Monday, January 31, 2011

The 20 Worst Foods in America... Seriously... OINK!

I started reading this Eat this Not that article and thought ... I have got to help get this message out... So here goes.  It actually made me a bit sick to my stomach to think of how many calories are packed into some of these entrees.

See for yourself

Life is a journey, awareness is a valuable asset.
Mary E. Robbins

article to follow: Men's Health Magazine/Eat This Not That
Another year, another 20 catastrophic dishes. You'd think by now restaurants would start to get the message, but that just doesn't seem to be the case. Sure, some of last year's worst offenders have vanished, but the abundance of possible replacements is frightening. This past year was especially bad for the food industry. In an effort to outdo each other, restaurants and fast-food chains ratcheted up their efforts to create the craziest, most calorically damaging menu items we've ever seen. And succeed they did. The battle of the bulge has been taken to a whole new level, so protect yourself from the enemy by avoiding these 20 destructive dishes.

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20. Worst Kids' Meal

California Pizza Kitchen Kids Curly Mac 'n' Cheese

1,038 calories
38 g saturated fat
1,651 mg sodium
Pasta robed in melted cheese will never pass muster with the nutritionist set; nevertheless, there are some versions out there you can feel good about feeding your kid. Bob Evans, TGI Friday’s, and even Burger King all serve reasonable versions of the kiddie staple. CPK decidedly does not. This bowl represents about 70 percent of the calories the average 6-year-old should consume in a day. What’s worse, it delivers as much saturated fat as an adult should consume over the course of 48 hours. Good news is you can dissuade them from ordering the mac by suggesting the pizza instead. We doubt they’ll object.

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Kids Hawaiian Pizza
463 calories
8 g saturated fat
1,165 mg sodium

19. Worst Supermarket Meal

Stouffer's White Meat Chicken Pot Pie (large)

1,160 calories
66 g fat (26 g saturated)
1,780 mg sodium
Of all the frozen options that fill out the supermarket aisles, none is more dubious than the pot pie. It sits in the freezer like a leaden bomb, ready to explode waistlines with a troubling mix of oil, cream, butter, and refined carbohydrates. (The package claims it serves two, but really, when have you ever split a pot pie?) The good news is that there are more than a few safe options for those looking for the rich, comforting flavors of a pot pie without the caloric consequences. This version of chicken à la king from Stouffer’s is our favorite of the bunch.

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Stouffer's Chicken a la King
360 calories
12 g fat (4 g saturated)
800 mg sodium

18. Worst "Healthy" Sandwich

Blimpie Special Vegetarian

1,180 calories
59 g fat (18 g saturated)
3,540 mg sodium
Goes to show the risk in trusting buzz-terms. A “vegetarian” sandwich might sound like a guaranteed lean lunch, but after Blimpie tops it with multiple layers of cheese, an onslaught of sauces, and crushed Doritos (no joke), you’re left with a hunkin’ hoagie that gnaws through nearly your entire day’s fat allotment and more than 1½ days of sodium. You’d be better off with a towering bacon Dagwood (but really, you’d be best to opt for the vegetarian-friendly Mediterranean Ciabatta).

There's more where this sandwich came from: The Craziest Food Creations of 2010.

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Mediterranean Ciabatta
450 calories
8 g fat (3 g saturated)
1,720 mg sodium

17. Worst Fast Food Burger

Wendy's Triple Baconator

1,350 calories
90 g fat (40 g saturated, 3.5 g trans)
2,780 mg sodium
America has caught bacon fever, making way for a market flooded with bacon-infused chocolates, bacon salts, and yes, even bacon sprays (spritz yourself with the essence of pig!). This profusion of porcine is a trend Wendy’s is taking full advantage of with its line of bacon-buoyed burgers. Consider the recipe here: three quarter-pound beef patties interspersed with nine strips of bacon, three slices of cheese, and a big smear of mayonnaise. It’s fat on top of fat on top of fat, 10 layers in all—a tower of nutritional terror.

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Double Stack with Bacon
400 calories
21 g fat (9 g saturated)
990 mg sodium

16. Worst Side

Five Guys Large Fries

1,464 calories
71 g fat (14 g saturated)
184 g carbohydrates
213 mg sodium
Americans consume more French fries than any other single vegetable. Scary stuff, especially when you see just how punishing a side of deep-fried potatoes can really be. The worst part is Five Guys offers no sensible solutions. There are no other sides on the menu, and even if you downgrade to a “regular” order, you still wind up with more calories than if you ordered one of Five Guys’ little bacon burgers. You’re better off ordering two “little” sandwiches and skipping the fries.

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich
470 calories
26 g fat (9 g saturated)
715 mg sodium

15. Worst Food Hybrid

Domino's Chicken Carbonara Breadbowl Pasta

1,480 calories
56 g fat (24 g saturated)
2,220 mg sodium
Edible bowls just might be the pinnacle of American gluttony. Next thing you know, restaurants will be serving Pepsi from cups made of chocolate. It sounds ridiculous, but the concept is exactly the same: refined carbs (pasta) served inside of refined carbs (white bread). It’s kryptonite for diabetics (and anyone who values self-preservation). The result isn’t just a stratospheric escalation of your blood sugar levels, but also the consumption of more than a day’s worth of saturated fat, 92 percent of your sodium allotment, and a punishing glut of calories. Skip the terrifying Frankenfood and stick to what Domino’s is known for: pizza.

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Hand Tossed Pizza with grilled chicken, green peppers, and shredded parmesan (2 slices, medium pie)
430 calories
16 g fat (7 g saturated)
1,030 mg sodium

14. Worst Fast-Food Breakfast

Hardee's Loaded Biscuit 'N' Gravy with Large Hash Rounds

1,530 calories
110 g fat (26 g saturated)
3,020 mg sodium
Biscuits and gravy fall pretty low in the hierarchy of healthy breakfast options, and the two hockey pucks of sausage that Hardee’s throws on top don’t help matters (especially when you consider that the gravy is already studded with sausage). What that amounts to is a full day’s worth of saturated fat before you tack on the side of spuds. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then this is one of the most important meals in America to avoid.

12. Worst Salad

TGI Friday's Santa Fe Chopped Salad

1,800 calories Rumor has it that Hollywood elite turn to the Friday’s salad section when it comes time to gain weight for onscreen roles. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but get too cozy with these leaves and you can expect some dire repercussions. The average entrée-size salad packs a walloping 1,216 calories, making it one of the most dangerous sections of an already-disastrous menu. It comes as no surprise that the Santa Fe emerges as the worst of this sad heap; Mexican- or Southwestern-themed salads—with their abundance of shredded cheese, greasy proteins, and tortilla chips—are the worst species of salad. If those are the flavors you’re after, why not a crunchy taco from Taco Bell? You could have a dozen for the same caloric cost.

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Cobb Salad
361 calories

11. Worst Chinese Entree

PF Chang's Doube Pan-Fried Noodles Combo (served with beef, pork, chicken, and shrimp)

1,820 calories
84 g fat (8 g saturated, 3.5 g trans)
7,692 mg sodium
The human body needs about 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day to function properly. Anything beyond that is unnecessary, and possibly dangerous. And sure, Chinese food is notorious for its higher-than-usual salt factor, but few dishes we’ve seen come anywhere close to this number. It packs enough of the white stuff to meet your body’s needs for more than 5 days. And the rest of Chang’s menu isn’t much better. Stick with the Hong Kong Beef and plan to avoid the saltshaker for the next couple meals.

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Eat This Instead!

Hong Kong Beef with Snow Peas
620 calories
28 g fat (6 g saturated)
1,852 mg sodium

10. Worst Ribs

Outback Steakhouse Baby Back Ribs (full rack)

2,012 calories
160 g fat (59 g saturated)
2,600 mg sodium
Keep in mind that this caloric heft comes without the addition of Aussie Fries, which will invariably adorn most of the plates at Outback. Nor does it take into account the free brown bread and salad that comes with every entrée order. For all that you can factor in an extra 800 calories or so, bringing the total damage dangerously close to the 3,000-calorie threshold. That much energy will add nearly a pound of fat to your body, which means if you start eating this meal once a week, one year from today you’ll have 41 extra pounds of baby-back body fat hanging from your midsection.

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Outback Special (9 oz)
445 calories
23 g fat (11.5 g saturated)
610 mg sodium

9. Worst Burger

Denny's Smokin' Q Three Pack

2,020 calories
110 g fat (22 g saturated, 3 g trans)
3,570 mg sodium
Okay, technically this is three burgers, but the idea behind the mini-burger is that the restrained vessels will help you knock off some calories from the hulking mothership burger that inspired them. Rarely, though, does it actually work out that way. In fact, after searching high and low, we still haven’t found a single slider or mini-burger safe enough to order. Skip them all, but these especially, which up the caloric ante by crowning the not-so-mini patties with both bacon and onion crispers. They may look harmless, but this trio will knock out your entire day’s caloric allotment.

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Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich
520 calories
35 g fat (8 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)
620 mg sodium

8. Worst Drink

Cold Stone Creamery PB&C Shake (Gotta Have It size, 24 fl oz)

2,030 calories
131 g fat (68 g saturated, 2.5 g trans)
153 g sugars
A couple years ago, Baskin-­Robbins’ milk shake line could have easily claimed the top five worst drinks in America, but when it decided to reel in some of the caloric excesses, Cold Stone’s PB&C was left exposed as the biggest bully on the block. And the damage is severe: This blended peanut-butter-cup concoction makes it possible to slurp down a day’s worth of energy with a mere 10-minute straw session. We hope Cold Stone decides to follow Baskins’ lead and downsize this atrocity, but if not, we’re happy to keep doling out the negative publicity.

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Sinless Oh Fudge! Shake (Like It size, 16 oz)
490 calories
2 g fat (2 g saturated)
44 g sugars

7. Worst Breakfast

IHOP "Big" Country Breakfast

2,040 calories
55 g saturated fat
159 g carbohydrates
4,500 mg sodium
Here’s the anatomy of a breakfast disaster: Take a 12-ounce steak, bread it, fry it, and then cover it with gravy. Then, on the side, drop three eggs and three buttermilk pancakes. Does it not occur to IHOP that this is actually three full meals? And that two of those meals—all but the eggs—are the sort of indulgences that should be eaten only in extreme moderation? If this is the first thing you eat in the morning, don’t even bother getting out of bed.

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Turkey Bacon Omelette for Me
470 calories
25 g fat (11 g saturated)
890 mg sodium

6. Worst Mexican Entree

Baja Fresh Charbroiled Steak Nachos

2,120 calories
118 g fat (44 g saturated, 4.5 g trans)
2,990 mg sodium
If the full day of calories doesn’t get you, then the 2 days of saturated fat will. If that saturated fat doesn’t bring you to your knees, then the 2 days of trans fat surely will. If the trans fat doesn’t wreak total havoc on your system . . . we could go on like this for days. Is it just us, or is it slightly disturbing that you could eat eight full steak tacos and still take in fewer calories than what’s found in this plate of cheesy chips? Stick to two tacos and save nearly a half pound of body fat in one sitting.

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2 Original Baja Steak Tacos
460 calories
16 g fat (4 g saturated)
520 mg sodium

5. Worst Appetizer

Outback Steakhouse Kookaburra Wings

2,145 calories
185 g fat (75 g saturated)
3,711 mg sodium
Outside of Outback, a kookaburra is an Australian bird that makes a noise like a chuckling human. Inside Outback, “kookaburra” denotes a piece of fried chicken that’s been lacquered with egregious amounts of fat and sodium. Even if you have two other victims to help defray the damage, you’ll still wind up with 715 calories and well over a day’s worth of saturated fat. It would be easier on your gut if you just skipped the appetizer and instead wolfed down a Burger King Whopper on your way to dinner.

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Eat This Instead!

Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie
315 calories
21 g fat (9 g saturated)
561 mg sodium

4. Worst Pizza

Uno Chicago Grill Classic Deep Dish Pizza (individual size)

2,310 calories
165 g fat (54 g saturated)
4,920 mg soidum
In all the years we’ve been putting this list together, this pizza from Uno’s is the only item to never budge from the hyper-caloric countdown. While a number of burgers, salads, and pastas battle it out for the dubious distinction of being America’s worst, there is simply no competition for this nightmarish creation. With a day’s worth of calories, more than 2 days’ worth of sodium, and nearly 3 days’ worth of fat, bread, cheese, and sauce have never been stretched to such extremes.

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Cheese and Tomato Flatbread Pizza (1/2 pizza) and a house side salad
495 calories
22 g fat (8 g saturated)
1,065 mg sodium

3. Worst Chicken Entree

Cheesecake Factory Crispy Chicken Costoletta

2,494 calories
85 g saturated fat
1,677 mg sodium
Here’s the secret to stuffing more than a day’s worth of energy—mostly from fat—into a plate of chicken and vegetables: First, pound the chicken until it’s paper thin. That provides the most possible surface area on which to attach oily breading. Then, cover the whole plate with a layer of butter. In this case, Cheesecake uses what they call “lemon sauce,” but don’t be fooled. You don’t get 4 days’ worth of saturated fat from lemons. To complete the caper, toss on a few token asparagus spears to make them think they’re eating healthy. Yeah, right. Nice try.

See if your favorite chicken meal made our list of the The Worst Chicken Dishes in America.

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The Factory Burger
737 calories
15 g saturated fat
1,018 mg sodium

2. Worst Dessert

Uno Chicago Grill Mega-Sized Deep Dish Sundae

2,800 calories
136 g fat (72 g saturated)
272 g sugars
Uno Chicago Grill has a dangerous obsession with deep dishes. Not content merely serving the worst pizza in America from those calorie-collecting troughs, they use the same vessel to dish out the worst dessert in the country, too. The crust is replaced with an enormous cookie, the tomato sauce with a thick river of molten chocolate, and the cheese with a mountain of vanilla ice cream. The only thing keeping this from the bottom slot in our Worst Food countdown is the fact that Uno’s encourages sharing, but even if you split this dessert four ways, you’ll still take in more than twice as many calories as you would with a hot fudge sundae at McDonald’s.

Eat This Instead!

Mini Hot Chocolate Brownie Sundae
370 calories
16 g fat (8 g saturated)
38 g sugars

1. The Worst Food in America

Cheesecake Factory Bistro Shrimp Pasta

2,727 calories
78 g saturated fat
1,737 mg sodium
The troubling truth is this entire list of America’s Worst Foods could be fueled solely by the Cheesecake Factory’s atrocious fare. No restaurant combines elephantine portion sizes with a heavy-handed application of cheap cooking fats more recklessly than the Factory folk, resulting in dishes like the 2,582-calorie Chicken and Biscuits and the 2,455-calorie French Toast Napoleon. But it’s a relatively healthy-sounding plate of shrimp pasta that wears the tainted crown, delivering to your bloodstream more saturated fat than you’d find in three packages of Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon and as many carbs as you’d slurp down from 1½ cases of Amstel Light. Gross.

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Eat This Instead!

Grilled Mahi Mahi
237 calories
1 g saturated fat
364 mg sodium

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