“What you should order at McDonald’s, according to nutritionists. Are there ‘healthier’ options at McDonald’s? Here’s what nutritionists advise whenever you’re craving the Golden Arches.”(1) This was one of the headlines I saw on the Fox News app this past week. Put your seat belts on because I am going to have a “wholistic field day” with this one! This is what I like to call one of “Jackie’s Op-eds.” Some days I just need to use my blog platform and speak blatantly, peeling away the “filter” a little bit. If you would, indulge me, or at least forgive me, and if you must, read no further this week – I promise, I’ll be back with better EQ (emotional intelligence) next week!
First, I want to briefly share my position and purpose in life which parlays into the reason for writing this blog this week. My purpose is to educate, encourage and empower communities on the truth about health and wellness. In order to do this, I need to bring to light the deceptions and ways we are frequently being bombarded with them, so we have something to contrast to the truth. This headline is a classic example of what the general population is being brain-washed with all the time.
A headline like this is an addict’s dream. Not a drug addict necessarily, but a food addict, a convenience addict, a poor time-management addict – well you get the picture. Too many folks are looking for headlines and articles like this to instantly justify why it’s okay to pursue something they know they shouldn’t be pursuing. Like eating any kind of fast food. This article feeds directly to justifying eating McDonalds. It is what I would say is an example of “calling evil good…”
It’s also important to point out that this advice is given by a so-called “nutritionist.” This in itself is deceiving. In my book “Are You Being Deceived About True Wellness” I go into greater detail about the difference between the “nutritionist dietician” and a true certified nutrition specialist. The first is licensed under a branch of the medical profession. The second is licensed under The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists – completely independent from the medical licensing board. This article was actually written by a “dietician nutritionist” (a.k.a. medical professional). This is important to discern when you are reading or hearing advice from someone regarding the foods you should eat – who are they being educated (and paid) by? I don’t want you to be misled into thinking that a true, wholistic nutritionist would give you this kind of advice. Bottom line? All nutritionists are not the same – Truth #1.
The article starts off by saying the apple slices at McDonald’s are a healthy option. Why yes, yes they would be. But who in the heck takes the time to go to the drive-thru window to buy apple slices, nothing more, and then goes on their merry way? No one, that’s who!
Are you ready for their second healthier option suggestion? Why an Egg McMuffin of course! And here is their reasoning:
The author “said this sandwich made with egg, cheese and Canadian bacon is around 310 calories with 17 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat and 30 grams of carbs. This is a much healthier choice for breakfast than, say, the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, which has 320 calories, but only has six grams of protein and 4.5 grams of fat with a whopping 64 grams of carbs,” she said. “If you’re trying to watch your blood sugar or stay fuller longer, the protein and fat from the Egg McMuffin is the better option.” Myth #1
Let’s Dissect This Article Down a Bit
1. Choosing the worse of 2 evil, toxic foods, does not make one of them healthy. Just because an Egg McMuffin is touted as being healthier than the “fruit and maple oatmeal” does not make the Egg McMuffin healthy – Myth #2 — it is still a highly processed, unhealthy food-like substance. In addition, comparing it to an item with words like “fruit” and “oatmeal” in it and saying the McMuffin is healthier gives a subliminal message to the uninformed that perhaps “fruit” and “oatmeal” are not healthy after all – Myth #3. Which is exactly what a food addict, or a convenience addict, or anyone else who looks for reasons not to eat healthy wants to hear.
2.They are simply comparing the macro-nutrients of one toxic item to the other – fats, carbs and proteins, as well as calories – to determine which one is “healthier.” When in reality both of them are very toxic – Truth #2. In fact, these macro-nutrients are all in the unhealthy forms. There are good fats, and bad fats. There are healthy carbs, and unhealthy carbs. There are healthy proteins, and unhealthy proteins. Unfortunately, there is nothing of nutritional value in any of the macro-nutrients in the items they suggest in this article – Truth #3. In addition, there is no mention of any micro-nutrients that either of these items might have – because there aren’t any – Truth #4. Micro-nutrients are what we need to be more conscious of when we are putting anything into our mouths. While having knowledge of the macro-nutrients in our food is good to know, these should not be our sole measuring stick when determining whether something is healthy or not, or what to eat and even more importantly, what to feed our children.
Here is their 3rd “healthy” suggestion — A McCrispy! And here is their justification: “You may not want to reach for a fried chicken sandwich (these last 3 words actually had a hyperlink to another article featuring honey butter chicken biscuits!) regularly. Still, when eaten on occasion, this is a good option – Myth #4, said Clevenger, if you’re concerned about getting enough protein. “With just 470 calories, this chicken sandwich provides 26 grams of protein,” she noted.” Let me pause here and say, that about the only half way reasonable thing these authors stated several times in this article was “by not making these items a regular part of your routine…here are some healthier choices.” I guess they needed a disclaimer somewhere – I wonder how much they got paid by McDonald’s to write this article? And see, there is the emphasis on the macro-nutrients again – in this case, the protein.
Let me digress a bit further and talk about the difference between –
Healthy Protein Sources and Unhealthy Protein Sources
Breaking it down a little further, there are animal proteins and plant proteins. Vegetarians, and some functional medicine practitioners prefer plant over animal. Other functional medicine docs believe animal proteins are good for you. If you go with plant proteins for any length of time you will want to supplement with vitamin B12 and some other vitamin and minerals that are only found in animal proteins.
Now let’s break down healthy versus unhealthy proteins – plant and animal. Healthy plant and/or animal proteins need to come from organic, grass-fed, free range, non-GMO sources – no if, ands or buts about it. If you are consuming conventionally raised and/or grown protein sources you are putting into your body the same things that these conventional proteins – plant and animal – are exposed to: growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and genetically modified organisms – i.e. not real food! And that in a nutshell is the problem with any of the macro-nutrients – proteins or otherwise – that are in foods that are served at places like McDonalds. Truth #5
Back to dissecting the article – After suggesting the classic burger and a cup of coffee, and why they chose these items, the authors finish their article with what to choose for dessert. Their recommendation? The soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone versus the “apple” pie – there’s that subliminal implication that apples aren’t as good for you as “calcium enriched” ice cream – Myth #5. Convoluted at best.
I will close with what is foundational in all of my teachings, book, talks etc. Inflammatory foods versus non-inflammatory foods. I have created what I call a “Short-List of Inflammatory Foods” and a “Short-List of Non-Inflammatory Foods.” And here they are:
Short-List of Inflammatory Foods
- Fast Food
- Fried Food
- Packaged and Processed foods
- Animal Products (okay to consume but in the forms stated above)
- Grains (okay to consume if non-GMO/organic)
Short-List of Non-Inflammatory Foods
- Nuts & Seeds
- Good Fats
(again, organically grown whenever possible)
And of course, plenty of clean water.
In my opinion, when trying to determine which foods are healthier than others, a vital measuring stick and question to ask yourself would be: “is this food inflammatory, or non-inflammatory?” Inflammation is the common denominator of all chronic and degenerative diseases – Truth #6. If you want to heal from, or avoid these diseases, eat non-inflammatory foods as much as possible.
Never, eat anything from McDonald’s – well, except for the apple slices if you can manage the temptation not to buy anything else! Better yet? Grab that organic apple from home for the road.
And most importantly – don’t be deceived by news articles like this – if they are written by dieticians, my advice would be to disregard altogether.
And above all, don’t allow articles like this deceive you into justifying going against what you know is not true – exercise discernment, given to you by the Holy Spirit — follow truth, it is the way to health and life.
To book Dr. Jackie for speaking engagements go to: https://jackiemckool.com/schedule-jackie/
To read the referenced article in its entirety you can go to: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/what-order-mcdonalds-according-nutritionists