A graphic explaining the first hour of digestion went viral on Wednesday

By People Staff
Updated September 23, 2015 09:40 PM
Credit: Christoph Schmidt/AP

What happens when you eat a McDonald’s Big Mac? According to an infographic that’s received a boom in popularity online on Wednesday, your body begins the process of digesting the iconic burger, which can take up to three days. But what has captured readers’ attention is the explanation of specific processes that occur in first hour of that process.

The infographic, created by the website Fast Food Menu Prince, breaks the digestion process down into five segments within the first hour after the burger has been consumed.

What happens one hour after eating a Big Mac?

The site purports that a standard, 540-calorie Big Mac raises your blood sugar levels to “abnormal levels.” It claims that the burger’s bun contains high-fructose corn syrup and sodium, which some diners may want to avoid. It also claims that the overall Big Mac contains 970 milligrams of sodium, which can dehydrate you and may cause some to eat more because the thirst response is sometimes mistaken for hunger.

Around 40 minutes after someone eats a Big Mac, he or she may experience hunger because “your insulin response can bring down your glucose levels, making you want to eat more.” Finally, a Big Mac takes longer to digest than other foods, due to the amount of grease, and the 1.5 grams of trans fats in the burger can take up to 51 days to digest, the site claims.

The site notes that those 540 calories come with a regular Big Mac – you’ll get more if you order cheese and the special sauce.

In an interview with Yahoo! Health about the infographic, dietitian-nutritionist Lisa Moskovitz cautions leaders that the immediate effect of consuming a Big Mac varies from person to person, and while the graphic is accurate, it’s “somewhat exaggerated.” “Everyone s body has a different blood sugar and insulin response, Moskovitz said. Because there is also a significant amount of fat in a Big Mac, it may slow down the conversion of the carbs into glucose that travel through the blood stream.

The original post concludes by pointing out that enjoying a Big Mac on occasion might be okay if diners opt instead for salads and other lower-calorie foods for other meals.