By Michael Anchors, MD, PhD
Fast food has a reputation for being fattening, but it doesn’t have to be like that. You can eat at fast food restaurants without getting fat. Why is fast food fattening? Let’s look at the reasons.
Eating fast food fast raises insulin more than the same burger and fries eaten slowly. Obesity is all about insulin; it has little to do with calories. If you eat even cake very slowly, it is less fattening, even though the same number of calories is taken in.
Burger and fries are a bad combination. The burger has lots of calories, but it’s a weak stimulus to insulin. The fries, being a starch, have fewer calories, but they are a strong stimulus to insulin. If you eat the burger and skip the fries, or eat the fries and skip the burger, you will be a lot better off.
At most fast food places the burger and fries are grotesquely huge, and men especially tend to eat the whole thing simply because they bought it. But you don’t have to do that. You could eat part of the burger and let the rest go. You don’t have to eat every last fry. You could be smart.
Most people eating fast food get a very large soda. A little 12 oz Coke can has 8 tsps of sugar. How much sugar d’ya think is in one of those giant cups? And “diet” soda is no better, as has been published in so many places. Anything sweet drives up insulin.
The soda thing is really ridiculous. I ate a burger (no fries) at Five Guys yesterday. It is really cold here in Maryland, 11º F outside. But all the beverages on sale at Five Guys, all of them, had ice! What a bizarre country, the U.S.