The LA Times reported yesterday on 4 of the most terrible fast-food meals. And let’s face it, if we can’t indulge in the meals we at least want to indulge in the shock and awe we get from reading about the obscene number of calories we are missing out on. Yes my friends, it’s food porn…let’s begin!
David Zinczenko, co-author of “Eat This, Not That” advises us to beware of menu items that contain the words “triple,” “loaded,” “combo,” or for the love of God, “Baconator.”
Highlighted in the LA times article entitled “Among fast food meals, these may be some of the biggest offenders”:
- · Domino’s Chicken Carbonara BreadBowl Pasta, which takes bread, somehow infuses it with pasta, and smothers it in alfredo sauce. But for the health-conscious, it includes “grilled, 100% all-white-meat chicken.” The price tag is 1480 calories, but price is no object, this is porn after all!
- · KFC’s Half Spicy Crispy Chicken Meal with macaroni and cheese, potato wedges, and a biscuit: 1,660 calories. And God-knows-how-many carbs. Two words….Eat vegetable!
Wendy’s Triple Baconator Combo Meal with small fries and a small coke: This item contains 2 of the “bad words” we are supposed to avoid. The sandwich is piled with three hamburger patties, three slices of cheese, and nine strips of bacon. The sandwich itself contains 1,360 calories and 40 grams of saturated fat (the artery-clogging stuff). The meal in total is 1,850 calories. Just imagine if you upgraded to the large fries and large coke. What the hell, it’s been a long day. You deserve to induce yourself into a coma now and again.
- · Quiznos’ Large Tuna Melt with Cheetos: Eat more fish, right? It’s healthy? The mayo and cheese especially make healthy taste oh so good! This meal contains 1,900 calories, frighteningly approaching the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 2000 calories per day. But 2000 calories is just an average, so there’s a margin of variance right? Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes, throw in the large coke!
In all seriousness, this is why I’m such a proponent of nutrition information being available in restaurants. Just imagine if on the menu right next to the price of the meal, the more important cost in calories was listed. Even though somewhere deep inside you know the triple baconator is not what you should be eating for lunch, that fact is easily pushed aside because you don’t have to see the consequences of your choice. That is, until the end of the week when you step on the scale, or until the end of the year when your doctor tells you your cholesterol is high. But these effects are not right in your face until they are actually right in your face. I think a calorie value on the menu would be a great way to bring a crucial moment of sobriety to many people in the fast food line. But until then, we must request or look up the nutrition facts, and gawk at the train wreck that is…food porn.