20 Worst Foods in America, 2009

Budget101 Discussion List Archives Pantry Chat 20 Worst Foods in America, 2009

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      By David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding

      Can an appetizer with the caloric equivalent of 13 Krispy Kreme doughnuts be justified? No. The 2,710-calorie Awesome Blossom has been purged from Chili’s menu–maybe the fat-drenched appetizer couldn’t withstand the scrutiny of being named to the Eat This, Not That!

      list of the Worst Foods in America last year. No matter the reason, we applaud this waist-expanding starter’s retirement.

      The deep-fried onion wasn’t the only thing to withdraw from last year’s race–more than 10 other items from 2008’s lineup have been removed from menus (or mysteriously had their calorie counts lowered). That’s a step in the right direction, and it’s good news for your waistline.

      The bad news? There are plenty of frightening foods still at large across the country. After another year of menu investigation, we’ve come up with this year’s list of the most calorie-laden, fat-riddled, sodium-swaddled, sugar-spiked dishes in America.

      Eat at your own risk.

      worst “healthy” sandwich
      blimpie veggie supreme (12″)
      1,106 calories
      56 g fat (33 g saturated fat)
      2,831 mg sodium
      96 g carbohydrates

      Sure, a Veggie Supreme sandwich sounds healthy, but this foot-long comes with three different kinds of cheese, and it’s drenched in oil. After Blimpie gets done with this vegetarian nightmare, you’d be better off consuming two Big Macs than sitting down with this sandwich.

      Don’t be fooled by “healthy” foods—replace these 14 imposters with delicious alternatives that satisfy without expanding your waistline.

      worst kids’ meal
      chili’s pepper pals country-fried chicken crispers with ranch dressing and homestyle fries
      1,110 calories
      82 g fat (15 g saturated)
      1,980 mg sodium
      56 g carbohydrates

      Most kids, if given the choice, would live on chicken fingers for the duration of their adolescent lives. If those chicken fingers happened to come from Chili’s, it might be a shorter one. A moderately active 8-year-old boy should eat around 1,600 calories a day.

      This single meal plows through 75 percent of that allotment. So unless he plans to eat carrots and celery sticks for the rest of the day (and we know he doesn’t), find a healthier chicken alternative.

      See our rankings of kids’ restaurants so you can help your children pick the best options every time.

      worst dessert
      romano’s macaroni grill dessert ravioli
      1,630 calories
      74 g fat
      33 g saturated fat
      1,150 mg sodium
      223 g carbohydrates

      Would you eat a Quarter Pounder for dessert? How about four? That’s how many it takes to match the calorie-load of this decadent dish.

      It’s the quickest way to ruin what may have been a sensible dinner. (Then again, if dinner was at Macaroni Grill, chances are it was anything but sensible.)

      worst burger
      chili’s smokehouse bacon triple-the-cheese big mouth burger with jalapeno ranch dressing
      2,040 calories
      150 g fat (53 g saturated)
      110 g protein
      4,900 mg sodium

      You know this burger’s in trouble when it takes more than 20 syllables just to identify it. If you think the name’s a mouthful, just wait until the burger hits the table. You’ll be face-to-face with two-and-a-half days’ worth of fat—a full third of which is saturated.

      To do that much damage with roasted sirloin, you’d have to eat about eight 6-ounce steaks. (It’s nearly three days’ worth of saturated fat.)

      Not all burgers are created equal. See if your favorite is a healthy indulgence or a grease slab on a bun.

      worst starter
      uno chicago grill pizza skins (full order)
      2,400 calories
      155 g fat (50 g saturated)
      3,600 mg sodium

      This appetizer is like eating a Large Domino’s Hand-Tossed Sausage Pizza! Would you ever think of saying to a waiter: “Why don’t you start me off with a large meat pizza?” If you’re ordering for a party of more than five, it might be OK, but for smaller groups, it’s tilting toward gluttony gone wild. Order the Thai Vegetable Pot Stickers instead—the only item carrying fewer than 800 calories.

      If you want to eat a little something before your meal, be sure to avoid the worst appetizers in America.

      The Worst Food of 2009
      Baskin Robbins Large Chocolate Oreo Shake
      2,600 calories
      135 g fat (59 g saturated fat, 2.5 g trans fats)
      263 g sugars
      1,700 mg sodium

      We didn’t think anything could be worse than Baskin Robbins’ 2008 bombshell, the Heath Bar Shake. After all, it had more sugar (266 grams) than 20 bowls of Froot Loops, more calories (2,310) than 11 actual Heath Bars, and more ingredients (73) than you’ll find in most chemist labs. Rather than coming to their senses and removing it from the menu, they did themselves one worse and introduced this caloric catastrophe.

      It’s soiled with more than a day’s worth of calories and three days worth of saturated fat, and, worst of all, usually takes less than 10 minutes to sip through a straw.

      For the complete list of the 20 Worst Foods in America 2009, check out these rankings and the best options to eat instead of the gut bombs!

      Liquid calories add up quickly—especially if you’re sipping any of the 20 unhealthiest drinks in America.

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Pantry Chat 20 Worst Foods in America, 2009