Drop That Big Mac and Check Out This One-Hour Timeline of Unhealthy Effects

SEPTEMBER 23, 2015
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick
Devoted soda drinkers began to lose their minds when an infographic outlining the harmful effects a single can of Coca-Cola has on the body in one hour began circulating the Internet. Now a new infographic has revealed what a Big Mac from McDonald’s can do to the body in the same amount of time.

In June 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that manufacturers have three years to rid their products of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) – the main dietary source in trans fat – and can be found in Big Macs. It may not seem that farfetched that a Big Mac from the popular fast food chain isn’t great, or even good for that matter, for your body. After all, the “generous dollop of sauce” on each burger has over 30 ingredients just by itself, including high fructose corn syrup and soybean oil.

The website Now Fast Food Menu, which typically assesses nutritional information at different eateries, created an infographic that details the “serious harm” that a Big Mac can cause in just 60 minutes.

Warning: McDonald’s lovers should proceed with caution.

First 10 Minutes: Our brains prefer high-calorie foods
  • Our brains evolved during a time when food was scarce, so we became adept at choosing high calorie foods. A regular Big Mac contains 540 calories and raises your blood sugar levels to abnormal levels.
  • Junk food triggers your brain’s reward system by releasing much more ‘feel-good’ chemicals – such as the neurotransmitter dopamine – which ignites feelings of pleasure. This process works in a similar way for drugs like cocaine and contributes to the likelihood of compulsive eating.
After 20 Minutes: Addictive Sugars
  • Did you know that the Big Mac bun has high levels of high fructose corn syrup and sodium? Both ingredients are addictive and make your body crave for more. These are also harmful ingredients that can cause obese, diabetes and heart disease.
After 30 Minutes: Sodium Attack on Your Body
  • A Big Mac consists of 970 milligrams of sodium. This huge amount of salt can spur dehydration. With symptoms that closely mimic those of hunger, it’s easy for dehydration to trick you into thinking you need to go back for a new round.
  • Too much intake of sodium makes it hard for your kidneys to eliminate salt. This aggravates the situation: the sodium overdose makes your heart work faster in order to pump blood through your veins. This causes high blood pressure and can ultimately lead to heart diseases and strokes.
After 40 Minutes: Craving for More!
  • Are you still feeling hungry after just having a Big Mac? This is because you have lost control over your blood sugar, making you crave even more fast food.
  • The first time you consume a high calorie meal, your insulin response can bring down your glucose levels making you want to eat more. The high fructose corn syrup in the Big Mac bun is quickly absorbed by the GI tract, causing insulin spikes and even bigger hunger pangs.
After 60 Minutes: Slow Digestion
  • Normally the body takes about 24 to 72 hours to digest food. However, hamburgers take a lot more time because they are greasier. After consuming a Big Mac, it can take more than three days to fully digest.
  • It takes approximately 51 days to digest trans fat. The Big Mac contains 1.5 grams trans fat. Different studies have proved that trans fat can be linked to heart diseases, obesity, cancer and diabetes.
  • If you want to enjoy a Big Mac, try to keep it an occasional event. The ingredients can cause serious harm to your body, especially when consumed on a regular basis.


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