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In January this year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest announced the winners for their 2013 Xtreme Eating Awards.
As you might expect, the list included some phenomenal dishes. Not phenomenal in a good way though. While they might taste great, these are the highest calorie, ultimate worst diet foods you can possibly choose when out and about.
These dishes aren’t particularly about “hidden calories” and this article won’t expose the secret foods that are wrecking your diet. There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that these dishes don’t even masquerade as being remotely heavy. Just reading about them could cause you to pack on a couple of pounds.
Let’s take a look at the main offenders.
Johnny Rockets’ Bacon Double Cheddar
This burger makes a McDonalds Big Mac seem like a health food. It has over three times the calories of a McDonalds quarter pounder with cheese, along with a staggering 50 grams of saturated fat and pretty much your entire day’s recommend allowance for salt.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with including moderate amounts of saturated fat and salt in your diet, but this certainly takes it to the extreme.
The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory gets two mentions in this year’s list, so you may as well throw the whole restaurant into the mix. Their bistro shrimp pasta has 3,120 calories (more than any other dish on the menu – even more than any type of cheesecake!) All that butter and cream in the sauce add up too, coming in at 89 grams of saturated fat. You could have almost two Johnny Rocket burgers for that!
If you thought KFC was bad, get a load of the crispy chicken costoletta, also on the menu. It actually outdoes a 12-piece KFC bucket by around 60 calories. That’s not to say your KFC bucket is now a healthy option, but maybe it doesn’t seem quite so bad in comparison.
Think smoothies are healthy? Think again.
Even a traditional fruit smoothie can be loaded with sugar, but the peanut power plus grape smoothie from Smoothie King takes the plaudits as the highest calorie beverage on the list. A whopping 1,460 calories and the equivalent of 22 teaspoons of sugar go into this bad boy.
Big Apple Shake
Johnny Rockets catches up with the Cheesecake Factory here, with its second entry on the list. Its Big Apple shake fares slightly better than the peanut power, with 1,140 calories and 13 teaspoons of added sugar, but it’s still one to avoid. With the main ingredients being apple pie and ice cream though, what do you expect?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?
Not if you start your morning with this calorie bomb from IHOP. There’s nothing wrong with steak and eggs for a protein packed, lower carb breakfast that’ll keep you feeling full ‘til lunchtime. A well-cooked piece of lean steak along with a couple of poached or dry fried eggs is great, but that’s not the way IHOP do things. Their country-fried steak and eggs comes with a side of atherosclerosis, seeing as it contains 1,760 calories – pretty much an entire day’s calories for a sedentary woman.
A veal steak with a few potatoes sounds like a perfectly healthy meal, comprising both good quality protein and fibrous carbs. However, if you’re getting you’re veal steak and potatoes from Maggiano’s Little Italy, you’ll be wolfing down 2,710 calories, along with 3,700 milligrams of sodium – that’s about 9 grams of salt.
It’s impossible to say which one of these dishes is worst. They all have huge downsides, and unfortunately no one in particular stands out as being any better than the others.