Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What's the worst food in America?

The book series "Eat This Not That" uses pictures and catchy graphics to compare which foods and food products have the best and worst nutrition lineups. The results are heavily focused on chain and fast-food restaurants and prepared foods. But it always makes fascinating reading.

The 2012 edition just landed on my desk, giving author David Zinczenko's picks for the 20 worst restaurant dishes. Are you sure you're ready? OK, here goes:

1. Worst Food in America: The Cheesecake Factory Bistro Shrimp Pasta. 2,730 calories, 78 grams of saturated fat, and 919 mg sodium. (Cheesecake Factory has won their title for Worst Restaurant in America 4 years in a row.)
2. Worst Chicken Entree: Cheesecake Factory Chicken and Biscuits. 2,580 calories, 68g saturated fat, 2,621mg sodium.
3. Worst Ribs: TGI Friday's Caribbean Rockin' Reggae Ribs. 2,450 calories, 52g saturated fat, 3,810mg sodium.
4. Worst Breakfast: IHOP Big Country Breakfast with Country Fried Steak and Country Gravy. 2,440 calories, 145g fat (56g saturated), 5,520mg sodium.
5. Worst Appetizer: Applebee's Appetizer Sampler. 2,430 calories, 166g fat (48g saturated), 6,070mg sodium.
6. Worst Pizza: Uno Chicago Grill Individual Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza. 2,310 calories, 165g fat (54g saturated), 4,650mg sodium.
7. Worst Burger: Chili's Jalapeno Smokehouse Bacon Burger With Ranch. 2,210 calories, 144g fat (46g saturated), 6,600mg sodium.
8. Worst Fish Meal: Culver's North Atlantic Cod Filet Meal. 2,156 calories, 140g fat (21g saturated, 2g transfats), 2,378mg sodium.
9. Worst Mexican Meal: On the Border Dos XX Fish Tacos. 2,150 calories, 144g fat (31g saturated), 3,740mg sodium.
10. Worst Fries: Chili's Texas Cheese Fries With Chili and Ranch. 2,120 calories, 144g fat (69g saturated), 5,920mg sodium.
11. Worst Dessert: Baskin-Robbins Fudge Brownie 31-Degree Below (large). 1,900 calories, 80g fat (39g saturated, 1.5g transfat), 1,350mg sodum, 225g sugars.
12. Worst Sandwich: The Cheesecake Factory Grilled Shrimp & Bacon Club. 1,890 calories, 24g saturated fat, 2,964mg sodium.
13. Worst Chinese Entree: PF Chang's Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo. 1,820 calories, 84g fat (8g saturated), 7.692mg sodium.
14. Worst Fast-Food Burger: Sonic Ring Leader Loaded Burger Double Patty. 1,660 calories, 120g fat (44g saturated, 4g transfat), 1,450mg sodium.
15. Worst Salad: California Pizza Kitchen Waldorf Chicken Salad With Blue Cheese Dressing. 1,561 calories, 31g saturated fat, 1,821mg sodium.
16. Worst Frankenfood: Friendly's Grilled-Cheese Burger. 1,540 calories, 92g fat (35g saturated), 2,490mg sodium.
17. Worst Fast-Food Breakfast: Burger King BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter. 1,310 calories, 72g fat (26f saturated, 1g transfat), 2,490mg sodium.
18. Worst "Healthy" Sandwich: Quiznos Veggie, large. 1,090 calories, 61g fat (19g saturated), 2,540mg sodium.
19. Worst Supermarket Food: Hungry-Man Pub Favorites Classic Fried Chicken. 1,030 calories, 62g fat (14g saturated -- transfat isn't listed on the package), 1,610mg sodium.
20. Worst Side Dish: TGI Friday's Loaded Mashed Potatoes. 930 calories (no other nutrition provided).


Anonymous said...

Applebees also wins 'worst fish and chips', unless you like biting into an army helmet.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, a lot of the diners would actually fry hamburger buns on the greasy grill to warm them.

I can only imagine what that added to the nutritional value of the meal.

Anonymous said...

But that grill warmed bun was sooooo good!!!!

Kathleen Purvis said...

I don't think the grill-warmed bun or even the grill grease was the problem. It's the multiple patties, piles of bacon and cheese and serving sizes big enough to feed a family of three. And what was really scary to me on all those numbers wasn't the fat (well, not JUST the fat). It was the astonishing amounts of sodium.

Waxhaw said...

Kathleen, maybe you can help me here -- years ago, one of the Observer's columnists, and I'm sorry, I can't remember who, but it was a woman, wrote a great column about the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at Shoney's, and the rather large people who tended to patronize it. If you could dig that up, it would be great.

I remember "mounds of scrambled eggs glistening with fat," bacon strips and sausage links by the half-dozen, and on the second trip through the line, the customers would add a slice of melon, as if to absolve themselves of sin.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list, I plan on starting a taste testing tour. mmmm!

Anonymous said...

ANY chinese resturant in dallas followed by texas,,mex cooks who think a can of pees and carrots dumped in rice with a little soy sauce is fried rice,,its downhill from there,,Ill give you 50 mex places for one decent chinese