [preservative], dimethylpolysiloxane [anti-foaming agent]). Cooked in the same oil as menu items that contain Egg and Fish (where available). CONTAINS: WHEAT. Horseradish Dijon Spread: Soybean Oil, Water, Horseradish, Egg Yolk, Dijon Mustard (water, vinegar, mustard seed, salt, white wine, pectin, citric acid, tartaric acid, sugar, spice), Distilled Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt, Sugar, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavor, Garlic (dehydrated), Onion (dehydrated), Corn Syrup, Molasses, Spice, Caramel Color, Oleoresin Rosemary, Tamarind. CONTAINS: EGG. Carmelized Onion Sauce: Onions, Sugar, Rice Vinegar, Caramelized Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Contains less than 2% of Caramel Color, Natural Smoke Flavor, Natural Extractives of Onion (with glycerine and other natural flavors), Salt, Xanthan Gum. Smoked Gouda Cheese: Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto Color, Natural Smoke Flavor. CONTAINS: MILK, Red Onion, Spring Mix Greens: Baby Lettuces (red & green Romaine, red & green oak, red & green leaf, lolla Rosa, tango), Spinach, Mizuna Arugula, Tatsoi, Red Chard, Green Chard.

That’s just too many ingredients for any one sandwich — and about a dozen of them are controversial.

So while the sandwich may sound like an upscale, “fancier” option, let’s not be fooled into thinking it’s actually a healthier option. Less than desirable nutrition facts and ingredients definitely place the new Smoked Gouda Chicken on Brioche on our avoid list. If you can’t contain your curiosity, you should hurry to your nearest Wendy’s, as thankfully, this one is only available for a limited time.

https://www.wendys.com/en-us/nutrition-info

A must read for the food-conscious consumer … Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss

FoodFacts.com wanted to let our community know about a powerful new book titled Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss. We’re sure that the food-conscious consumers in our own network will find it a fascinating read.

The author is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. In this important new book, Michael Moss explores how food and beverage companies are using salt, sugar and fat to addict consumers to their products so that we keep right on purchasing and eating them. His book links the rise of the processed food industry to the obesity epidemic plaguing our nation.

The average American is currently eating triple the amount of cheese that was consumed in 1970. We’re eating 70 pounds of sugar every day. And we’re consuming 8500 mg of salt daily (that’s double the recommended amount). That salt is coming directly from processed food products – not the salt we’re adding to our meals at the table. Currently one of every three adults and one of every five children is clinically obese. 26 million Americans have diabetes.

Michael Moss believes he understands how we arrived at this critical point in our nation’s health and in Salt Sugar Fat, he’s explaining it all. You’ll find examples from some of the most profitable food companies in existence like Kraft, Coca-Cola, Kellogg and Cargill. And he’s included the research to back it up.

The author takes the reader to the food labs where scientists calculate the “bliss point” for sugary beverages and enhance the “mouthfeel” of fats. He unearths the marketing techniques used to redirect consumers from the health risks of products, specifically focusing on the use of specific phrases and words to mislead the consumer into believing that there are actually health benefits connected to products that contain ingredients that are unhealthy. And he even speaks with company executives who confess that companies could never produce truly healthy alternatives to products that are currently available for purchase. Michael Moss brings to light the idea that the processed food industry could not exist without salt, sugar and fat.

FoodFacts.com understands the concerns of our community when it comes to the foods they purchase for themselves and their families. We know you seek to provide the healthiest choices in the products you purchase. This is an important read.

Find out more about the book here: http://www.stonehearthnewsletters.com/how-companies-use-salt-sugar-and-fat-to-addict-us/fat/?goback=.gde_2739521_member_208498208

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!!!

FoodFacts.com hopes you have a great Halloween with your family! Tonight, after you’ve tucked the little ones in bed, you’ll probably engage in the tried and true parental secret tradition that’s existed since the very invention of trick-or-treating … the annual parental dig through the candy bag.

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You know you’ve done it year in and year out. Kids are picky, and most of the time their favorites and adult favorites are two very different things. So we adults go through the stash piece by piece, finding the candy that we know our kids aren’t going to eat and we make sure it doesn’t go to waste.

So, exactly how detrimental is our yearly sweet, secret tradition? And are some of our favorites worse than others? Here’s a short list of our most popular Halloween treasures with the basic information we need to figure out how much damage we’re doing.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups 230 calories, 13 g fat, 4.5 g saturated f, 20 g sugar (one large peanut butter cup)
Snickers, 280 calories, 14 g. fat, 5 g. saturated f., 30 g. sugar (regular bar)
M&M’s, 210 calories, 9 g. fat, 6 g. saturated fat, 27 g. sugar (1 ½ ou.)
Hershey’s Kisses, 230 calories, 13 g. fat, images-418 g. saturated f., 21 g. sugar (9 pieces)
Nestle Crunch, 220 calories, 11 g. fat, 7 saturated fat, 24 g. sugar (regular bar)
Three Musketeers, 260 calories, 8 g. fat, 5 g. saturated fat, 40 g. sugar (regular bar)
TWIX Caramel Cookie Bars, 280 calories, 14 g. fat, 11 g. saturated fat, 27 g. sugar (one package)

You can see pretty clearly that there really isn’t that much difference between these popular candies, although the sugar content spikes in a few of them. We do have to be careful though, just a little bit of any of these choices goes an awfully long way, and each packs a punch of calories and fat that we really don’t want to overdo. So if one isn’t enough (and it usually isn’t) it’s very easy to go overboard with calories, fats and sugar.images-21

So … remember the old rule you’ve repeated to your children so many times … sometimes more isn’t better. Enjoy your stash! And Happy Halloween!

What exactly is in the McDonald’s Deluxe Breakfast?

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Foodfacts.com realizes that millions of people start out their mornings reading from the breakfast menu at a local McDonald’s. Their daily options range from oatmeal to english muffins, to sausage and egg McMuffins, to pancakes, and more. However, some may have difficulties choosing exactly which item they want, and these may be the consumers that opt for the “deluxe” breakfast; a little bit of it all.
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Scrambled Eggs: They’re yellow, fluffy, warm, and even appealing to some. However, McDonald’s scrambled eggs may be the most disturbing item found on their large menu. Filled with controversial ingredients which includes sodium benzoate, artificial colors, and partially hydrogenated oils, these scrambled eggs are far from ideal to start off the day. Although eggs have been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease), these eggs are loaded with trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils which promote the bad LDL cholesterol.
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Sausage Patties: McDonald’s loves to include their famous breakfast sausage into many of their entrees. The good news, it actually contains pork; the bad news, it includes about 12 other things that could be harmful to your health. BHA and BHT are harmful additives, and The Department of Health and Human Services says BHA is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Even though BHT has been found to be less harmful, some animal studies have shown it has been linked to cancers. Yet the FDA deems it as generally safe for consumption. These patties also contain monosodium glutamate (MSG), caramel color (which also has been linked to cancer), and corn syrup solids. Many would refer to these sausage patties as “cancer patties.”
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Biscuit: Many normally prepare biscuits at home using a handful of ingredients. At McDonald’s biscuits are made with about 50 ingredients to preserve their freshness while sitting around in the restaurant during breakfast hours. Some of these ingredients include sodium aluminum phosphate, modified cellulose, partially hydrogenated oils, liquid margarine, sodium benzoate, and natural flavors. It’s a good sign that a food may not be a real food when you can’t pronounce or understand 99% of the ingredients.
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Hash browns: You can’t have a “deluxe” breakfast without some hash browns. In this case, it’s a thin potato patty which often leaves your fingers feeling slick with grease. They come in thin paper sleeves and don’t exactly taste like potatoes, but it says they are, so I guess it is then? While they do obviously contain potato, they’re also filled with preservatives, sodium, and fat which you can feel lining your arteries as you continue to digest. And lest we forget, these potato patties include TBHQ. Although deemed safe by the FDA, certain studies have shown that high doses of TBHQ are not only carcinogenic, but may also cause damage to DNA and promote growth of tumors.
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Hot Cakes: Or what we may commonly refer to as “pancakes,” McDonald’s hot cakes are the centerpiece of their deluxe meal. However, they’re not made by pan. In fact, they’re often microwaved at these restaurants after they receive large frozen shipments of these hot cakes from manufacturing centers. How they’re made, we’re not quite sure, but we do know what’s in them. High fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, TBHQ, and a load of preservatives grace the ingredients list, among other things. Of course we can’t forget, the fountain of syrup that comes along the side.

The damage of the deluxe meal:
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4 Foods You Should Try!

Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

There have been a variety of studies that suggest different foods promote beneficial health effects. We know walnuts help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease; yogurts help promote proper digestion; carrots play a role in eye health; and so on. Well, there are a few other foods that can be both delicious and valuable to your health.
Purple Potato blog.foodfacts.com
Purple Potatoes:
A new study done by the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania suggests that purple potatoes, which contain polyphenols found in most purple fruits and veggies, can help to reduce blood pressure by approximately 5% a month. These potatoes are a little more difficult to find, but are commonly found in natural food stores and farmers markets. Also, we would like to note that a similar study done at Harvard also mentioned slight weight gain with frequent consumption of purple potatoes, which isn’t too surprising.
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Kohlrabi:
This German turnip is packed with nutrients, potassium, and free-radical fighting antioxidants. It has a similar flavor to a radish or apple, and is commonly consumed in Kashmir where it is referred to as monj. This root vegetable would be a great addition to seasonal salads or used in combination with other veggies in a stir-fry.
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Amaranth:
A popular grain originating during an era of pre-Columbian Aztecs, Amaranth is a bit more advanced than grain we’re used to these days. This grain has a great amount of protein in its seeds, 5 times more fiber than wheat, and contains phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamins A & C. It is commonly used in diets for those recovering from illnesses because it is very digestable; and contains linoleic acid as a form of unsaturated fat.
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Yerba Mate:

This tea has been found to promote cell revival faster and more effective than that of red wine and green tea. It contains natural forms of caffeine and alkaloids which help to promote muscle relaxation, and mood-enhancing properties.
Check out your local grocery stores and farmers markets to try new healthy foods!

Labeling Tricks

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Foodfacts.com came across an article featured on Food Network which discusses how to avoid food labeling tricks which are used to make some foods appear healthier. Check it out below! Have any advice of your own to share?

Food labels are carefully worded to entice shoppers to choose certain items. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found dieters often fall for simple labeling tricks that make them believe certain foods are healthier than they are. Find out the top 5 traps people fell into and how to avoid them.

#1: Fruit Chew vs. Candy Chew
The same food labeled with the word “fruit” verses “candy” had dieters opting for the fruit-labeled boxes with identical chews inside. If it doesn’t contain real fruit, it’s probably the same product with different flavoring. Check the ingredients before you buy!

#2: Pasta vs. Salads

Diners watching their calories often jump to the salad section over pasta, since that seems like the healthier choice. But not always: Toppings like avocado, cheese, beans, croutons, fried chicken or too much dressing drive salad calories sky-high (that’s why they made our top 9 “healthy” foods to skip). Ask the server how the salad is prepared, and if any of the toppings or dressings are optional. Get our tips for swapping out high-cal salad toppings >>

#3: Flavored Water vs. Juice
Find yourself grabbing the “flavored” water because it seems like the healthier choice? That’s what the Journal of Consumer research study found their subjects did. Water seems harmless, but many varieties are nothing more than sugar water. If sugar isn’t added, then oftentimes artificial sweeteners are. A glass of freshly squeezed juice may contain natural sugar called fructose, but also a variety of vitamins and minerals. If in doubt, real, unadulterated water is always a great choice.

#4: Veggie Chips vs. Potato Chips
Think veggie chips are healthier than potato chips? Think again: Aren’t potatoes vegetables?!? Any vegetable fried and made to look like a chip can be labeled a veggie chip, so don’t fall for that labeling trick! If you want chips (whether veggie or potato), be sure to stick to a reasonable portion (about 15 chips).

#5: Smoothies vs. Milkshakes

Milkshakes are loaded with fat and calories, but slap on a label that says “smoothie” and dieters feel they’ve made a healthier decision. Be sure to inquire about the ingredients that go into that smoothie, and keep the portion size reasonable. Get our tips for a healthier smoothie >>

Bottom Line: Don’t fall into the naming trap — if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Do some investigating by reading food label ingredient lists and nutrition facts. If you’re dining out, don’t be shy! Ask the wait staff about menu items.

(Food Network- Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN)

Wendy’s Summer Treats a Healthy Option?

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Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

As warmer weather approaches, so do new frosty treats from most fast-food restaurants. Despite a few attempts made to introduce healthier menu options, many franchises opt for sugar-filled desserts to drive in larger profits. It’s no secret that many sweet treats sold by large chains such as Burger King, McDonald’s and Wendy’s are big hits with many consumers. Today we’ll look closely at 3 new products introduced by Wendy’s earlier this summer.

Many are familiar with the Frosty, a major staple on the Wendy’s drive-thru menu. This thick chocolate combination between ice cream and a milk shake is a major money-maker, and thus drove the company to create 3 more varieties. This summer we were introduced to the Caramel Apple Frosty Parfait, the Wild Berry Frosty Parfait, and the Oreo Frosty Parfait. The word parfait is most likely to trigger “healthy” in many minds, however, these products don’t contain ingredients most would consider a parfait (i.e. yogurt). In fact, these items contain only ice cream and toppings, so technically they are just glorified sundaes.
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Caramel Apple Frosty “Parfait”: For starters, this product is 400 calories. Also, there is 5g or 25% your daily value from saturated fat, which is significantly high for just a treat. The kicker, there is also 57g of sugar, which is a little over 14 teaspoons. The sugars are most likely derived from the unnecessary caramel sauce, the brown sugar, and the apples which are also listed next to a few preservatives to keep their freshness. If you have trouble controlling blood glucose levels, or have GI sensitivities to massive amounts of sugar, you may want to think twice before ordering this item. There are about 25 ingredients in this frosty parfait, none of which contain yogurt, or any produce any type of benefits. We do know there are a few controversial ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, natural flavors, and carrageenan (a hidden form of MSG.)
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Wild Berry Frosty Parfait: The calorie content is slightly lower than the Caramel Apple option, with about 320kcal. The saturated fat is about 23% the daily value, and provides 30mg of cholesterol. Although lower than the Caramel Apple variety, this frosty parfait is equipped with a high 48 grams of sugar. The blueberries and strawberries covered with preservatives, along with carrageenan and artificial flavors cancel out any thoughts of this item being a sensible snack.
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Oreo Frosty Parfait: Finally, the Oreo Frosty Parfait, which is already doomed to be the least healthiest choice. This menu option contains 400 calories, 30% the daily value for saturated fat, 220mg of sodium, 56 grams of sugar, and approximately 50 ingredients. Chocolate syrup, Oreo chunks, artificial vanilla flavor, two sources of added high fructose corn syrup, and carrageenan make up what many believe to be a ‘healthy’ after dinner snack. However, anyone who is able to successfully finish this parfait is most likely to crash after the amount of sugar and controversial ingredients they’ve consumed.

Carefully read labels and menu options before you grab your next frosty treat!

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

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Many people recognise monosodium glutamate (MSG) as the additive used, for example, in some Chinese and Japanese food, but few know what it is, let alone what its effects on the body are. Now a new report focuses on how monosodium glutamate may be just one of the causes of the Slow Poisoning of America.

In fact, MSG (which is often disguised by names like “hydrolyzed vegetable protein” or “HVP”, “yeast extract” or “autolyzed proteins”) is, like aspartame, a member of the group of chemicals known as “excitotoxins” (the clue is in the name!). These toxic compounds are known to interfere with brain chemistry and have been implicated in many neurological diseases, such as brain cancers, MS, fibromyalgia, depression and hyperactivity (ADHD). In fact, they overexcite brain cells to the point of cell damage and even cell death.

MSG has also been linked to obesity and, indeed, many products that contain MSG now also contain horrific chemicals like “high fructose corn syrup” (whose purpose is to make you chemically addicted to the food in the same way as sugar).

Monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt of the amino acid glutamate, and is a commonly used flavor enhancer, regarded by the FDA as “generally safe”, meaning that food manufacturers can use as much of it as they like. It has been around for many years, and is found not only in take away meals from Chinese restaurants, but many other food sources, in which it is listed as either “monosodium glutamate”, “MSG” or “hydrolyzed vegetable protein”.

In a recent book on the subject, Dr Russell Blaylock reported that MSG also causes severe disturbances in the endocrine system, affecting levels of hormones such as LH (Leutenising hormone), GH (growth hormone) and prolactin. (Excitotoxins by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 263)

Another recent work stated that “The stress-induced abnormalities in blood-brain barrier permeability suggest differing MSG effects dependent on existing states of relaxation or stresses. The suggestive evidence for MSG-induced neuroendocrine effects is substantial, coupled with the observation of increased obesity in children.” ( In Bad Taste by George R Schwartz MD, page 39)

In short, MSG is a leading cause of obesity and may well be implicated in many other conditions. It should be avoided at all costs, just like its chemical relatives.

Can Blueberries Help Fight Obesity?

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Blueberries have been shown to have a positive effect on everything from cardiovascular health to aging, and now it seems that eating these berries could help you slim down as well.

Shiwani Moghe, a researcher from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, looked at whether blueberries and their high polyphenol content could play a role in fighting obesity.

In a study of tissue cultures taken from mice, Moghe examined what effect the polyphenols in the berries have in fighting the development of fats cells, and what she found was the highest dose of polyphenols cut the number of fat cells by 73 percent, while the smallest dose showed a 27 percent decrease.

“We still need to test this dose in humans, to make sure there are no adverse effects, and to see if the doses are as effective. This is a burgeoning area of research. Determining the best dose for humans will be important,” Moghe said. “The promise is there for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue (body fat) from forming in the body.”

Moghe presented her research at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting for the American Society for Nutrition.

Information provided by http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/04/11/blueberries-help-fight-obesity/

New Genes Linked to Obesity, Belly Fat

Genes | Foodfacts.com

Genes | Foodfacts.com

Research Reveals Genes That Affect Obesity and Where the Extra Fat Goes

Your genes may influence how you look in your skinny jeans.

Two studies have identified 18 new genes linked to overall obesity and 13 more that influence whether your weight goes to your belly or to your thighs. Continue reading