The Cynic
A cynical spin on the news.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holy Calories Batman!

Thanks to my monthly wellness bible (a.k.a. Men's Health) for providing the information on the 20 worst foods you can eat.

And the list....*drum roll*

20. Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips from McDonald's (five pieces) with creamy ranch sauce: 830 cal, 55 g fat (4.5 g trans fat), 48 g carbs
The only thing "premium" about these strips is the caloric price you pay. Add a large fries & a regular soda and this seemingly innocuous chicken meal tops out at 1,710 cal.

19. Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo'd Power Smoothie (30 fl oz): 900 cal, 10 g fat, 183 g carbs (166 g sugar)
Jamba Juice calls it a smoothie: we call it a milk shake. In fact, this beverage contains as much sugar as eight pints of Ben & Jerry's butter pecan ice cream.

18. Pepperidge Farm Roasted Chicken Pot Pie (whole pie): 1,020 cal, 64 g fat, 86 g carbs
The label may say this pie serves two, but who ever divided a small pot pie in half? The sad truth is, once you crack the crust, there will be no stopping -- which makes this 300 calories worse than anything else you'll find in the freezer case.

17. Ruby Tuesday's Bella Turkey Burger: 1,145 cal, 71 g fat, 56 g carbs
We chose this burger for more than its calorie payload: Its name implies that it's healthy.

16. Chipotle Mexican Grill Chicken Burrito: 1,179 cal, 47 g fat, 125 g carbs, 2,656 mg sodium
Despite a reputation for using healthy fresh ingredients, Chipotle's menu is limited to king-size burritos, overstuffed tacos and gigantic salads -- all of which lead to a humongous waistline.

15. Macaroni Grill Double Macaroni 'n' Cheese: 1,210 cal, 62 g fat, 3,450 mg sodium
It's like feeding your kid 1-1/2 boxes of Kraft mac 'n' cheese.

14. Quiznos Classic Italian (large): 1,528 cal, 92 g fat, 4,604 mg sodium, 110 g carbs
A large homemade sandwich would more likely provide about 500 calories.

13. On the Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef: 1,450 cal, 102 g fat, 78 g carbs, 2,410 mg sodiumThis isn't an anomaly: five different On the Border salads on the menu contain more than 1,100 calories each.

12. Carl's Jr. Double Six Dollar Burger: 1,520 cal, 111 g fat
Carl's Jr. brags that it's home to this enormous sandwich, but the restaurant chain also provides convenient nutrition info on its website -- so ignorance is no excuse for eating it.

11. Lonestar 20 oz. T-bone steak: 1,540 cal, 124 g fat
Add a baked potato and Lonestar's Signature Lettuce Wedge, and this is a 2,700-calorie blowout.

10. Bob Evans Caramel Banana Pecan Cream Stacked & Stuffed Hotcakes: 1,540 cal, 77 g fat (9 g trans fat), 198 g carbs (109 g sugar)
Five Egg McMuffins yield the same caloric cost as this stack of sugar-stuffed flapjacks, which is truly a heavy breakfast, weighing in at a hefty pound-and-a-half.

9. Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream: 1,600 cal, 78 g fat, 215 g carbs
Would you eat a Big Mac for desert? How about three? That's the calorie equivalent of this decadent dish. Clearly, Chili's customers get their money's worth.

8. P.F. Chang's Pork Lo Mein: 1,820 cal, 127 g fat, 95 g carbs
The fat content in this dish alone provides more than 1,100 calories. And you'd have to eat almost five servings of pasta to match the number of carbohydrates it contains. Now, do you really need five servings of pasta?

7. Chili's Honey Chipotle Crispers with Chipotle Sauce: 2,040 cal, 99 g fat, 240 g carbs
"Crispers" refers to an extra-thick layer of bread crumbs that soaks up oil and adds unnecessary calories and carbs to these glorified chicken strips.

6. On the Border Dos XX Fish Tacos with Rice & Beans: 2,100 cal, 130 g fat, 169 g carbs, 4,750 mg sodium
Perhaps the most misleadingly named dish in America. A dozen crunchy tacos from Taco Bell will saddle you with fewer calories.

5. Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza: 2,310 cal, 162 g fat, 123 g carbs, 4,470 mg sodiumDowning this "personal" pizza is the equivalent to eating 18 slices of Domino's Crunchy Thin Crust cheese pie.

4. Macaroni Grill Spaghetti & Meatballs with Meat Sauce: 2,430 cal, 128 g fat, 207 g carbs, 5,290 mg sodium
This meal satisfies your calorie requirements for an entire day.

3. On the Border Stacked Border Nachos: 2,740 cal, 166 g fat, 191 g carbs, 5,280 mg sodium

2. Chili's Awesome Blossom: 2,710 cal, 203 g fat, 194 g carbs, 6,360 mg sodium

1. Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing: 2,900 cal, 182 g fat, 240 g carbs
Even if you split these "starters" with three friends, you'll have downed a dinner's worth of calories before your entree arrives.

Also, a list of restaurants that refused to give MH a full disclosure of their nutritional numbers: Applebee's; California Pizza Kitchen; Chipotle; Cracker Barrel; Fuddruckers; Hooters; IHOP; Maggiano's Little Italy; Olive Garden; Outback; Perkins; Quiznos; Ruth's Chris Steakhouse; TGI Friday's.

Happy Thanksgiving kids. Note to self, enjoy all these things and more -- Homemade, where you can control the ingredients and the intake.

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