Saturday, May 1, 2010

Double me Down!

Recently I have been reading about the "horrors" of Kentucky Fried Chickens new Double Down Sandwich.
A product that is " meaty, there's no room for a bun!"

According to the advertisements:

"The new KFC Double Down sandwich is real! This one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe® or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel's Sauce" 

Actually, the dammed thing sounds and looks pretty dammed tasty to me!

But you should hear (read) the monkey-screaming-while-flinging-feces reaction on the blogsphere.

"Just look at this atrocity."
"...heart attack on a plate."
"How dare KFC attempt to market such an abomination!"
"Makes me sick to think this is available for my kids to eat!" 
"Potentially lethal!"
"Angina on a plate!"

The list goes on.
A spark people article (yes, I use Spark People... I can't help but to spin the login wheel!) goes on to rant about the vileness of the sandwich.
The interesting thing are all the comments, a majority of them agreeing about how the sandwich is vile, a heart attack on a paper wrapper, and how KFC should be boycotted. And what about this "nutritional nightmare"?

Lets take a look at the nutritional content of the Double Down:

Fried Double Down:
540 calories, 32 grams of total fat, 10 of them saturated and 0.5 trans fats, 1380 milligrams of sodium.

OMG run for the hills!

How dare KFC market such an abomination! Lets see, a 540 kcal Double Down is 1/5th my total daily allotment of calories, and 66% of my sodium intake limit according to the RDA. I should sue!
I should go to Wendy's instead!

Umm, wait a min... that Wendy's Triple Baconator sure looks good! I cannot eat the bun because I am sensitive to Gluten, and it makes my hair fall out. I will be "good" and skip the fries and a drink.

Lets see how many calories are in this hamburger:

Holy Crap! 1180 kcal? That is more than twice as much as the Double Down!

"Just look at this atrocity."
"...heart attack on a plate."
"How dare Wendy's attempt to market such an abomination!"
"Makes me sick to think this is available for my kids to eat!" 
"Potentially lethal!"
"Angina on a plate!"

Ok, so one can find an abomination on the menu of nearly every fast food chain.

There is bad shit out there in the world people. Avoid stepping in it. Don't let your kids eat what you think is bad for them, but quit bitching about what is bad for me.

I can do totally fine with eating a Double Down. I can go grilled so that I don't get the breading if it makes me sick. I can do without the excess sodium, but hey, its my body.

A person losing weight has to abide by the laws of physics... to lose weight you must consume fewer calories than you burn. Simple. I can choose those calories to be crap, and feel sick and under nourished, or I can choose my calories to be good for me, with veggies, fruit, meat etc. and feel less sick, or even healthy. I am an experimental physicist, and can read the data. I do not need my research in how my body reacts to food be be hindered a-priori via legislation to ban certain foods. =)

So, I have about 2600 kcal to play with today. I am going to eat a Double Down, with a side of potato wedges, and an iced tea. My total calories will be around 800 kcal. (Still almost 400 kcal less than the bunless hunk of meat Wendy's calls the baconator.)
This is very reasonable calorie count for a meal. 

Hell, I may later on eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's pistachio pistachio ice cream. (Hey, check out their marketing.) This will come out to about 1000 kcal. What do you know, I will still have 800 kcal to play with. Think of how many fruits and veggies I can eat to make up 800 kcal! 
Or... I could eat another Double Down with potato wedges! YUM!

If you never see any more blog posts from me, you will know without a doubt that the Double Down killed me off, and you can say "Ha Ha!"



  1. It's not all about calories. From

    " for all that crap you're taking in, you're only getting about one-quarter of the calories that you need. On this basis, not only is the Double Down worse for you than any of the chicken products (Chick-Fil-A's Chargrilled Chicken Club, at 0.91 DDPCs, is the next-worst), but also all of the burgers as well -- even the Triple Baconator (0.98 DDPCs) and the infamous Thickburger (0.92 DDPCs). In fact, the only thing that beats than the Original Recipe Double Down is the supposedly healthier grilled Double Down (1.19 DDPCs), which is almost 20 percent worse for you than the signature version on a per-calorie basis."

  2. To lose mass, it is all about the calories. Burn more than you consume. Can't break the laws of physics.

    Now, and as I stated, how crappy you want to feel and how nourished you are on those calories are based on the makeup of those calories.

  3. I agree; if you just want to lose weight, it's about calories. But if you want to be healthy in general, the sodium, saturated fat, etc, all come into play, and that's where the Double Down is so bad, especially on a per-calorie basis. There are so many better ways to get the same number of calories without overloading on salt and fat.

  4. I read something a long time ago (so I can't cite a source) about the chemical thermodynamics of weight loss. While it's trivially true that kilocalories stored = kilocalories taken in - kilocalories burned, the source of the kilocalories can make a difference with respect to the efficiency of the burning and with respect to the body's set point for basal metabolism. Thus a simple kilocalorie lookup combined with calories burned in activities and a "180 pound man burns 2200 kilocalories per day with no excercise" calculation may be misleading.

    All that said, that double down looks kind of nasty to me.

  5. @anon

    After reading many papers in various medical journals, I am not so certain that saturated fats are as bad as the popular media states they are.
    There are various bio-chemists I personally know that can show me scientific evidence and journal articles on studies showing that vegetable oils are terrible for your health, and that diets without adequate cholesterol can lead to inflammatory illnesses.

    As for sodium, again the jury (read scientific evidence) is still out on some aspects of its dangers.
    Personal non-scientific anecdote: I removed all grains from my diet as I have a gluten allergy, and ate nothing but fruits, veggies and meat. I tried to avoid processed meats with excess salt.
    My LDL/HDL ratio improved drastically to "excellent" levels for the first time, and my hyper-lipidemia (triglycerides) dropped from a jaw dropping 4500 to 85 (also normal).

    The diet was difficult to maintain for me because of expense at the time, and being an emotional eater, salad did not substitute for ice cream. =)

    Having said that, this was NOT by any stretch a low fat diet. The breakdown was that I was getting 45% of my calories from fats. My skin improved (probably due to the lack of wheat), my stomach stopped hurting (also perhaps due to wheat.) and I felt a better and had clear thinking.
    All anecdotal of course, except for the hard numbers of the metabolic panel.
    But an interesting tale for some critical thinking practice. =)

  6. Is it scientifically literate to call "foods" like this nutritious? Just wondering...

  7. Who said marketing firms were scientifically literate?

    I wonder what "nutritious" means? For that matter, words like "wholesome" are unclear, and do not even get me started on the true definition of "organic".

  8. By the way, after eating the Double Down, I am still living. It was tasty if rather un-filling. The Peach Green Tea they sold was really tasty tho, and I may indulge once in a while with that!