Cohen and Patrick Serog recently published the book Savoir
Manger in which they compared 5000 foods available to the
French population in restaurants and supermarkets. The comparison
that is getting a lot of press is that of Quiche Lorraine
to the McDonald's "Big Mac" where the Big Mac is
claimed to be healthy food.
is the Rhino Fitness perspective on this story:
Cohen and Serog comparison used a 100 gram portion of Quiche
Lorraine with 359 total calories, 26.2 grams of fat (243 calories
from fat), and 11.6 grams of protein. The Big Mac also was
a 100 gram sample with 239 total calories, 12 grams of fat
(111 calories from fat), and 12 grams of protein.
Serog "Big Mac" - Quiche Comparison:
divided by Fat Ratio
independent study uses a simple division formula, dividing
the protein grams by the fat grams. The Big Mac works out
to 1 in their study and the Quiche Lorraine works out to .44,
a ratio that the authors claim to be "very unhealthy",
making the Big Mac "considerably healthier".
trouble with this unique way of claiming that a Big Mac is
healthy is that the protein to fat ratio formula they used
is not the typical formula used to indicate "healthy
servings" of fat. The formula that is used to indicate
"healthy servings" is the percentage of the total
caloric intake that represents fat and more importantly the
total grams of fat per serving. The total fat intake for one
day is recommended to be no more than 30% of the total caloric
intake or half a gram of fat per pound of body mass for a
non-overweight person and less for an overweight person, making
for an average fat intake to range between 55 and 90 grams
of fat per day for persons weighing between 105 and 180 pounds
(47 to 81 kilograms). Typically a dietitian will recommend
about of 65 grams of fat per day for a male and 50 grams for
this protein to fat ratio formula used in the study is used
as the sole criteria to determine "healthy food"
with a ratio of 1 being good, then a serving of food with
100 grams of fat and 100 grams of protein (1360 total calories)
would be "healthy". It would be difficult to find
a dietitian that would agree with this.
the study didn't use actual serving sizes in their comparison.
In fact the serving size for a Big Mac in North America is
223 grams with 32 grams of fat, more than two times the size
they used in their study. A traditional Quiche Lorraine, made
from cream, eggs, and smoked bacon, is up to 670 total calories
(and more) with an astonishing 93% of those calories from
fat. That's 67 grams of fat in one serving.
Actual Serving Sizes For Big Mac and Quiche;
Total Fat Per Serving:
Serving Size For One Serving
Calories Per Serving
Of Calories From Fat
of Total Fat Intake For One Day In Each Serving
110 to 180 LB 47 - 81 kg person)
Mac" nutrition data from http://www.mcdonalds.ca/en/food/calculator.aspx
when we use the standard nutritional recommendations, both
the quiche and the Big Mac have up to 58% and more of a persons
total fat intake for the day in one serving, and that is not
considered healthy fat intake. Why did the researchers use
a nonstandard measurement to make their statement that a Big
Mac is healthy eating? Are they trying to sell burgers?
it's difficult to take the Cohen - Serog comparison seriously,
it speaks loudly of the plethora of misinformation regarding
diet and nutrition. You can depend on Rhino Fitness to provide
a more balanced perspective.
comparing Quiche to a Big Mac, the Big Mac has less fat, but
with 32 grams of fat the Big Mac can hardly be referred to
as "healthy". Furthermore a typical fast food meal
doesn't stop at one burger, it usually includes fatty fries
as well, increasing the total fat intake beyond what was measured
in the limited scope of the Big Mac - Quiche comparison. The
Big Mac - Quiche comparison is like comparing a 10-megaton
nuclear bomb to a 9-megaton nuclear bomb, technically the
9-megaton bomb is smaller, but it will kill you just the same.
(BC Ministry of Health) and here
(US Gov. Food Guide) for information on fat intake for one
Copyright 2004 Rhino Fitness