LIFESTYLE
23/09/2015 12:05 BST | Updated 23/09/2015 14:59 BST

How A Big Mac Affects Your Body In 60 Minutes

Big Macs are big business for McDonald's. The fast food chain sells around 2.5 million of their most famous burgers each day worldwide.

Now, an infographic that claims to reveal what happens to your body after eating a Big Mac has gone viral.

The chart, created by Fast Food Menu Price, claims that consuming the burger can lead to dehydration and high blood pressure within an hour.

It is worth noting that the infographic is based on the ingredients of the Big Mac available to buy in the US, as opposed to the Big Mac available to buy in the UK - but it's making waves worldwide.

What happens one hour after eating a Big Mac?

The infographic reads:

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 (with cheese and sauce) 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 obesity, 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 for 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 gram trans fat. Different studies have proved that trans fats can be linked to heart diseases, obese, 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 consuming them on a regular basis.

Speaking to HuffPost UK Lifestyle, the creators of the infographic confirmed that all their information is based on the ingredients and nutritional values listed on the McDonald's US website.

The Big Mac available to buy in the UK and the Big Mac available in the US contain different ingredients.

For example, the UK Big Mac contains 508 calories per portion and according to the ingredients listed on the McDonald's UK website, it does not contain any corn syrup.

In contrast, the US Big Mac contains 540 calories per portion and according to the official ingredients listed, corn syrup is used in the bun and the Big Mac sauce.

McDonald's UK have been quick to point out that the viral infographic does not reflect the British Big Mac.

A spokesperson from the McDonald's press office told HuffPost UK Lifestyle: "We do not recognise the ingredients or nutritional information within this graphic. The so-called facts in this image are misleading and bear no resemblance to the Big Mac available to customers in the UK.

"We have been displaying nutritional information for all of our menu items for over 30 years so it is a shame to see such inaccurate figures and information being circulated.

"We have removed all artificial trans-fat from our menu, the iconic Big Mac contains no artificial colours or flavours and the bun does not contain any corn syrup.

"For over 10 years we have been evolving our recipes to reduce salt and sugar, reducing the sugar content of our Big Mac by more than 22%. We would encourage our customers to visit the accurate nutritional information section available on our website or mobile phone app to help them make informed choices about their food."

HuffPost UK Lifestyle has contacted the McDonald's US press office for comment, but has yet to hear back at the time of publication.

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