Food & Fitness

Should you eat eggs?

There has been much upheaval recently over the whole eggs vs. KFC Double Down debacle. I’m sure that you’ve all heard about the situation by this point, but if you haven’t, you can check out one article which runs the story: Eggs versus the Double Down: Guess who wins? from the Globe and Mail. Read it and weep.

Eggs vs. the Double Down

Let’s put aside for a moment that what we’re looking at is nutritious food versus processed food. I know; it’s tough to do. But let’s try. Let’s give the author of that article, and the authors of so many other articles which take the same position, the benefit of the doubt. Let’s seriously (try not to laugh, now) compare the humble egg to the KFC Double Down. Which is more nutritious? Here are the stats:

– One whole egg contains 70 calories, 5 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated; 0 grams trans), 195 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 1 gram carbohydrate, and 6 grams protein.

Eggs are delicious!

– One KFC Double Down contains 540 calories, 32 grams fat (10 grams saturated; 0.5 grams trans), 145 mg cholesterol, 1380 mg sodium, 11 grams carbohydrate, and 53 grams protein.

– One whole egg contains one ingredient: an egg!

– Although I was not able to find an official listing of the ingredients in the KFC Double Down, multiple websites suggest that there are about 20 ingredients in one of the chicken fillets alone. They include, among others, MSG and partially hydrogenated oils.

Protein

You might look at the KFC Double Down and think, “wow, that’s a lot of protein!” And you would be right. That is a lot of protein. Protein is an important part in any diet – but a moderate amount of protein is important, and we also need to get our protein from healthy sources or it won’t be worth it at all. You’d be far better off eating an apple, which is mostly carbohydrate, than a Double Down, which has plenty of protein.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol levels in the body are not affected by dietary cholesterol unless you already have high cholesterol levels. Besides that, the difference between 195 mg and 145 mg is not very big.

Sodium

The amount of sodium in the Double Down is more than you need in a day. Salt in its natural state, such as sea salt or the salt from sea vegetables, will contain extra nutrients, so it’s better to get the salt in your diet from those sources.

The Verdict

We haven’t even addressed the fat issue yet but it is already clear that eggs are the winner. In my mind, eggs are the superfood. They contain everything we need. Get nest-laid eggs from free-range chickens that have access to scratching and dustbathing and that are fed a vegetarian diet without antibiotics and you will be eating one of the most nutritious foods there is.

hard-boiled egg

You know you like puns, too.

One Million Sold

I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post about the Double Down, but just recently it has been banned in Canada. Woohoo! It lasted one month here, and according to several articles, over one million KFC Double Downs were sold within that time period.

That makes me feel sick just thinking about it. I’m all for indulging and trying new things, but seriously? Seriously? Come on, Canada! One KFC Double Down is more than enough, let alone one million. But from what I’ve heard, it sounds as though half the people were trying it “because it was so ridiculous that they just had to”, and the other half were trying it because of its limited availability. A good marketing strategy on KFC’s part. If only the rhetoricians behind the Double Down marketing would use their rhetoric to promote nutritious foods (like eggs!) rather than good ol’ heart-attack-on-a-plate over here.

humpty dumpty

I named this hard-boiled egg Humpty Dumpty because he's cracked. But no doubt still tasty!

Eating Raw

This type of controversy is why I’m trying to focus on eating a higher-raw diet these days. When you’re eating raw, you’re automatically eating wholesome, nutritious foods. There is no room for processed foods in a raw food diet. There is no room for packaged products. Raw food diets focus on eating clean. There are many, many benefits to eating cooked food (hello, whole eggs!) – but if you have difficulty staying away from the processed stuff, then incorporating more raw into your lifestyle might be a good way to go.

What are your thoughts on the Eggs vs. KFC Double Down debate? Are you an egg-eater? A KFC-goer? A raw foodie? What’s important to you, nutritionally, in a food? What are your thoughts on the current state of journalism that a journalist for a well-respected national newspaper would bash the egg? How do you feel about the marketing strategies behind the Double Down? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

30 Comments

  1. Lance

    Sagan,
    I’m most definitely an egg eater…and I haven’t been to KFC in many, many years. And…I’m not familiar at all with the double down.

    That said – I eat eggs often – the whole egg. (and two or three at a time) I typically cook them in a coconut oil – and lightly season them with pepper. Delicious (and…I’ll say…nutritious, tooo!!!)

    I stand by my friend, the amazing and versatile egg!! (although I’ve never named mine before…perhaps I should!!)

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Tehe! I could get into the whole vegan issue, but… well. I happen to really like eggs (taste and health-wise), even when I DO go vegan and take a break from eating them for a while. To each his own!

      (And I hope to goodness that KFC didn’t come first ;))

  2. Holly

    I have never eaten at a KFC, actually! And don’t really care to. :-) Growing up I DID love fried chicken, though! And I love eggs. I could eat them every single day. I love that they’re quick and easy, and good for you, and delicious. I love them with ketchup….or cheese!

  3. Dr. J

    Sagan, what is your source for this statement? “Cholesterol levels in the body are not affected by dietary cholesterol unless you already have high cholesterol levels. Besides that, the difference between 195 mg and 145 mg is not very big.”

    I am not an authority on this, but I was under the impression that levels are affected by diet and somewhere around 160 was the level that was critical as to whether there would be plaque buildup in blood vessels.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Hurray a challenge! I’m glad you brought this up.

      With regards to my statement comparing the 195 and 145, I mean more that if you’re going to be eating either a Double Down or an egg and your main concern is the amount of dietary cholesterol in the food, I don’t think that it is enough to affect your entire choice. But I was NOT aware of the 160 level – thanks for that! Something to look into/

      As to the first part of my statement, there are other factors that affect blood cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol, such as saturated and trans fats. Nina Planck’s “Real Food” has an entire chapter about dietary cholesterol, debunking the myths about it. One of the studies she mentions is “Fats and CHolesterol – the Good, the Bad, and the Healthy Diet” from “The Nutrition Source: Knowledge and Information for Healthy Eating” (2003); there are also studies from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Effective Health Care that are mentioned. She also defends saturated fats, actually, and writes quite a compelling argument which makes for an interesting read even if you don’t agree.

      There is also information on Leslie Beck’s website about how “dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on most people’s blood cholesterol”.

      …and there many are other books and studies which say the same.

      Of course, studies DO frequently contradict one another, AND depending on the rhetoric used within any study, the results can be skewed to make the outcome favourable to whatever the person funding the research wants it to be. However, by that logic we can’t really believe ANY science, which I think is going a little bit too far. Hence the need to find numerous sources to back up our statements, I suppose ;)

  4. Dr. J

    Thank you, Sagan!

    I guess I’m a little old school on this, but I respect Dean Ornish’s work on reversing heart disease with low fat eating, etc. and I figure if it revereses heart disease it will prevent it. Time will tell. I learned a saying once, ‘Don’t be the first to accept the new, nor the last to abandon the old.”

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Very wise!

      It seems as though eating traditional diets can do wonders – traditional vegan diets or traditional meat-based diets have been shown to build super healthy communities of people in the past. Methinks it’s something to do with our processed foods and artificial chemicals we pump into everything that are a major contribution to health problems.

  5. Geosomin

    I used to love KFC, but now the grease and salt are too much.
    My husband tried a double down and said it was good, but for HIS own good he says he won’t have another. :) They don’t appeal to me at all quite honestly (although if you offered me a chicken fry from KFC I’d have trouble saying no. Mmmm…). I’d rather have an egg…or chicken I made myself. For protein I can swig one of my whey shakes for instant vanilla 31g of protein. It’s funny how your tasetbuds change once you eat healthy…

  6. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    I love eggs! I don’t have them *every* week, but some weeks, I’ll have a boiled egg with breakfast.

    I was at a social media meet-up over the weekend, and a couple of the guys I was chatting with were crowing about the “brilliance” of KFCs double down concept. I let them know (politely) that I disagreed.

  7. the Bag Lady

    Oh. My. God.
    I love the fact that you addressed this in a blog post.

    I am amused by the (what appears to be) argument between you and Dr. J.

    I, personally, will not be eating a Double Down (and, apparently, won’t even get a chance to try one, living in Canada as I do), but, seriously? The only reason I would have eaten one would have been out of curiosity. Give me an egg. Every time. My father had a fried egg on toast every day for lunch for most of his life, and it didn’t seem to hurt him at all. I think eggs have been given a bum rap. I am all for eating stuff that hasn’t been processed to within an inch of life (Cheese Whiz comes to mind – one step from plastic, apparently).
    (I’m stopping now. I could get carried away about real food and eating what our ancestors ate, but I won’t.)
    Loved this post, Sagan!

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Only in the blogging world do arguments include emoticons and thanking each other… hehe.

      Much agreed with your thoughts on the plastic cheese – eating REAL food is what’s important.

      I think one of the problems that comes in is when we look at the antibiotics and pesticides and hormones being injected into our food. Does factory farmed meat still count as real food? It’s hard to say, especially since there are so many recalls and disease outbreaks related to factory farms these days. It amazes me that we’ve gotten to the point of messing with nature enough that it’s tough to distinguish where the line is between “real” food and “processed”!

  8. FatFighterTV

    Wow – I had no idea this debate was even happening! It’s kind of weird to compare the two. And I can’t believe the Double Downs were banned in Canada. Interesting. Of course, I would much rather eat an egg any day than that processed, fatty, sodium-laden thing. Ewwww!

    Love all your egg pics. :)

    1. Sagan Morrow

      I’m all for freedom of choice and such, but I just don’t see the POINT of inventing the Double Down in the first place, which is why I’m rather glad that they’ve decided not to sell it in Canada. It’s like deep-frying chocolate bars – why do it when chocolate bars are already delicious as is? We have this incessant need to get crazier and crazier with the food we produce, and it’s just not contributing to a healthy lifestyle!

      …Anyway, that’s my rant :D I much agree with you: VERY weird to compare the two, and ewww to the Double Down.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      That’s funny, actually – I also don’t care much to bake with them! I like using the vegan option of mixing ground flax with water. I haven’t had any problems with it in any of my recipes so far as an egg replacer… I guess I’d rather eat my egg as an egg than hidden in another food :)

  9. JavaChick

    I had not heard about the whole “Double Down VS Egg” debate and I am amazed that it actually needed debating. I understand being concerned about cholesterol, but eggs are “real food” and real food wins any day in my book.

  10. sophia

    I like KFC. I also like eggs. When it comes to Double Down and eggs, I’d eat both, but only if you pay for my Double Down. but I would pay for my own egg. That’s my philosophy. One Double Down won’t kill me, but I won’t go out of my way to get it bc I don’t really feel like it. But I will go out of my way to get eggs because 1) they are freaking fantastic and 2) they are really freaking good for me.

    I also eat the WHOLE egg. I’m sick of seeing egg whites. Egg yolks is where all the nutrition is. I wish people would stop being scared of the harmless cholesterol and fat in the egg yolk.

  11. Stacey @770Sportshop

    “New research shows that, contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person’s lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.” EGGS EGGS EGGS PLS!

  12. julie

    I think eggs are fairly healthy, though I get some crap for it, from my non-fat family. I have not tried the double down, though I’m not against it, other than KFC is cruelty food, that “chicken” is scary. I didn’t realize Canada banned it. And they call San Francisco nanny state!

    I used to love KFC, but now, I eat my 2 – 3x yearly fried chicken at a real restaurant. Probably just as cruel from an animal rights perspective, but I can’t make it myself.

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