Credit: Wikimedia Commons
If you're at McDonald's and you want to eat a Big Mac, eat a damned Big Mac.
Ever been pressed for time and hit the drive-thru of a fast food joint? That's rhetorical, because, of course you have. You'd be hard pressed, really hard pressed, to find an American who hasn't eaten their fair share of fries. And if you are in that minority, don't even tell me, because I don't want to know.
In any case, in the extremely rare event—where rare means sort of not rare at all because there is sustenance everywhere—that you need some quick sustenance, it's pretty easy to come by. Lucky for you, there's a fast food joint within a french fry's throw (which is like a stone's throw, except with a fry). Usually it's McDonald's, because for some reason they have a corner on the fast food market. Every corner.
In my house, we've long referred to McDonald's as McDiabetes, which is sort of slanderous but not really because McDonald's doesn't cause diabetes directly. It probably just helps it along. And now would be a good time for me to refer to this article where I address the insinuation that I have, or will at some point in the future, have diabetes: My blood sugar is on the low side of normal. The way low side. Thanks for asking. (Now is also a good time to point out that diabetes isn't a diagnosis to be throwing around. It's serious and life altering and let's show those who actually have it some respect. Okay? Thanks.)
In any case, we do still patronize McDonald's on rare occasions. They have amazing french fries and don't you even try to deny it. But besides the delicious fries, what do we eat there? What should we eat there?
On that note may I present: 10 Nutritionists Eating Under Duress at McDonald's.
Go ahead and take a gander at that if you are so inclined. Kate Bratskeir did the hard work for me by calling the aforementioned 10 nutritionists and surveying them as to their choice of the array of offerings. Now let's break it down, like a fraction. (I've really just been waiting too long for the opportunity to use that analogy.)
The nutritionist suggestions range from salad with grilled chicken to a kids meal (with apples and yogurt) to a chocolate shake and fries. What's that you say? SHAKE? FRIES? Sign me up. One of them picked oatmeal with fruit and no sugar. That doesn't sound awful, but it's sure as hell not a shake and fries. Another person chose a meal that included a latte—which I could definitely get on board with.
Here's the thing. A. If you're eating at McDonald's, you probably aren't a health fanatic. Just saying, it's unlikely. The article cited presupposes some sort of apocalyptic circumstance where you'd have to consume, not just fast food, but McDonald's specifically. I'd venture to guess if you were a health fanatic, you'd have a car packed with organic/grain-free/paleo/vegan/vegetarian (whatever your fancy) snacks. You wouldn't be caught dead without apocalyptic-appropriate foods. B. If you are eating at McDonald's by choice, you probably don't give two shits about what you're picking from the menu. I mean seriously, it's McDonald's. Unless you're into some kind of self deprivation or masochism, you're probably getting fries.
Here's the other thing: Nutritionists are people too. They have preferences, dislikes, idiosyncrasies. I took a pretty in-depth nutrition class as part of my nursing school education. This by no means makes me a nutrition or McDonald's expert. But it does mean I'm somewhat qualified to make generalized statements about food overall.
Here's my generalized statement: Food is important. You need it to live. The end.
Nutritionists, however, are somewhat more qualified than I, given the whole nutrition degree thing. May I reiterate, though, that nutritionists are people and as such are entitled to their own opinions. And as part of the whole them-having-their-own-opinions thing, they can like salads and fries and even shakes. Apparently none of them recommend eating a Big Mac, but if you kept looking, I bet you could locate one who would. In fact, if you look you can easily find a nutritionist who will recommend almost anything. There are gluten-free nutritionists, for the Celiacs in the crowd. For those who prefer the caveman way, there are paleo nutritionists. Meat got you down? Call the vegetarian nutritionist. Morally opposed to eating any animal byproduct, even honey? Hey! There are vegan nutritionists too! Perhaps creatures of the water are more your style, pescetarian? There is a nutritionist for you, too.
I haven't found a nutritionist yet that supports the cake diet. But I know she's out there. Call me, oh ye fan of cake. And we shall bake together and be happy.
So here's what I'm saying: Eat what you want. If you're at McDonald's and you want to eat a Big Mac, eat a damned Big Mac. Now, hold on haters, I'm not saying go to McDonald's and get diabetes, because I know that's the first thing you're going to say. THE DIABETES. What I am saying is, what you want to eat is your business. If you're going to McDonald's, then you might as well eat McDonald's. Whatever piece of McDonald's you want and/or can stand. Fries and/or shakes and/or salads and/or burgers (but not all at once for the sake of your digestive system).
And if you don't want McDonald's, you should keep snacks in your car for consumption in the event of the apocalypse.