September 22, 2012…Fast Food Addiction

The Fast Food Fiasco

There is an addictive ingredient hiding in plain sight in fast food.  The fast food industry markets this ingredient and fast food selections are overloaded with it.

Over 60% of the population is primed to become addicted to this ingredient as 6 out of 10 people unknowingly have carb metabolism that overprocesses the ingredient into excess fat on their bodies and in their blood.

When these people consume it, they crave it, and chances are they will be “hooked” for life.

What is the name of this addictive ingredient?  Carbohydrate.  The nutrient carbohydrate has an addictive component and I firmly believe that excess carb consumption…moreso than excess calorie consumption….is responsible for our “over-fat” population, obesity, and diabetes epidemics.

I am willing to bet that  families are very aware that fast food selections like burgers, fries, nuggets, onion rings, and soda are “junk food. ” Many go through the drive though at a fast food joint when they are in a pinch or want a quick meal out.  I don’t think anyone is fooled into thinking that these are “Happy Meals” but they are quick, convenient, and “on the way.”

I don’t think they realize that the carb content of fast food is astronomical…and that chances are they, and their children, are suffering from carb addiction and are setting themselves up for medical maladies like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, PCOS, cancers, GERD, osteoporosis, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease.

Those who follow my work know that excess carbohydrate causes a physiological addiction for  millions of people with insulin imbalance.  There are over 110 million Americans with the genetic predisposition to a syndrome known as “Metabolism B” (aka metabolic syndrome).

High carbohydrate foods cause blood sugar to quickly spike. A person with Metabolism B’s pancreas will over-release insulin ( fat gain hormone) jamming  blood sugar into fat cells. This excessive shift of sugar from the bloodstream into the fat cells leaves the low levels of sugar  in the bloodstream . In an effort to raise blood sugar back into the normal range, the brain signals the person to “eat more carbs.” When he grabs another handful of fries, sips more soda, grabs a few more nuggets,  even more insulin is released.  Blood sugar drops again .  Cravings stir, more carbs are consumed, and  the person literally becomes “fatter”.

Carb craving and consumption is a vicious cycle that addicts those with Metabolism B to carbohydrate. Ironically, the very foods that are making them fatter and sicker are the foods they “CRAVE”  It’s not emotional or psychological addiction…it is a physical addiction.

For a frame of reference, consider a healthy maximum carb intake/meal for a woman as 45 grams.  A maximum carb intake/meal for a man as 60 grams.

An adult meal of a Big Mac, Large Fries, and Large Soda = 272 grams of carb!

Check out the carb content of the following “fast foods” and prepare to have sticker shock from the hidden carb grams that fuel overweight, over fat, fatigue, depression, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, PCOS, breast, pancreatic, ovarian cancers for the millions with uncontrolled insulin.

Restaurant               Food Choice                       Net Carb

Arby’s Roast Chicken Pesto Panini          79 grams

Broccoli Cheddar Potato          80grams

Blimpie’s Steak and Cheese                49 grams

Boston Market Chicken Sandwich w/cheese     67  grams

Mac and cheese side   31 grams

Burger King       Big Fish     63 grams

Whopper and cheese  52grams

Large Fries  67grams

Domino’s   6” Deep Dish Cheese Pizza      64 grams

KFC   Chunky Chicken Pot Pie     64 grams

6 Crispy Strips     34grams

Coleslaw   18gram

Pizza Hut  Spaghetti and MB       109grams

Subway     6” Steak and Cheese   43grams

Caesar Wrap    45grams

Taco Bell  7 Layer Burrito  52grams

Taco Salad   53 grams

Wendy’s  Garden Veggie Pita    46 grams

Broccoli and Cheddar Potato 71 grams

Large Frosty    91 grams

Breaded Chicken Sandwich  42 grams

It is not physically possible to be addicted to fat or sodium. It is absolutely possible for those with Met B to become addicted to high carbohydrate carbohydrate food choices.

I’d love to see fast food joints and restaurants offer Met B friendly choices….AND list their net carb grams along with calories. Less than 40% of overweight people have a calorie- based weight problem but MORE than 60% of people struggling with weight loss and “carb addiction” have a carbohydrate problem. We need to make carbohydrate comparisons.

Fast food companies are welcome to contact me through my office to consult regarding realistic, delicious, consumer -friendly changes to their menus to REALLY help fight obesity and diabetes. It’s time to have accountability regarding the foods being served and it would be a tremendous marketing strategy to show that you DO care about the future health of our children.

I have begun an online program called “CARBage Alerts”.  Every day on Twitter (@dianekress), Facebook (diane kress) and LinkedIn (diane kress) I post 2 commonly consumed food/menu choices and their carb grams.  It is my goal to make carb awareness a keypoint in the war against obesity and diabetes.


About Diane Kress

Author of The New York Times Bestseller; The Metabolism Miracle, The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook, and The Diabetes Miracle. and The Metabolism Miracle, Revised Edition. Owner, developer, and administrator of The Metabolism Miracle's support site: Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Email:
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One Response to September 22, 2012…Fast Food Addiction

  1. Pingback: Are you addicted to carbohydrates? « the rest of the story…

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