McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwich

box of fishFor those of you unfamiliar with McDonald’s oceanic offering, let me introduce you to the Filet- O-Fish.  This is a square patty of breaded and deep fried fish, covered in a slather of tartar sauce, topped with a slice of cheese and placed on a white bread bun.  It’s a decent sandwich if you’re tired of chicken and beef, but there’s an ugly side to the Filet-O-Fish.

filetFirst of all, if you check the McDonald’s website and search for the Filet-O-Fish, they have a full page devoted to the sandwich, but nowhere does it actually say what kind of fish is contained in the sandwich (http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/product_nutrition.sandwiches.290.290.filet-o-fish.html).  All it says is “wild-caught fish from our sustainable fishery.”  Now, I’m no environmental expert, and please let me know if I’m wrong, but isn’t a “fishery” an area where fish are raised to be served as food?  So then, how can the fish in this sandwich be “wild-caught” if it was raised in a fishery for food?  Did they drop a hook and sinker into the giant water tank of fish and “catch them from the wild?!?!”  I don’t understand the concept.  Also, what kind of fish is it?!?!  Why all the mystery?  Is McDonald’s hiding something about their source of fish, or will the type of fish disgust everyone?  Perhaps it’s a disgusting bottom-feeder or hundreds of minnows compressed together.  We can make all the suppositions we want because they don’t tell us!

When I was younger, the Filet-O-Fish was the “healthier” option in McDonald’s.  People who were watching their weight or who couldn’t eat too much meat would order the Filet-O-Fish.  My diabetic grandmother used to order this sandwich because she thought it was better for her diabetes.  Well, the nutrition information is available now, and I’m sure you’ll be surprised by what you see.  The Filet-O-Fish has 391 calories in a 5 ounce (142 g) serving.  About half of those calories are from fat.  What people tend to forget is that the fish is breaded and deep fried.  It’s actually fried in the same machine where they make the French fries and the Chicken McNuggets.  The oil gets absorbed, and the fish oozes it.  The tartar sauce is also not very healthy, mainly composed of mayonnaise and there’s a slice of processed cheese-food on top.  These sources of fat actually make it one of McDonald’s fattiest foods (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fast-foods-generic/8048/2).  Add on the unhealthy carbohydrates from the bleached wheat flour in the bun and you have the makings for a heart attack!  Order the entire “value meal” and you’re looking at added fat and calories from the French fries and soda.  Not very healthy.

o fishThere are many fast-food restaurants that try to serve healthier food these days.  Back when I was a kid, they didn’t worry about trans fats, cholesterol and carbohydrate intake.  Maybe people should have paid more attention, then there wouldn’t be such a high incidence of obesity among Americans (myself included).  Some foods are expected to be high in calories and fat.  I was not surprised when I found out the Big Mac has over 500 calories and 200g of fat in one sandwich.  I know my beloved Taco Bell is riddled with offerings that are fat-laden.  But, with those, you’re consciously making the decision to order fatty foods.  With the Filet-O-Fish, people think it’s healthy because it’s fish.  We’re constantly told to eat more fish because of the health factor and the omega-3 fatty acids that they contain that our bodies need.  We wouldn’t think that a fish sandwich would be so high in calories and fat content, but it is.  It’s one of the worst things you can eat on McDonald’s menu.  If you have to eat at McDonald’s (and you should avoid it), try the grilled chicken or one of their salads instead.  These are healthier offerings that don’t hide a whole lot of fat.

 

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