Fast Food Assignment

GREEN food = powerhouse for the body


For my nutrition class at school, we were assigned a project of comparing meals at fast food restaurants.  The goal was to create one sickeningly unhealthy meal and then try and create another meal with these guidelines:

  • one main item
  • one side item
  • one beverage
  • approximately 800 kcal +/- 50 kcal
  • no more than 27 grams total fat
  • no more than 8 grams saturated fat
  • as little trans fat as possible
  • no more than 100 grams dietary cholesterol

I chose to look at a the Wendy’s menu, which was very eye opening to me.  Check out the comparisons between the two meals:

Your Typical Fast Food Meal:

Food Item Calories (kcals) Total Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Trans Fat (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg)
Asiago Ranch Chicken Club 690 kcal 36g 12g 0g 95 mg 1630 mg
Fries 503 kcal 25g 5g 0g 0g 570 mg
Large Coke 320 kcal 0g 0g 0g 0g 10g


 1513 kcal 61g 17g 0g 95mg 2210mg


Your Alternative Fast Food Meal:

Food Item Calories (kcals) Total Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Trans Fat (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg)
Ultimate Chicken Grill 390 kcal 10g 3.5g 0g 90 mg 1080 mg
Garden Side Salad w/ Italian Vinaigrette dressing & croutons 180 kcal 9g 1.0g 0g 0 mg 430g
small Wild Berry Lemonade 230 kcal 0g 0g 0g 0g 0g
Totals: 800 kcal 19g 3.5g 0g 90 mg 1510 mg


Can you believe the nutrition stats on the first meal?!  I was absolutely shocked!  I knew fast food was terribly for you, but geez.  This is just ridiculous!  Almost 700 kcal for one sandwich?  I don’t eat one meal all day that equals 700 kilocalories.  There’s nothing right about this meal.  The fat is off the charts, 61 grams, and the meal it’s self is over half of a 2000 kilocalorie diet.  Holy sodium!  It’s like somebody dumped an entire salt shaker onto this meal.  And then added half of another.  No wonder heart disease is rampant in the U.S.

The healthier meal does a better job, although the sodium is still way, way too high.  I guess it’s impossible to get a reasonable amount of sodium in a meal at Wendy’s, or any other fast food place for that matter.  I’m sure it’s not much better else where.  There is some nutrient density to this meal though by adding a side salad.  Really, the meal should be focused on salad, not on a chicken sandwich, but not everyone’s on the plant heavy train yet.  I’d rather eat this:

Massaged kale salad with tofu


or this:

Home made bread


The days of homemade food are long gone which is really too bad.  There’s not too many things greater than home made bread baking in your house and filling the air with it’s yeasty, earthy smell.  Obviously, I’m having an exciting Saturday evening, researching the Wendy’s menu and all.  Don’t pretend you’re not jealous!

Be well & happy eating!


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