Grinch Who Stole Your Appetite
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I'm sure many of you can relate. We all
know -- and sometimes resent -- at least one ever-lean guy or gal whose waist
size hasn't budged since high school. Yes, I was bitter for a long time, but
I've come to accept the fact I cannot consistently pig out on fast food, junk
food or any other calorie-rich food and expect to look or feel fit.
Don't get me wrong. I still indulge in many
of the "bad foods" I've known and loved since childhood. The difference is I
now know the enemy and avoid it 90 percent of the time. So when you see Mr. Bad
Food flailing away at diet-unfriendly fare in his weekly column, please don't
think of me as The Grinch... some heartless creature trying to rob you of
something that makes you happy. Instead, treat my rants as warnings... warnings
for the vast majority of us who weren't born with a turbocharged fat-burning
The main course way back on January 2, 2002
was the Croissant Pockets Philly Steak & Cheese. I wrote... "According to
the Chef America web page, a single serving (one croissant... about 4 1/2
ounces... 128 grams) has 350 calories, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams saturated fat,
and 790 milligrams sodium. If you're like me and you wolf down the entire
9-ounce package, you're taking in 700 calories, 32 grams of fat, 16 grams of
saturated fat and 1,580 milligrams of sodium (about 2/3 your recommended DAILY
January 9: "According to the Dunkin'
Donuts website, a SINGLE biscuit/sausage/egg/cheese sandwich will slam you with
590 calories, 42 grams of fat (15 grams of saturated fat), 1,620 milligrams of
sodium and 220 milligrams of cholesterol. Those numbers are horrible. There are
many different donuts far less damaging. In fact, you can enjoy TWO of many of
your favorite donuts and still walk away with a far better breakfast."
March 13: "Yes a McDonald's
quarter-pounder has 430 calories and 21 grams of fat. By skipping the cheese I
had saved myself 100 calories and 9 grams of fat. So instead of dwelling
negatively on the burger I ate, I chose to feel proud for having skipped the
many, many extra calories and fat I would have gobbled had I opted for my old
favorite, the double quarter-pounder with cheese."
April 3 (Wendy's Garden
Sensations): "The Spring Mix salad comes with iceberg and Romaine lettuce,
cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red onions, carrots and cheddar cheese. (Does
Wendy's have stock in cheddar cheese?) The nice-looking salad packs a mere 180
calories and 11 grams of fat. Sprinkle on the accompanying packet of
honey-roasted pecans and you add another 130 calories and 13 grams of fat (your
total rises to 310 cals and 24g fat). The packet of house vinaigrette dressing
then clobbers you with a whopping 220 calories and 20 grams of fat. Eat it all
and you walk away with less spring in your step because you've gulped down 530
calories and 44 grams of fat!
"The Mandarin Chicken salad includes
iceberg and Romaine lettuce, spring salad mix, mandarin oranges and diced
chicken. This basic model tallies a wispy 160 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.
You want extras? Roasted almonds will shell you with an additional 130 calories
and 12 grams of fat (total now 290 cals and 13.5g fat). The crispy rice noodles
are a welcome treat at 60 calories and 2 grams of fat, but the Oriental sesame
dressing will open you up to another 280 calories and 21 grams of fat! For the
entire package, you'll pay with 630 calories and 36.5 grams of fat!
"On to the Taco Supremo salad and its
iceberg and Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, cheddar cheese and Wendy's
chili. For starters you get 360 calories and 17 grams of fat. Dig in with the
taco chips and you'll add another 220 calories and 11 grams of fat. The sour
cream will cost you 60 calories and 6 grams of fat, while the salsa is a steal
at 30 calories and 0 fat. The filled out salad features a total of 670 calories
and 34 grams of fat.
"Head back north of the border and opt for
the Chicken BLT salad and you'll dig into iceberg and Romaine lettuce, spring
salad mix, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon pieces and diced
chicken. The nutritional cost: 310 calories and 16 grams of fat. But
weight... there's more! While the homestyle garlic croutons will set you
back just 70 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, the honey mustard dressing will
drown you with another 310 calories and 29 grams of fat. Ugh... the grand total
now stands at 690 calories and 47.5 grams of fat."
April 10: "Just how bad is a
Blazin' Twister? I'll provide you with the nutrition numbers from the official
KFC website. An 8.7-ounce Blazin' Twister has 719 calories, 43 grams of fat
(which is 66% of your suggested daily intake -- if you have the luxury of being
on a 2,000-calorie diet), 12 grams saturated fat (61% RDA), 70mg cholesterol,
1,986mg sodium (a stunning 83% of your RDA), 57 grams of carbs, 4 grams of
fiber, and 30 grams of protein."
June 26: "As my family gathered
round the kitchen table to eat, I did some quick nutritional math. My
McDonald's breakfast burritos alone had cost me much more than the buck each
asking price: 580 calories, 32 grams of fat, 12 grams saturated fat, 340mg
cholesterol (112% of my recommended daily allowance!), and 1,360mg sodium. And
since the $1 menu had offered a double hash brown 'bargain,' I was now
swallowing an additional 260 calories, 16 grams fat (3 saturated), 0
cholesterol, and 660mg sodium. The medium Coke Classic gulped an extra 210
calories. My gone-in-a-minute meal stuffed me with 1,050 calories, 48 grams of
fat and a supersized side of guilt."
July 17: "For you novices, a Dairy
Queen Blizzard is basically a cup of ice cream containing goodies like M&Ms
and other candy bits of your choice. The All-American comes complete with red,
white and blue M&Ms and a liberal dose of chocolate. A small (12oz.) packs
620 calories and 22 grams of fat; a medium (16oz.), 820 cals and 29g of fat; a
large (21oz.) 1,130 cals and 39 grams of fat. Yes, we said 1,130 calories and
39 grams of fat."
August 28: "While strolling through
the local Sam's Club last week I grabbed a bag of Tyson chicken wings and
checked the label. At first glance, the news isn't all that terrible: a serving
of Buffalo Hot Wings has 140 calories and 9 grams of fat (2.5 grams are the
stick to your blood vessels saturated variety). The Honey BBQ version was
slightly worse at 160 calories and 10 grams of fat (2.5 saturated).
However... we are talking TWO WINGS per serving. When was the last time
you attended a party and had just two wings? Never? Me too...
"One regular beer ranges between 150 to 200
calories, while a light beer has only about 100 calories. A 5-ounce glass of
wine has about 100 calories, as does 1-ounce of alcoholic spirits such as
vodka, gin or scotch."
October 23: "These XXL versions
of that classic Swanson TV dinner are belly busters that'll sock you with
nearly a full day's worth of fat and calories AND more than one day's worth of
salt! The Southern Fried Boneless Chicken offering (a heavy disappointment if
you ask me due to its lack of corn or a dessert) has 1,010 calories, 41 grams
of fat (8 saturated), 155mg cholesterol, a stunning 3,180mg sodium, and 85
"The XXL Roasted Carved Turkey sports 970
calories, 40 grams of fat (12 saturated), 105mg cholesterol, 3,600mg sodium and
106 grams of carbs. The XXL Angus Beef Meatloaf has 860 calories, 48 grams of
fat (20 saturated), 140mg cholesterol, 3,480mg sodium and 70grams of
November 13: "One Whopper with
Cheese sandwich packs 795 calories, 53 grams of fat (19 saturated), 115mg
cholesterol, 1,390mg sodium, 51 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 39 grams
"According to the KFC website, 3 Crispy
Strips have 340 calories, 16 grams of fat (4.5 saturated), 70mg cholesterol,
1,140mg sodium, 20 grams of carbs, 0 fiber and 28 grams of protein. The platter
deal shown in the commercial features the standard sides of mashed with gravy
(120 cals and 6g fat), cole slaw (232 cals and 13.5g fat) and biscuit (180 cals
and 10g fat) for an additional 532 calories and 29.5 grams of fat. Ouch!"
December 4: "The experts will tell
you that drinking alcohol is not associated with weight gain. However, when
consumed in excess it can increase your weight. Any form of alcohol is a
'calorie-dense' food. At seven calories per gram, it packs almost twice as many
calories as either carbohydrate or protein. This means a 12-ounce beer will
provide 132 to 168 calories, a 5-ounce glass of wine has 85 to 145 calories and
1.5 ounces of liquor has 124 calories. Mix a 6-ounce non-diet carbonated drink
to your whiskey and you add another 75 calories. This alone is a serious
obstacle when youre trying to lose weight but those bowls of chips and nuts can
also be made more tempting when your inhibitions are down."
Keep in mind that the above snippets are
just a sampling of what Mr. Bad Food discusses week in and week out here in the
Worst of the Worst Foods newsletter. Have a merry Christmas and a happier,
healthier New Year!