Super Size Me - America's Love of Fast Food Fuels Obesity, Heart Disease: New Website Focused on the Glycemic Index Launches to Educate on Nutrition & Food Choices

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With an estimated $142 billion in 2006 sales, the fast food industry continues to fuel the appetites for millions each day. While recent trends suggest a slight decrease in super size offers, the most popular selections remain at record levels fat, calories, and sugar. A new website provides insight on the Glycemic Index and takes a look at the most popular options for "convenience food."

Despite a slight drop-off in fast food growth rates, the popularity and convenience of a quick meal remains at the forefront of American culture. The appeal and immediate gratification that comes from a 45-second drive thru purchase is hard to compete with.

Recognizing the need to educate the public on common food choices, a website called Glycemic Edge provides information and comparative choices on common food types as they relate to nutrition and the popular Glycemic Index.

Unfortunately, convenience food often comes at a steep price. Fast food companies make a fortune from offering cheap, fast, marketable food. Food that is easy to package, quick to produce, and is loaded with fat and empty calories. Most consumers are completely in the dark when it comes to the nutritional impact a quick meal can have on their digestive & calorie quota.

A quick look at some of the most popular fast food menu items reveals some of our favorite culprits:

  • McDonalds Big Mac - 540 calories, 10g saturated fat
  • McDonalds Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich - 660 calories, 8g saturated fat
  • McDonalds Sausage McMuffin w/egg - 450 calories, 10g saturated fat
  • Burger King Whopper w/Cheese - 760 calories, 16g saturated fat
  • Carls Junior Bacon Cheeseburger - 710 calories, 12g saturated fat
  • Subway Cold Cut Combo - 410 calories, 7g saturated fat

With U.S. Dietary Guidelines (RDA guidelines) at 2,000 calories a day, those two egg McMuffin sandwich bundles you had on the way to work just used up half your daily quota of calories. Oops.

While its unlikely McDonalds is going to start shutting down any of their 28,000+ restaurants that dominate the corners of nearly every Main Street in America, there are some sensible approaches you can make to improve your diet and reduce your chance of adding to the statistics of heart disease or 1.3 million new diabetics diagnosed each year.

Start by limiting your intake of convenience foods. Reducing your regular consumption of high-fat, empty calorie foods will have an immediate benefit on your metabolism, energy level, and hunger levels.

Continue by focusing on foods that have a low to moderate glycemic index. Foods with a high glycemic index digest quickly, resulting in a spike in blood sugar as your body releases insulin and converts the empty carbohydrates into glucose. Low to moderate glycemic index foods take longer to digest, make you feel fuller for a longer period of time, and tend to have fewer calories and "bad" fats.

Following a Glycemic Index diet is one of the more effective and sensible weight loss plans. The Glycemic Index Diet isn't a fad diet or supplement, it's an approach that sensibly has you choose foods that avoid the huge spikes in blood sugar common on many fast food and restaurant menus. GI diets are extremely popular among working men & women - especially those over 35 with an elevated risk of heart disease or diabetes.

"If you're concerned about your health, especially heart disease or diabetes, the glycemic index diet is a great way to get back on track," said Wayne Becker, an editor with Glycemic Edge. "Fast food can still be a rare treat. But if you're eating it more than 1x per week, you may be putting your health at risk. A glycemic index diet is a terriffic alternative to the dangers fast food meals present. Some simple planning & lifestyle adjustment goes a long way."


Glycemic Edge is an information, research, and knowledge sharing site focused on nutrition plans related to the Glycemic Index.


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Wayne Becker
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