Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'll Just Take the 13 Glazed Donuts Instead, Thanks.

I was reading on MSN about the Worst Mall Foods to eat. I was shocked at the calorie and fat content of some of these common foods (many of which I've eaten without thinking a thing about it). Check this out:

WORST CHINESE MEAL
Panda Express
Orange Chicken
500 calories
27 g fat (5.5 g saturated, 1 g trans)
42 g carbs
810 mg sodium
FAT EQUIVALENT: 9 strips of Oscar Mayer Bacon!

Compared to other traditional Chinese meals (think multi-serving takeout boxes of carb-loaded lo mein), 500 calories doesn’t seem so bad. But consider the source—one small serving of Panda Express orange chicken usually comes with a second entrĂ©e (add another 300-400 calories) and a side of rice (add 450 calories if you choose the fried variety, 380 for the steamed). Make it a double serving of orange chicken and a side of fried rice and you’ve just consumed 75 percent of your day’s calories in one moment of weakness.

Eat This Instead:
Broccoli Beef
150 calories
7 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
510 mg sodium
11 g carbs

WORST SNACK
Auntie Anne’s
Glazin’ Raisin Pretzel
510 calories
107 g carbs
4 g fat (2 g saturated)
480 mg sodium

CALORIC EQUIVALENT: 2 slices of Pizza Hut cheese pizza!

It’s hard to consider this meal. Not all of Auntie Anne’s options are this heavy, though. The jalapeno pretzel (without butter) is a reasonable-sized snack that can give you the energy boost you need to make it through your shopping spree, without loading you down and threatening your waistline.

Eat This Instead:
Jalapeno Pretzel, no butter
270 calories
58 g carbs
1 g fat (0 g saturated)
780 mg sodium

WORST SLICE OF PIZZA
SbarroStuffed Pepperoni Pizza, 1 slice
890 calories

CALORIC EQUIVALENT: 3 Snickers bars!

It’s probably no surprise that a pizza labeled “stuffed” would pack a caloric punch—but 890 calories for a single slice? You’d have to eat 3 Snickers bars, or 20 Chicken McNuggets, or 15 KFC Hot Wings to match that load. And that’s not even taking into account what are surely stratospheric fat and sodium counts. (Sbarro’s doesn’t release full nutritional information for their menu items. Check out what other dirty little secrets your favorite restaurants are hiding in this eye-popping expose!)

Eat This Instead!
New York Style Thin Crust Cheese, 1 slice
460 calories

WORST SIDE
Steak Escape
Ranch and Bacon Fries
1,044 calories
71 g fat
1,398 mg sodium
84 g carbs

CALORIC EQUIVALENT: 23 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets!

Consuming half your day’s allowance of calories in one meal is bad enough—but in one side dish? Claiming innocence will never hold up in a Food Court of Law, though—not when a flood of ranch, a flurry of bacon, and a mountain of fried potatoes are involved. Until some nutritionally savvy company starts baking their fries in the oven, you’ll need to seek out alternative treatments to get your spud fix.

Eat This Instead:
Smashed Potatoes
246 calories
0 g fat
43 mg sodium
53 g carbs

WORST DRINK
Smoothie King
Grape Expectations II (40 oz)
1,096 calories0 g fat (0 g saturated)
266 g carbs
250 g sugars

SUGAR EQUIVALENT: 13 Dunkin’ Donuts Chocolate Frosted Donuts!

Smoothie King calls this a way to “snack right”; we call it one of the quickest ways to pack on extra pounds. Even if most of the sugar comes from some form of fruit or fruit juice (in this case, ultra-sweet grape juice), the resulting blood-sugar surge (and inevitable energy crash) from this much sweetness may leave you struggling to find that last gift for Aunt Elma.

Drink This Instead:
Slim-N-Trim Orange-Vanilla 20 oz
250 calories1 g fat (0 g saturated)
46 g carbs
38 g sugars

WORST BREAKFAST
Cinnabon
Regular Caramel Pecan bun
1,100 calories
56 g fat (10 g saturated, 5 g trans)
141 g carbs
47 g sugars

CALORIC EQUIVALENT: 8 White Castle hamburgers

Cinnabon and malls are inseparable. This dangerously bloated bun—among these Fattiest Foods in America—contains nearly an entire day’s worth of fat and more than half of your daily allotment of calories. Reconsider your breakfast or snack options, but if you absolutely must eat something, make it Stix.

Eat This Instead:
Cinnabon Stix
379 calories
21 g fat (6 g saturated, 4 g trans)
41 g carbs
14 g sugars

WORST SOUP
Au Bon Pain
Large Macaroni and Cheese Stew with Bread Bowl
1,120 calories
42 g fat (19 g saturated, 1 g trans)
3,070 mg sodium
157 g carbs

SODIUM EQUIVALENT: 22 small orders of McDonald’s French Fries!

Whether it’s made from a giant fried tortilla or a massive hunk of sourdough, if you’re serving vessel is edible, you’re asking for trouble. In this case, the bread bowl adds a belly-building 600 calories to what is already one of America’s most decadent, over-the-top spoonables. If soup’s your thing, you’ll have a hard time keeping the sodium down no matter which bowl you order; good, old-fashioned tomato soup is as good as you’ll do at Au Bon Pain.

Eat This Instead:
Medium Old Fashioned Tomato Soup
200 calories
7 g fat (3 g saturated)
1,150 mg sodium
27 g carbs

The Winner for the WORST MALL FOOD IN AMERICA:
Quizno’s
Large Tuna Melt Club with cheese and dressing
1,820 calories
147 g fat (27 g saturated, 1.5 g trans)
2,020 mg sodium
85 g carbs

CALORIC EQUIVALENT: 12 Taco Bell Fresco Style Beef Tacos!

Tuna off the grill or straight from the can is perfectly healthy; tuna drowning in mayonnaise, blanketed in melted cheese, and slicked with oily dressing is decidedly not. Not only does this sandwich carry with it nearly an entire day’s worth of calories and sodium, it also contains as much fat as 49 strips of bacon. In fact, it’s so bad that it will replace Quizno’s Classic Italian in our list of the 20 Worst Foods in America when we update it for 2009.

Eat This Instead:
Small Tuna Melt, no cheese, no dressing
500 calories
33 g fat (5 g saturated)
630 mg sodium
37 g carbs

That'll sure make me think twice about what I order at some of those restaurants!

3 comments:

twithhoney said...

Well, I always knew mall food was bad for you but this was a huge eye opener. A smoothie that's the equivalent of a bakers dozen of donuts. I'd rather have the donuts too!

I like the alternative suggestions but how can you call something a Tuna Melt when you order it without cheese? It's not a 'melt' without the cheese.

choosydad said...

Yikes. Sounds like it would pay to carry along an apple or two on our next trip to the food court.

MiaKatia said...

I think I am going to be sick!!!