If you’re reading this post, it means I survived eating one of the new Double Down sandwiches from KFC.
After learning a few weeks ago that KFC would begin offering the Double Down nationwide on April 12, I made plans to try one. But first, given the hysterical health warnings prompted by KFC’s announcement, I put my affairs in order: I made sure my life insurance was paid up and placed a copy of the policy on my desk. I had an attorney update my will. I called my mom to tell her she was a great mother. I also tucked away a note for my wife, telling her I’d understand if she remarried after a reasonable grieving period — say, 25 years.
If you’re not familiar with the Double Down, here’s a KFC commercial introducing it:
Bacon, cheese, and fried chicken … not exactly new ingredients in fast-food restaurants. Apparently the impending rise in fatalities will be caused by — egads! — serving a sandwich with no bread. That probably explains why Michael Jacobson of CSPI isn’t already throwing a public hissy-fit about the Double Down: he can’t use his trademark “heart attack in a bun!” line. I picture him in front of a mirror somewhere, trying out alternates: “Heart attack in a breast! No, dangit, that doesn’t work! Heart attack NOT in a bun!”
Jacobson aside, I’m sure you can imagine the reaction among the usual anti-fat hysterics. Actually, you don’t have to imagine the reaction, because I found plenty of headlines and quotes:
On April 12, KFC’s Double-Down Sandwich Will Bear Down Upon Us Like a Train Without Brakes
KFC’s Bacon Sandwich On Fried Chicken “Bread” Starts Killing People Nationwide April 12
The Double Down Proves Once Again That KFC Wants Us All Dead
The KFC Double Down: One Sandwich To Kill You All
KFC’s newest “sandwich” is a heart-stopping creation that seems literally to die for.
Well KFC has heard your demands, and has started facilitating quite possibly the food equivalent to a WMD.
Corporate America has officially lost its buns. Fresh off the signing of the historical Health Care Legislation, Corporate America decides it’s time to ‘Double Down.’
Excuse me? What does forcing other people to pay for your health insurance have to do with improving health? If you can name one provision in the “historical” health-care legislation that will actually make people healthier, please share.
Why pay one angel’s hair of attention to what Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver, and those killjoys at the American Heart Association are telling you when KFC keeps giving us moist, crunchy ways to kill ourselves, one bite at a time?
I can come up with plenty of reasons not to take health advice from Michelle Obama or the American Heart Association, but I’ll just mention one here: they have no flippin’ idea what they’re talking about.
KFC has helpfully posted both a countdown clock and nutritional content on its website, which is a little like being given the chance to see exactly when and how you’ll die. With any luck, the primary ingredient in the Colonel’s sauce is Lipitor.
Ah, yes … replacing white bread with extra meat will give you heart disease, but Lipitor will save you. As far as the grain lobby and the pharmaceutical companies are concerned, that last reporter would fall into the category of journalists that Josef Stalin referred to as “useful idiots.” (He used the term to describe western journalists who actually believed what he told them.)
As the useful idiot noted, KFC has added the Double Down to its online nutrition menu, so I looked it up. Here are the calories and macronutrient values for the fried-chicken version, which is the one I tried:
Saturated Fat: 10
Hmmm … seems to me we’re looking at a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate meal without too many calories. Compared to a lot of other fast-food offerings out there, it’s actually a pretty good choice. Here’s the nutrition info for a Quarter Pounder With Cheese, for example:
Saturated Fat: 12
The Double Down provides a bit more fat, a lot more protein, and barely one-quarter of the carbohydrates. So this is the sandwich that proves KFC wants us all dead? You’ve got to be kidding me. I think it just proves KFC wants us feeling satisfied. In fact, according to one of their executives, that was the whole point:
Javier Benito, executive vice president of marketing and food innovation at KFC stated that in consumer studies young men said they were still hungry after eating chicken sandwiches served on conventional buns. “They told us they were looking for something meatier,” he says.
Yup … a thin piece of low-fat meat on a bun can definitely leave a guy feeling hungry. This sandwich won’t. I slept late and skipped breakfast, then had a Double Down for lunch. I wasn’t hungry for hours. I had a small goat steak for dinner, and that’s it.
Is it a tasty sandwich? You bet. Is it health food? Of course not. But the biggest downside is that KFC fries their chicken in vegetable oils — which is exactly what the anti-fat hysterics demanded years ago. The polyunsaturated oils aren’t good, but at least a Double Down isn’t going to add insult to injury by jacking up my blood sugar. I know because I checked.
When I woke up this morning, my fasting blood sugar was 89 mg/dl. An hour after the Double Down, I measured the effect of those 11 grams of carbohydrate: 94 mg/dl. I checked again at the two-hour mark: 92 mg/dl.
Back in my young and foolish days, a typical breakfast for me was a cup of Grape-Nuts with a cup of skim milk — in other words, exactly the kind of “hearty-healthy” choice the experts recommend. Here’s what that meal provided:
Saturated Fat: 0
Low protein, very low fat, screamingly high in carbohydrates … a prescription for a blood-sugar joyride to Diabetes Land. I couldn’t find any testimonials about what Grape-Nuts do to a person’s blood sugar, but a couple of years ago, Dr. William Davis posted a reader’s experience with Cheerios — another low-fat, “heart healthy” cereal:
My BG started to rise very fast within 15 minutes after eating the cereal, peaked at about 250 mg/dL at 45 minutes, then slowly dropped. By about 60-75 minutes, I experienced strong hunger and carb cravings as the BG began to slowly drop, and by about 2.5 hours after eating, my BG had suddenly dropped quite low (in the low 70s) and I had developed a nasty hypoglycemic feeling (shaky, irritable, craving sugary foods, headache, etc.)
So let’s review: a sandwich consisting of bacon, cheese and fried chicken produces a blood-sugar reading of 94 mg/dl. A bowl of Cheerios produces blood sugar of 250 mg/dl, at least for some people … but in a nation of type 2 diabetics, Cheerios are promoted as health food, while the sandwich denounced as the equivalent of a WMD.
If only the useful idiots in the media could comprehend that most of the major health problems we see these days are the result of runaway blood sugar. Now that would be “historical.” And perhaps we’d finally see some headlines like this:
Cheerios prove the American Heart Association Wants Us All Dead