Perhaps you heard that Oprah is promoting a free meal of grilled chicken at KFC?
That’s right. You could just go to Oprah’s website and download a coupon, redeemable at any KFC outlet. Unfortunately, the time for downloading the coupon has expired. But if you were among those who did run the deal through your printer, you still have until May 19 to pick up your meal (excluding Mother’s Day).
Apparently this is Oprah’s idea of promoting good health among her millions of fans–switching from the fried version of the chicken to the grilled (not the Colonel’s idea, we’re thinking). And while we would prefer a pasture-raised chicken to one that’s never seen the outside of a giant chicken factory, we do like skipping all those nasty retreaded oils the chicken is normally fried in. The problem isn’t so much with the protein in Oprah’s giveaway, it’s in the sides, of which there are two with each meal, as well as a biscuit.
Here are the choices for sides listed on the KFC website: mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, potato wedges, barbecue baked beans, seasoned white rice, corn on the cob, and finally green beans or cole slaw. You could conceivably classify this meal as “healthy” if you skipped the biscuit and only ordered the green beans and corn. Or even the mashed potatoes without the gravy (the gravy adds four grams of carbohydrates.) But I’m thinking not too many of Oprah’s fans are goig to take that route. Otherwise, the chicken in this meal is completely overwhelmed by a carbohydrate load that would make anyone’s pancreas swoon. It’s an insulin bomb ready to explode into obesity, hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis–the whole nine yards.
A Google search for “Oprah KFC coupon” turned up 48,000 hits. People are definitely receptive to what she’s doing. (As my wife notes, it’s a recession and people are hungry.) Oprah has been so generous with her time on health issues and diet, as well as humane treatment of animals, it’s baffling that she would be handing out free passes to this kind of meal. It makes strides on one side of the plate–switching protein from fried to grilled–but advocates such an unhealthy does of starches and sugars. (KFC lists partially hydrogenated corn or soybean oil–trans fat–as one of the ingredients for the grilled chicken and many of it’s other offerings. Most of their dishes contain a long list of industrially processed ingredients, including sodium, sugar, mono-sodium glutamate and a host of others straight out of a New Jersey food lab.)
Here’s a breakdown of carbs:
Biscuit: 23 grams
Seasoned rice: 31 grams
Potatoes w/ gravy: 20 grams
Macaronin & cheese: 20 grams
potato wedges: 33 grams
corn on the cob: 16 grams
baked beans: 39 grams
green beans: 5 grams
cole slaw: 22 grams
As you can see, if you ordered this meal with the biscuit, the potato wedges and the baked beans, you’d be getting 103 grams of
carbohydrates. Add a 20-ounce Pepsi to wash it down and you get an additional 70 grams of carbohydrates. That’s 173 grams of
carbohydrates–nearly one cup of sugar–in one sitting, or half of what our federal dietary guidelines might recommend for someone consuming 2,500 calories a day. And we haven’t even gotten to dessert. If you topped everything off with a slice of KFC’s Dutch Apple Pie, you’d be downing another 52 grams of carbs.
I personally think the federal guidelines are topsy-turvy with carbohydrates. By comparison, on my high-proten diet (on which I’ve lost 16 pounds over the last couple of months spending most of my time in front of the computer) I am consuming less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. I could get through the whole day on one helping of the Colonel’s baked beans.
Of course, you could skip the beverage or order a diet drink and forego the dessert. But perhaps Oprah should have thought this through
a teensy bit more and agreed to sponsor coupons for the grilled chicken only. Then she couldn’t be accused so easily of promoting diabetes among her millions of viewers.
In case you were wondering what’s in those barbecue baked beans besides the beans and 39 grams of carbohydrates, here are the ingredients KFC lists: water, sugar, brown sugar, tomato powder, Worcestershire sauce powder (corn syrup solids, salt, caramel color, garlic, sugar, spices, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil and/or soybean oil, soy sauce powder (wheat, soybeans, salt, matlodextrin, caramel color), tamarind, natural flavor), spices, modified potato starch, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, maltodextrin, onion powder, chili pepper, hydrolized vegetable protein (soy, corn gluten, wheat gluten), sesame seed oil, citric acid, beet powder (for color), dried molasses, natural smoke flavor, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, sucralose, xanthum gum, autolyzed yeast extract, whey, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, vinegar solids, corn syrup solids, thiamine hydrochloride, soy lecithin, with less than 2 percent silicon dioxide added as an anticaking agent.
Contains milk, soy and wheat.