OK, we all know that most fast food is bad for you and that eating out at chain restaurants isn't a better idea. Whether the food is high in salt or higher in fat content, the results just aren't going to be good.
But did you know it could be this bad?
Eating one order of Bob Evans' Cinnamon Cream Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes is the same as eating TWO country-fried steaks and FOUR eggs, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. That's 1,380 calories and 34 grams of fat. Seven of those grams of fat are trans fat -- more than you should eat in three and a half days, according to the organization. And that's all without the syrup.
That menu item at Bob Evans has earned one of CSPI's Xtreme Eating Awards for 2010. The list was released Tuesday morning, and it doesn't look pretty.
Other CSPI "Award" Winners:
California Pizza Kitchen Tostada Pizza with Grilled Steak: (1,680 calories, 1 1/2 day’s worth (32 grams) of saturated fat, and more than 2 day's worth (3,300 mg) of sodium)
Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger: (920 calories (without toppings) and 1 1/2 day's worth of saturated fat (30 grams))
P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo: (1,820 calories and 7,690 milligrams of sodium)
The Cheesecake Factory Pasta Carbonara with Chicken: (2,500 calories and 85 grams of fat)
The Cheesecake Factory Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake: (1,670 calories and 2 1/2 days' worth (48 grams) of saturated fat.
Outback Steakhouse New Zealand Rack of Lamb: (1,300 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat, minus the sides)
Chevys Crab & Shrimp Quesadilla: (1,790 calories, 63 grams of saturated fat and 3,440 mg of sodium)
“I wouldn’t accuse California Pizza Kitchen or P.F. Chang’s of being a threat to national security, but with a quarter of young Americans too heavy to join the military, these and other chains ought to get the extremes off their menus,” said CSPI nutrition director Bonnie Liebman. “At a minimum, they should disclose calories on menus now, even before federal regulations make it mandatory.”
P.F. Chang's released the following statement in response to the CSPI award:
"P.F. Chang's menu is designed for family style dining with a focus on sharing a variety of appetizers, entrees and side dishes. We provide our guests with a wide range of menu options and our website provides per serving nutritional information for all of our items."
The Cheesecake Factory also issued a statement from Mark Mears, senior VP and chief Marketing officer:
"With more than 200 items on our menu, we literally provide a way to satisfy every guest. In addition to our liberal substitution policy where guests can customize any meal to fit specific dietary or nutritional requirements, we're pleased to offer healthy alternatives from our Weight Management line-up, which features several meals under 590 calories each. The Weight Management items are flavorful and satisfying, and as with all of our menu items, are prepared fresh-from-scratch in our restaurants each day and generously portioned, which makes them perfect for sharing or taking home for a second meal. Of course, we will continue to comply with all applicable local, regional or state nutritional labeling laws as they go into effect for guests who desire specific information from which to make their menu selections."
Feel good about heading out of the office for lunch now? No? We don't blame you.
The CSPI's complete list will be published in next month's issue of Nutrition Acton Healthletter.
What did we learn from all this? Perhaps it's best to just cook at home, where you know exactly what's going into your meal.
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