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Surprise, surprise…

April 14, 2010

A lot of people are writing about this new Double Down from KFC.  This website here sums up most peoples feelings about this product without even having to say anything.  The website is called, This is Why You are Fat…  It is brilliant and points out just how creative (and short sighted) we are at feeding our food addictions.  My favorites are the pop tart ice cream sandwiches and the pulled pork and mashed potato parfait.  By the way, those are 2 things that will make you very fat.

The truth is though, the Double Down sandwich from KFC just isn’t that bad for you.  As pointed out by the Shots blog, the Double Down sandwich actually has 90 FEWER calories than the McDonald’s Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich.  Yep, this sandwich here:

This sandwich that looks so natural and tasty, complete with tomatoes and lettuce, surrounded by a deli style bun, this sandwich is 630 calories!

How can this sandwich be worse than the double down!?!?!

Because of the bread!  Just look at this:

Someone figured out that the roll the sandwich is on has more calories than the chicken in it!  Take away the bun and add another piece of chicken and voila, you have a double down, only with less calories.  This point is very important.  The misconception about this new sandwich and all the hype it is getting.  We are so oblivious as to what is good and what is bad for us (make no mistake, there is nothing good in the double down sandwich, just that thinking the crispy deluxe is good because it has a bun isn’t any smarter).  Bread is bad for us, very bad.  When you are trying to reduce your calorie intake bread is terrible.  Bread is nothing but calories.  Literally, every known civilization has moved from nomadic to world power on the backs of a major starch, and that starch has become part of every culture.

I am not recommending you eat the Double Down.  It has 540 calories.  It is made up of deep fried chicken, cheese, bacon and mayonnaise.  These are all tremendously calorie dense food items.  What I am recommending is that we revisit many of our traditional food choices or redesign them to work for us.  Thus, the thin bread choice.  We always see bread as a neutral food choice in a sandwich, pizza, etc.  It isn’t.  It is very far from neutral.  As well, when they come up with a vegetable grilled Double Down, I might be in.  Full of peppers, onions, tomatoes and lettuce… well, now we could be on to something.

A note here:  Most people think you can compare two food choices based only on their calorie count.  You can’t.  Quite often one will be bigger than the other.  For example you can’t compare a McDonald’s Cheeseburger with a Whopper.  Obviously the former has fewer calories but the latter is more likely to fill you up.  This common sense missed by many nutritionists.  It really is a case of how many calories per meal, not how many calories per sandwich.  This is why calorie density is so important.  In the case of these two sandwiches, they are almost exactly the same size.  254 grams for the Crispy Club (calorie density of  2.48) and 241 grams for the Double Down (calorie density of 2.24).

11 Comments leave one →
  1. fatboy2000 permalink
    April 15, 2010 12:13 am

    Check the fat content….32 grams in the Double-Down!! One sandwich has almost 75% of your recommended fat intake…

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      April 15, 2010 12:52 am

      Again, I agree that the product isn’t a healthy choice. In fact unless you are eating a salad in a fast food restaurant, you shouldn’t be there. It is the comparisons though that are shocking:
      Burger King’s Tendercrisp chicken sandwich 780 calories 43 grams of fat.
      Burger King’s Whopper with Cheese 790 calories 47 grams of fat.
      McDonalds Deluxe Crispy Chicken Club 630 calories 28 grams of fat
      McDonalds Big Mac 576 calories 32.5 grams of fat.
      I am not even looking for bad foods. I haven’t even brought out the double or triple whopper with cheese, both products that are listed on the actual menu at Burger King. Where was the national outrage at these products?

  2. HAB permalink
    April 15, 2010 6:03 am

    Thanks for that information! I can imagine KFC made a tactical decision in removing the bread, lest they have an 800 calorie sandwich. I think the point is that it’s us against them. They will continue to make cheap, unhealthy yet rich (fat) and salty foods because it’s profitable and addictive (albeit slightly). What finally got me off this stuff was working out in the gym and seeing the ridiculous amount of work it takes to burn off a Big Mac.
    What no one wants to tell the public is that, at least for a few weeks/months, eating healthy means your food isn’t going to taste as good. Nothing can replace creamy, fatty goodness. But believe me, after you’re over it, you probably won’t want to go back!

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      April 15, 2010 9:48 am

      Thanks so much for the comment! I could not agree more. To quote from You Are Not A Fit Person the book:

      “The whole situation gets worse when we start measuring the calories that are burned by exercise. When I first started down this road of exercise, I worked up to running 5k in about a half an hour. I was doing this about three times a week. It was a tremendous increase in my fitness, it was a massive physical output for me, and I figured I must be burning thousands of calories. Not so. I was maybe burning 360 calories a run. 360! Thats less than a meal.” – Chapter 5

      You do need the physical output to really understand just how much you should be eating, and it should rarely be a meal at KFC.

      As well, you are so right as to adjusting to the taste of healthier food selections. Your palate comes back to you when you don’t just have sweet and fatty as your two overwhelming taste selections!

      In You Are Not A Fit Person, I call this the Vegetarian Fallacy:
      “The thing that is good about this condition, is that it works for everything. With things like amount of sugar in foods, when you start eating less, things taste sweeter. Things that before would have tasted unpleasant, will now start to taste quite sweet because you have a lower high end frame of reference. This is true for fats too. When you stop eating donuts, and cakey muffins, granola and yogurt start to feel rich and delicious.” – Chapter 3

      Keep spreading the message! I believe we can get fit and find moderation in our lives by becoming aware of what we should be eating versus what we are eating and becoming aware of how much our bodies should be moving in a day compared to how much they are moving in a day.

  3. Nicole Ferreira permalink
    April 18, 2010 7:36 pm

    Because I have a PVR, I tend to not watch many commercials. In fact, I had not even heard of this double-down until a week ago when I saw someone tweet about seeing someone order it that day.

    I saw the commercial today. I think that it’s funny that the commercial for this double-down sandwich has a slogan “UNTHINK” attached to it. Very smart, KFC, telling your customers to “unthink” about the fact that this sandwich is still made up of FRIED chicken and is still not good for you.

    I completely agree with you when you state that bread is bad for you. Being Portuguese, bread is a HUGE part of my lifestyle – not just bread, but bread and cheese. LOL. I don’t think that I could ever completely cut bread out of my life, but I do consciously cut it out whenever possible.

    Knowing that, KFC may have somewhat good intentions, but they are also falsely making people believe (by “unthinking”) that the sandwich may actually be good for them.

    As always, great post!

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      April 20, 2010 11:52 pm

      Hey Nicole, thanks so much for the great comment and the kind words!

      mmmm… Portuguese bread….. those rolls from Nando’s… so good. I could never cut bread out either. It is so good, and there are so many great varieties…
      You are so right about the ‘Unthink’ slogan. That is exactly what they are trying to do. It is funny though they seem to be selling more of these sandwiches because people think they are a heart attack waiting to happen. Who knew!

  4. Amy permalink
    July 4, 2010 12:28 pm

    When you say “the Double Down sandwich from KFC just isn’t that bad for you” and compare it to another fast food sandwich, that’s sort of like saying it’s better to get hit by a car than to get hit by a bus. One option may be slightly less awful than the other option, but they are still both AWFUL options.

    Your subsequent analysis of bread and caloric content and recommendation against eating the Double Down is appreciated, but I still find your previously quoted comment to be irresponsible and ridiculous.

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      July 4, 2010 8:51 pm

      Hey Amy, thank you for the comment. I thought I made myself pretty clear when I said:

      “make no mistake, there is nothing good in the double down sandwich, just that thinking the crispy deluxe is good because it has a bun isn’t any smarter”

      I am pretty sure that anyone reading my blog entry would be clear that I was speaking about a comparison. I was just pointing out that there was a tremendous brouhaha over the double down and nobody raised a fuss at all of these worse, ‘regular’ burgers. If I wasn’t clear, I will reiterate my message here:

      “I am not recommending you eat the Double Down. It has 540 calories. It is made up of deep fried chicken, cheese, bacon and mayonnaise. These are all tremendously calorie dense food items. “

  5. Amy permalink
    July 5, 2010 10:06 am

    Thanks for the recap, Mark. I actually did read your entire post before leaving my comment. The point I was trying to make was that I think it’s contradictory for you to say “it’s not that bad” but then to also say “i don’t recommend it”. If you can’t recommend it, then it IS that bad.

    I also found it interesting that you mentioned the caloric content, but didn’t really say anything about the fat content or the sodium content, both of which are pretty bad. If I’m concerned about making healthy food choices, I have to look at the big picture, not just the calories.

    The reason this particular fast food item received so much hype and backlash has nothing to do with how relatively good or bad it is for you, it has to do with marketing. KFC had a well-timed, well-placed advertising campaign that got people talking about their crazy new sandwich. I can’t remember the last time I saw another fast food product so heavily marketed. The reason nobody has felt this strongly about a Triple Whopper is because Burger King doesn’t advertise it. It’s that simple.

    Thanks for trying to encourage people to make healthy food choices and good luck with your book.

  6. Carl permalink
    November 8, 2010 12:35 pm

    “I also found it interesting that you mentioned the caloric content, but didn’t really say anything about the fat content or the sodium content, both of which are pretty bad.”

    I wondered this too. Calories aren’t everything.

  7. Jason permalink
    December 4, 2010 12:16 am

    I’m a month behind the last respondent, but I’ve been reading about these sanwiches this evening & this morning because, well, I want to try it.

    To those arguing/complaining (Specifically AMY) about the bloggers incomplete information about the sandwich (sans fat, sans sodium), yes this sandwich is high in both areas, but regardless of that information being provided, how could you possibly believe that two pieces of fried chicken with cheese, bacon, and the “colonels sauce” would not be high in fat and sodium?

    “If I’m concerned about making healthy food choices, I have to look at the big picture, not just the calories.”

    If you are concerned about making healthy choices, just stay away from fast food! there is no healthy choice when it comes to fast food! There, I’ve solved your problem.

    I personally was surprised by the relatively low caloric figure this sandwich puts forth. In NYC (and many other places) they post the caloric information up on the board you order from, it has not detured me from ordering anything yet, even when my EC chicken has a few hundred more calories than its OR companion; I ignore the KF Grilled chicken completely. Also, for futher health information, theres that old faithful stand-by THE INTERNET!!! I hear there’s a lot of stuff on that there internet…

    The plain truth of the matter is this: there is no healthy fast food; not even a fast food salad is healthy, unless you go without dressing, and at that point you may as well have simply purchased a head of lettuce and gone to town on it like Briar Rabbit.

    I eat fast food rarely, but with the full knowledge that it is in no way healthy for me. I happen to enjoy KFC on the rare ocasion (once every few months), and when I do, I get extra-crispy, becasue thats what I like.

    In NYC (and many other places) they post the caloric information up on the board you order from, it has not detured me from ordering anything yet, even when my EC chicken has a few hundred more calories than its OR companion; I ignore the KF Grilled chicken completely.

    The outrage expressed towards this sandwich is tantamount to the outrage expressed towards muscle cars – you people (yes I said you people) can eat and pretend to enjoy your tofu based imitation meat product in your Prius, I’ll enjoy my dead animal sans-the-bun in my 1966 Mustang, and we’ll let God decide who lives longer, and who is doing more damage to the environment.

    Just for clarification, no, I am not fat; I do not have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or any of the other health problems that wreak havoc on unhealthy and/or overweight people. I may have “good” genes, but mostly its the fact that I’m not afraid of exercise. I guess I’m luckier than the average person; I was given these amazing things called “legs” that are attached to my hips and feet, and somehow, they work together magically to allow me to propel myself forward at an accelerated rate, which causes my body to burn more calories than if I were to sit on my bottom all day on the internet complaining about my self-induced weight problem that I want to blame on everyone else, especially “the man”… I think the activity is called running or something like that, sometimes, if I do it long enough, I sweat, even in the winter! It’s amazing!!

    YouAreNotAFitPerson – nice write up on the sandwich; I agree relatively speaking, it really isn’t that unhealthy, but definately not a good move on a regular basis (like all fast food).

    OK I’m done; when KFC opens I’m going to get one of these sandwiches and see if it’s as good as the components are seperately.

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