There are obviously lots of good reasons to avoid eating food from Chick-fil-A. The most compelling of which are the anti-gay statements by its owner, Dan Cathy, and the company’s multi-million dollar support of anti-gay groups such as American Family. But here is a reason that no one seems to be addressing: you shouldn’t eat Chick-fil-A because the food is just plain awful for you.
Let’s say you went to your neighborhood Chick-fil-A and ordered the following: a classic chicken sandwich, small fries, and a chocolate milkshake (OK you could get a diet coke. But seriously, would you?). Here is what you would really be eating:
fat: 54 grams
saturated fat: 19 grams
cholesterol: 130 grams
sodium: 1900 grams
fiber: 5 grams
Each total for fat, calories, sodium and cholesterol is near the limit for an entire day’s intake. And it is woefully low on fiber. I guess if this meal were my only meal of the day, I could almost justify it. Almost. However, we all know that food like Chick-fil-A is never one’s only meal. Three hours after eating a fast food overload of fat and carbs, I’m opening the fridge and staring at the shelves.
But exercise helps, right? Well, kind of. Not as much as you’d think. If you are a runner, you would need to run 6 mph for 2 hours without stopping or slowing down to burn off the calories from your Chick-fil-A meal. If you walk for your exercise, you will have to walk for 4 hours nonstop to get ahead of your meal. Or if you are a swimmer be prepared to resemble a prune–no less than 3 hours in the pool.
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas and ordained Baptist minister, has surprisingly come out in favor of Chick-fil-A. I say surprisingly because he once wrote a book called Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork and before his 2008 presidential campaign, Huckabee lost 108 pounds. He has declared August 1st Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day and so far 341,000 RSVP’s are on his Facebook page. One of his biggest fried chicken allies is Billy Graham who has promised to show up at Chick-fil-A on August 1st to “eat more chikin”.
Really guys? Billy Graham has a history of coronary heart disease and Mike Huckabee was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I understand the theology that drives these men to be anti-gay (I don’t agree, but I get it). What I don’t understand is why they feel OK about eating 54 grams of fat in one meal. Wouldn’t this be a great opportunity for high profile clergy to model good stewardship of their “created in God’s image” bodies?
Or if all else fails them, they could do what they do best and quote the bible. Here are some interesting biblical statements, commandments, and laws about eating: Leviticus 3:17; Genesis 1:29; 1st Corinthians 10:31; 1st Corinthians 6:19-21; Proverbs 23: Romans 14:21; Romans 12:1; Psalm 63:5; Isaiah 55:2. There are many, many more.
Unfortunately, for Huckabee and Graham, none of these texts support over-eating. In fact, it turns out that gluttony is a sin (maybe even bigger than being gay).