T Nation

Why Are Take Out Burgers So Bad?

Ive always known that Burger King, McDonalds, KFC etc. the burgers are bad. never disputed this andnever thought otherwise. However, Ive never looked at the nutritional info,. and I had a look and what sort of confused me was that most of the figures weren’t good but they weren’t as bad as I expected, so what makes them so bad… here is a sample

Burger King: Whopper

2837 kj=700 calories (major bummer, but especially if you had more then one per day)
30g protein = great!
Fats: 40.5g / Saturated: 11.5g = 40g of fat sounds bad, but 11.5g saturated, isn’t all that great, but doesn’t sound too high as well.
Carbs: 45g: not very good either
Sugars: 9g (is this a lot?)
sodium: 1070mg (very high)

so what makes them sooo damn bad…I must admit the figures aren’t spectacular, but it almost seems like if you eat 3 of these a day and nothing else, it doesn’t seem that horrible unless I am missing something!!

What makes them “sooo bad omg lolz” is that they are a disproportionately high dose (meal) of calories for the average person who doesn’t work out hard enough to deserve the calories.

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looking at it i’d say it is pretty bad if you were to eat 3 of these a day. Lets look at the macros:

protein: 18%
carbs: 27%
fats: 54%

Now i know the percentages don’t add up to 100% but you get the idea, this one burger is more than 50% fat and only 18% protein, so if all you ate was 3 of these a day you wouldn’t exactly be getting the right proportion of macronutrients for muscle building or fat loss. You probably wouldn’t get fat if you were active and that was ALL YOU ATE.

Another issue i have is where is the rest of the fat coming from if only 11g is saturated, are you telling me this burger if full of mono/poly unsaturated fat? I would doubt it, seen as it isn’t likely to be grass fed beef or anything close. So are there trans fats in this? maybe, i’m just guessing.

But i don’t want to be a Buzz Killington and say you can’t have a burger ‘now and again’, if you want to have a burger, have one, just realise this isn’t exactly ideal nutrition, and if you were to eat 3 a day you’d probably feel like crap like the guy from supersize me.

If you define “doesn’t seem that horrible” as, it probably won’t make me fat if thats all i ate, then your probably right, but to me it is horrible cos you would feel like crap and you’d not be giving your body many vital nutrients/macronutrients it wants/needs.

Because you can call it “ground beef” even if up to 10% of it is actually bone, a lot may be cartilage. It’s just one step above sausage.

No one is going to waste good meat that can be sold as a steak to make burgers. So they have machines that just scrape the meat off the bone, and some of the bone comes with it, plus other gelatin and other proteins that are not ideal.

That’s why ground beef from your grocery or butcher is a lot higher quality. And sausage and other processed meats are also horrible unless you make it yourself or buy some artisan brand that advertises they only use quality meat.

Processed, high calorie, low nutrient, Garbage. Enough said but I’ll say a little more anyway.

That stuff will wreck your health if you eat it on a regular basis. Personally just the thought of the stuff makes me a little sick. I haven’t set foot in a McDonnalds in over 5 years, and I can’t remember the last time I actualy ate a Mc Burger or any other fast food burger.

My main objection to the Whopper is the significant amount of trans fat. Which seems utterly unnecessary, as well.

Other than that, if eaten without the bun, I don’t think it unreasonable as an occasional P/F source. And the Angry Whopper, in particular, is tasty (though the meat itself actually is not.)

The sodium should not be a matter of concern unless one has a bb’ing contest that same week or something like that.

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I eat a 4x4 from in-and-out pretty much everyday.

They’re delicious.

The triple whopper is awesome. I keep coming back every week for one. Most of the time, it also coincide with my leg day so it works out alright.

Also most of the time when people get fast food, they get the combo. So you also have fries (20g fat, 5 saturated and 6 trans, 49g carbs, 4g protein for a medium), and some sort of pop. Goes with the bad burger to make a very bad meal. Yet, I still eat fast food occasionally.

What’s so bad about it?

You have almost half of the average person calories requirements in 1 chump ass burger.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:

The sodium should not be a matter of concern unless one has a bb’ing contest that same week or something like that.

So you personally dispute the link (the theorised link, lol) between high sodium intake and heart disease? I would be interested to hear more, thanks.


It’s both a matter of, if it were true, that ought to be demonstrated; and there being evidence it is not true.

There probably is more recently much more on the subject, but for example back in about '93 or a little earlier, the World Health Organization did what was then the largest epidemiological study ever, on the link between sodium intake, heart disease, and risk factors for heart disease such as elevated blood pressure.

The study did not turn out as expected: no link was found. This was based on studying over 30,000 people from all around the world, ranging from Amazon rain forest dwellers who consumed quite little sodium (I forget how much, I want to say an average of 750 mg/day but I could by now be wrong) to Japanese fishing communities that consumed over 30 grams per day.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone, really, with even the slightest knowledge of how the kidneys function. As blood passes through, sodium is forced out passively, and the kidneys selectively reabsorb the amount needed. It’s the simplest task in the world for the kidneys to reabsorb only the amount needed, puts no load on them at all to not reabsorb that which is not needed, and the fact is that in individuals with normal health blood sodium levels are extremely tightly and well regulated regardless of intake.

It can be different for individuals with some health problems, I am not saying that everyone can consider this a non-issue for them, but individuals in normal health can.

The burden would be on the sodium fearmongers to show is not so. Though they’ve had decades to do it in, still they have not. (Rather like the egg fearmongers but even moreso. Or the protein fearmongers.)

The main problem with fast food is the very low quality and high amount or processing (it is cheap for a reason). I am not going to harp on the evils of processed foods except to say it facilitates the conversion of Cis isomers to Trans isomers, which actually does seem to be as bad as reported.

Who said fast food burgers are bad? I’m 25 years old, and look at my picture. I’m huge, and damn good lookin.

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I don’t know. I had thought that it was the twisted logic of, “High sodium intake can interfere with some blood pressure medications: therefore high sodium is bad for everyone’s blood pressure.” Similarly to the medical stupidity of “High protein diets are bad for people with kidney disease, therefore high protein diets are hard on the kidneys for everyone and can cause kidney disease.”

I even had a doctor once that was so stupid that after she learned that I had a high-protein diet (she asked about my diet), she immediately announced I had kidney disease and that was the cause of my non-kidney-related symptom. No testing needed: all she needed to know was high protein, and it was safe for her to conclude and to inform me that I had kidney disease.

It can be hard for me to grasp sometimes that MD’s can be this stupid, whether on the sodium issue or the protein issue, not only individually but collectively, but they can be.

It could be that there is more to it such as along the lines you’ve stated but I don’t know.

[quote]stibby wrote:
looking at it i’d say it is pretty bad if you were to eat 3 of these a day. Lets look at the macros:

protein: 18%
carbs: 27%
fats: 54%

Now i know the percentages don’t add up to 100% but you get the idea, [/quote]

WTF? They don’t add up to a 100?! Why do you think that is?! Why have you even brought this up?

I’ll give you a clue is starts with the letter R…

I get $3-4 worth of dollar menu burgers from Burger King or McD’s every 2 weeks or so. I mean, if you’re bulking, it’s not going to kill you to get your daily calorie requirements from 1200 calories of tasty burgers.

I eat 2-3 double double’s animal style from In & Out, EOD Friday on cruise night with the guys. I’m probably over the 1,500kcal mark easily.