Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bacon Ice Cream, Counting Fat, and Shut the F Up

A couple of things have been irritating me on this Thursday morning.  First, the clouds.  Today was supposed to be sunny, at least according to my iPhone.  I was planning on spending the morning outside and soaking up some vitamin D.  Thank you iPhone for lying to me, and thank you clouds for being sons of bitches.  Secondly though, is Burger King's new Bacon Ice Cream Thingy.  Who in holy hell came up with this thing?  Bacon on ice cream?  That's retarded.  But do you want to know what's even more retarded?  The author of that article's concern about the fat content of the Bacon Ice Cream Thingy.  Oh my god, 510 calories and 18 grams of fat!  That's even more than a bacon cheeseburger! (Her claim, not mine, that's a little hard to believe honestly.)  Sure, she mentions the 61 grams of sugar, but she stressed the fat.  They always stress over the fat.  And I'm sick and tired of it.  There's no reason for it.  Just shut the F up. 

You see, everyone's got this phobia of fat making them fat.  They think that if they eat the fat on that pork chop, or put butter on their potato, or drink whole milk, that they'll get fat.  That's not how it works.  Fat in the diet doesn't make you fat any more than other calories do.  In fact, natural fats are very satiating, and would probably even help you eat less and lose a couple pounds.  There are a lot of reasons someone might gain weight.  Eating fat isn't one of them.  Neither is eating carbohydrates or protein.  Eating too many total calories on the other hand... will get you nice and fat.  Focusing on one particular nutrient completely misses the bigger point.  What makes us fat is not carbs or fat per se...  but if I had to design a food to make you fat, I would design exactly this Bacon Ice Cream Thingy.  Are you confused yet?  I think I may have confused myself there.  The Bacon Ice Cream Thingy WILL make you fat.  But it's not because it has 18 grams of fat, or because it has 61 grams of sugar.  It's because it's loaded up with so much hyperpalatable goodness that you'll eat the whole frickin' thing even if you're not hungry.

You may have noticed the increasingly ridiculous food concoctions that are coming out lately.  Food is changing... it's becoming more and more complex and layered.  For example, look at what's happened to the cheeseburger.  It's no longer just a burger patty on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.  It's two burger patties.  With 4 slices of cheese.  A buttered bun.  Extra bacon.  Blue cheese.  A fried egg.  An avocado.  Fried onions.  And mayo.  The restaurant industry is changing food.  They're adding more salt, more fat, and more sugar, making food more hedonic and irresistible, and making us all fat in the process.  They want you to eat more.  They want you addicted.

Let's look at this Bacon Ice Cream Thingy in terms of salt, fat, and sugar, the three tools the food industry uses to make us eat more than we need.   We've got bacon, on top of chocolate syrup, on top of ice cream, on top of more chocolate syrup.  In other words... salt, on fat, on sugar, on sugar, on fat, on sugar.  See what I mean?  It's hyperpalatable.  It's so palatable that you won't care how full you are, you'll eat it anyway.  Remember, there's always room for dessert.

Let me put this another way... I ask you this question.  We all know people who are overweight or obese; maybe you're even a little overweight yourself.  What do overweight people eat?  I can't be the only one who people watches.  I will tell you this, they are certainly not overweight because they eat too much red meat.  They don't binge on plain bacon.  They don't drown their sorrows in baked potatoes.  Hell, they don't even binge on plain vanilla ice cream... nobody does.  They binge on moose tracks ice cream, or some other variety with extra sugar and fat.  And why?  Because it has more sugar, fat, and salt.  And you can't resist it.

Well look at that, the sun has made an appearance.  Thank you clouds (you're still sons of bitches).  Better get out there while it lasts.  I'll just end on this note.  It's not fat that makes us fat.  It's not carbs that make us fat.  Cut the shit, stop counting the fat, and stop worrying about it.  It's context that matters most.  If that 18 grams of fat comes packaged in a glass of whole milk and an egg or two, let it slide.  It's irrelevant, because those are real foods that are full of nutrients, and you'll feel full and satisfied from that.  If that 18 grams of fat comes from a Bacon Ice Cream Thingy, well then you're screwed.  Because the Bacon Ice Cream Thingy will fuck you up.  But remember, it's the Bacon Ice Cream Thingy as a whole that will fuck you up, not the 18 grams of fat.  Peace, I'm out.


  1. Haha. good post. so i leave rice & noodles & dumplings to come back to bacon ice cream. interesting world

  2. I enjoy the way you looked at the bacon ice cream. I was thinking that the damn sugar is so addicting and that is why people always want more but I definitely agree with the hyper-palatable thing. A lot of my recipes are like that even though they are healthy though. I like eating delicious food though. I'm addicted to food...and chocolate. It's fine.

    1. Haha I'm with you on the food addiction. The food we eat is delicious and palatable, but I don't think it's excessively palatable like a lot of these food science concoctions. A lot of this information I got from a book I'm reading called "The End of Overeating" by David Kessler, and from Stephan Guyenet's stuff on Food Reward. Check 'em out!

    2. plus you workout like an animal, so what's wrong with a little food addiction haha

  3. Good post Burn but it is correct to say that dietary fat is the primary contributor of stored body fat. Then it's carbs and then protein which is almost never. Obviously fat phobia is BS, as is carb phobia but when your calorie intake is more than your expenditure, it's the calories from dietary fat that are generally stored.

    However I know the point of your post was to get people to stop obsessing over grams of fat and I agree with that sentiment. Keep up the good work.