Bad Ideas that Progressively Get Worse

The other night, my roommate Nick and I were watching the Sox game and wasting time on our respective laptops browsing the internet and such.

We have the baseball package on digital cable, and so we get to see the local commercials that play on NESN. (Dean’s Home furni-cha. Can you find a bettah deal out theah? I doubt it.) One of the ads we saw was a commercial for Dunkin Donuts, whose latest trademarked tagline is “America Runs on Dunkin.”

Finally reviving my snarky self after years of mellowing out, I snidely commented, “Yeah, America runs on donuts. That’s why we’re all fat asses”

Prompted by my snarkiness, Nick and I proceeded to do some investigative analysis of what this might mean for America’s workforce. And so we decided to look up nutritional information on Dunkin Donuts. Bad idea #1.

Here’s what we found (serving size is 1 donut):

Glazed donut:
Calories: 180
Calories from fat: 70
Total fat: 8g (4g trans fat)
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sugar: 6g

Boston crème donut:
Calories: 240
Calories from fat: 80
Total fat: 9g (3.5g trans fat)
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sugar: 14g

Chocolate frosted cake donut:
Calories: 360
Calories from fat: 180
Total fat: 20g (5g trans fat)
Cholesterol: 25mg
Sugar: 15g

Because we are rigorous researchers (and because I usually have a Krispy Kreme donut at church on Sundays), we decided to check the nutritional information on the competition as well. Bad idea #2.

Here’s what we found:

Glazed donut
Calories: 200
Calories from fat: 100
Total fat: 12g (4g trans fat)
Cholesterol: 5mg
Sugar: 10g

Boston crème donut
Calories: 300
Calories from fat: 150
Total fat: 17g (5g trans fat)
Cholesterol: 5mg
Sugar: 19g

Chocolate frosted cake donut
Calories: 270
Calories from fat: 120
Total fat: 14g (4g trans fat)
Cholesterol: 20mg
Sugar: 20g

And so, the conclusion of this ultra-scientific study: If donuts can, indeed, be good for you donut, Dunkin Donuts is probably the better bet, unless you want the chocolate frosted cake donut.

Thinking that we might be able to generalize the results of this study into other food items, we decided to broaden our population. Next stop: McDonalds. For those of you who don’t know, I’ll be going on two years of not having McDonald’s (or soda) in December. And I’m kind of glad I quit.

Here’s what we found:

Double Cheeseburger
Calories: 440
Calories from fat: 210
Total fat: 23g (1.5g trans fat)
Cholesterol: 80mg
Sodium: 1150mg

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese
Calories: 740
Calories from fat: 380
Total fat: 42g (2.5g trans fat)
Cholesterol: 155mg
Sodium: 1380mg

Large Fries
Calories: 570
Calories from fat: 270
Total fat: 30g (8g trans fat)
Cholesterol: 0mg (Believe it or not)
Sodium: 330mg

My one weakness, though, is Chipotle. And while I had heard before that a burrito from Chipotle is the gastronomic equivalent of eating a whole pig, I didn’t have accurate data to support or refute that claim. And so I went on a website called to collect data. Bad idea #3.

Here’s what we found on what I usually get:

Chicken burrito bol with no beans, tomato salsa, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole
Calories: 884
Calories from fat: 471
Total fat: 52g (Holy crap)
Cholesterol: 166mg
Sodium: 2181mg

Add the tortilla, and the total calories spike to 1214. That’s half of your recommended daily calorie intake.

Finally, my other weakness for which you should judge me cruelly is Taco Bell. Yes, I did stop eating it when the e.coli outbreak in New Jersey happened last year. But you know, I just can’t resist the convenient, manufactured taste of America’s favorite tex-mex fastfood chain. And so I went to look up Taco Bell’s nutritional information. Bad idea #4.

Here’s what I found:

Crunchy Taco Supreme (1 taco)
Calories: 210
Total fat: 13g (0.5g trans fat)
Cholesterol: 40mg
Sodium: 370mg

All these numbers have become all the more relevant to me since my doctor told me earlier this year that my cholesterol was borderline high. So I started doing more cardio at the gym in addition to usual muscle pumping. But a good half hour on the elliptical machine only burns, at most, 175 calories. 175! That’s less than one measly crunchy taco supreme from Taco Bell.

And just to round it out, here’s what my typical Starbucks order gets me, nutrition wise:

Grande (yep, I switched sizes!) Soy White Mocha
Calories: 390
Calories from fat: 90
Total fat: 9g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sugar: 58g

Butter Croissant
Calories: 390
Calories from fat: 180
Total fat: 20g
Cholesterol: 50mg
Sodium: 390mg


So, bottom line: American runs on Dunkin. Yes. Should America run on Dunkin? I don’t know. If America’s enemies really wanted to get rid of us, all they’d have to do is sit back and wait.


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