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Carb Craze Strips Bun Off Burger

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With the new Hardee's low-carb burger, there's no question that you're getting more burger than bun. There is no bun.

Like some brands of beer, chips and even bread, the Thickburger has gone on an Atkins diet. Slimmed from 54 carbs to just 5, it's debuting just in time for the post-New Year throng of dieters.

Except for the iceberg lettuce wrap, the new burger looks like its full-carb counterpart: cheese, ketchup, mayo, mustard, onions and tomato. But the ketchup has been halved (it's filled with sugary carbs) and the cheese is a chilly slice rather than a melted, gushy splotch. Instead of the comforting cradle of a buttered, toasted bun and the satisfying crunch of sesame seeds, there is the throwaway squeak of iceberg.

Even without the buttered bun, the low-carb Thickburger is still high enough in saturated fat (60 percent of a day's allowance) to draw the kind of frowns from nutritionists that got the full-Monty version labeled "food porn" this month by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

But saturated fat isn't the focus for many low-carb dieters.

Copyright 2003 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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