Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Annie: Double Down.

(Photo from KFC website)

Haha, panic not! I didn't eat one!

Mainstream media and Twitter alike have been a-twitter with accounts of ordinary Canadians' encounters with KFC's new, sodium-and-fat-laced "sandwich" featuring bacon and cheese between two deep-fried pieces of chicken. College kids are making trips to KFC and positioning the meal as a test of strength and endurance. It's a lot of hype, all centered around how bad this thing is for you.

But how bad is it, really? It depends on what you count.

KFC Canada's nutritional information site gives the following stats for the Double Down:

Calories: 540
Total Fat (g): 30
Fibre: 0

... which puts it at 13 points -- or the same as a Big Mac.  So, bad, for sure, but not suicide in a paper wrapper. At least, not immediate suicide.

Not to defend the Double Down, but it did get me thinking. Does it deserve the super-bad rap? A recent story in the London Free Press talked about how a single egg yolk has more cholesterol than a KFC Double Down - a fact that surprised me.

So I spent a little time on my beloved Dotti's app (which I posted about here, in case you missed it), and found some restaurant food points values that surprised me... and maybe put the Double Down in a bit of perspective. According to Dotti:

Tim Hortons: wheat carrot muffin - 9

[Really? A wheat carrot muffin is almost 3/4 of the way, points-wise, to a Double-Down? What else could surprise me?]

Things which you'd think were better than a KFC Double Down but are, in fact, worse (according to Dotti's calculations, at least)

Roasted chicken quesadilla - 16.5
Hunan Kung Pao with shrimp - 26
Hot chicken caesar salad - 28

Boston Pizza
Ciabatta chicken sandwich with garden greens - 21.5
Pad Thai with chicken - 42

Now, this is just counting calories, fat and fibre to calculate points: KFC's Original Recipe Double Down also contains 1380 mg of sodium. (Hello, blood pressure meds!)

If you want to go the "healthy" route, you can order the Grilled Double Down instead, for only 11 points... but it has even more sodium, at 1430 mg.

Ahem, to be clear.

I'm not suggesting by any means that the KFC Double Down is a reasonable food choice (incidentally, and fortunately for me, I find the idea repulsive. Who'd want a sandwich without the bread, for goodness sakes, haha!).

But I do think it's a good argument for paying very close attention to nutritional guides, ingredient lists, and measurements wherever you can, because clearly the "bad guys" on the menu can be in disguise.

Imagine turning down a 16-point slice of pizza (or two!) in favour of the more dietarily righteous Pad Thai, only to discover later that you'd blown your day's points, the flex bank was empty, and you owed 90 minutes on the bike before you were allowed to go to bed!


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