XTreme Food Porn

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest just released their annual XTreme Eating list, which highlights some of the most unhealthy foods at U.S. chain restaurants.

photo courtesy of the Huffington Post

On the list of de-honorees? The Cheesecake Factory’s Bistro Shrimp Pasta, made with a butter and cream sauce and topped with battered, fried shrimp, has 3,120 calories and 89 grams of saturated fat and 1,090 milligrams of sodium, according to CSPI, which states it has verified the nutrient content with the restaurants included. However, the Cheesecake Factory claims the dish has (only) 3,020 calories, 79 grams of saturated fat and 1,076 milligrams of sodium.

Either way, it exceeds the recommended 20 grams of saturated fat and gets quite close to the 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day American adults are advised to consume.

As highlighted in this Reuter’s article, other Xtreme Eating winners for 2013 include:

– Johnny Rockets’ Bacon Cheddar Double Hamburger with 1,770 calories, 50 grams of saturated fat and 2,380 milligrams of sodium. An order of sweet potato fries tacks on another 590 calories and 800 milligrams of sodium.

-IHOP’s Country Fried Steak & Egg Combo—deep fried steak with fried eggs plus deep-fried potatoes and two buttermilk pancakes—with 1,760 calories, 23 grams saturated fat, and 3,720 milligrams sodium, and 11 teaspoons added sugar.

– Cheesecake Factory’s Crispy Chicken Costoletta with 2,610 calories, 89 grams of saturated fat and 2,720 milligrams of sodium. Cheesecake Factory told Reuters that dish has 2,560 calories, 86 grams of saturated fat and 2,767 milligrams of sodium. Just for a little perspective, that’s equivalent to the amount of calories in a KFC 12-piece order of fried chicken.

– Smoothie King’s Peanut Power Plus Grape Smoothie, which includes peanut butter, banana, sugar and grape juice. A 40-ounce, large size  has 1,460 calories and 22 teaspoons of added sugar plus 29 teaspoons of naturally occurring sugar.

You can see the whole slideshow here.

What do you think about restaurants serving food with multiple days’ worth of calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar? 

How badly do you want that cookie?

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How do you choose your snacks? Are you a planner or a grabber? I tend to look at snacks as fuel to keep me going through the long stretches between meals. I try to keep healthy options handy so I don’t have to over-think it or stress over finding something at the last minute.

While I can’t say I ever think about how far I’d have to walk to burn off, say a yogurt, I’m always amused (and vaguely horrified) by lists that detail how hard you’d have to work to balance out the calories in various high-cal snacks. In this month’s Nutrition Action Healthletter, the folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest gave us a glimpse into how much physical activity it would take to burn off some popular snack foods.

Five Guys Fries : 620 calories (Regular size – 9 oz.) = Bicycling for 1 hr. 35 min. (9 mph)

Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte w/ Whipped Cream :: 410 calories (Venti – 20 oz.) = Jogging for 50 min.

AMC Popcorn, no added “butter” :: 410 calories (small – 6 cups)= Low-impact aerobics for 1 hr. 15 min.

Panera Chocolate Chipper Cookie :: 440 calories (1 cookie – 3 oz.) = Brisk Walking for 1 hr. 30 min. (3.5 mph)

Crumbs Bake Shop Red Velvet Cupcake :: 500 calories
(1 cupcake – 5 oz.) = Strength Training for 2 hrs. 5 min. (8-15 reps per exercise)

Starbucks Banana Nut Loaf :: 490 calories
(1 piece – 4 oz.) = Swimming Laps for 1 hr. 15 min (not vigorously)

Smoothie King Slim-N-Trim Strawberry :: 560 calories (Medium – 32 oz.) = Doubles Tennis for 1 hr. 50 min.

Pinkberry Original Frozen Yogurt :: 370 calories (Large – 2 cups)= Elliptical Trainer for 1 hr. 5 min. (moderate effort)

From Nutrition Action Healthletter March 2012
*Arizona State University Healthy Lifestyles Research Center

Food Day is Coming

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Happy Friday, guys. What are you up to this weekend? I’m heading out to NJ for a wedding—my last of the season. I’m looking forward to being with my friends this weekend but I’m also looking forward to not having any more big events on the horizon.

Until the holidays, of course. Ugh,my favorite…Well, they’re usually better than I expect them to be.

Speaking of holidays, this upcoming Monday, October 24, is Food Day, which is being relaunched by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) after a 34-year hiatus. Food Day “seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all stripes—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.”

All across the country, all kinds of Food Day events and programs are taking place. Visit Food Day online for information on what’s up in your community or host an event.

Do you have any Food Day plans?