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Dec 13, 2010 07:28 AM

Men's Health "20 Worst Foods" of 2010

of course in this case "worst" refers to nutritional value...

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  1. i would still polish off the Uno's Deep Dish Sundae. Do not care about the calories.

    14 Replies
    1. re: mattstolz

      okay, i have to ask, calories aside, do you really *enjoy* every bite? granted i'm not a huge sweets person to begin with, and i'm petite so my average meal size is appreciably smaller than that of the average American, but i still don't see the appeal of eating such an enormous portion of something like that [actually anything, really] in one sitting.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        to be totally honest, i would probably TRULY enjoy very little of it. as a competing bodybuilder and health enthusiast, after a bite or two of some of those meals the guilt would start to kick into high gear and i would be feeling guilty far more than i would be enjoying the food.

        1. re: mattstolz

          okay, then why "polish it off?" and don't give me that nonsense about bulking up - i've trained and worked with top pro bodybuilders, and there are better ways to do it than that :)

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Don't you ever want to just be "bad"? While I'm the furthest thing from a bodybuilder, I've recently lost about 30 pounds and am in the best shape I've been in since I was 20. That doesn't mean I won't eat ridiculously unhealthy things from time to time.

            1. re: donovt

              sure, i just can't wrap my brain around the absurd *volume* of food when it comes to these things. i'm all for indulgence, but if i want ice cream and cookies, i don't want 2 pounds of it!

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Yeah, I guess that's why I had the 30 pounds to lose in the first place :)

                1. re: donovt

                  ha! i actually meant to comment about that in my other reply - congrats on the weight loss! it can be a real challenge for anyone, but i know it's particularly tough for Chowhounds :)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Thanks!! It was easier than I thought. Started eating more fruit and veggies for snacks instead of things like the Sundae, did away with soda, switched to yogurt for breakfast instead of bacon egg and cheese. Still eat whatever I want for dinner or if we go out for lunch.

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  When I was in high school I used to routinely pound down a half gallon of ice cream by I'm done after three bites. How things change!

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                its more the IDEA of polishing it off than the fact that i actually would. i keep far too careful track of my calories to ever actually polish it off, and even when im "bulking up" and easily over 4000 calories a day, it is still all VERY clean food in my case. but there are times, when im in my 19th week of dieting, have lost 40lbs, and am at half the calorie intake i was a couple months earlier, that the idea of sitting down with a entire pizza's worth of cookie dough and ice cream and polishing it off just sounds like the most fantastic thing in the entire world.

                so in short, its more of a fantasy thing than a "i would literally do that" thing haha... in a perfect world where i didnt have to worry about calories (or the night after a contest), i would love every bite.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I always say "polish it off" in my head, but rarely make it so.

                  But I might be able to hog down that deep dish and baconator and that triple decker shrimp sandwich all in one sitting if I were pushed.

                  See how that works? LOL

                  Don't most people share that sundae thing? And a whole pizza? Most do not sit down to one alone. So it is a tad disingenuous of them, but it fills the mag.

                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                    The pizza was the "personal" size, so in theory meant for one. The sundae, not so much.

              3. Pfffft, for some reason the "next" button won't work for me. I'll try again later, just in case. I'd like to see the list.

                1 Reply
                1. re: LulusMom

                  Finally got this to work. Pretty much stuff I wouldn't think of eating anyway ... but I agree with mattstolz that sometimes these things are worth a little evilness.

                2. I just love how Men's Health makes up lists just to sell books.

                  Amazing what people will buy.

                  Why didn't I think of this first.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    at least theres a "eat this instead" section.

                    however i agree, those choices are completely random, and i highly doubt are actually even the worst damage you could do to a diet in a night of eating out.

                  2. What I find interesting about these (not having had many of them, granted) is that they are such MASSIVE portions.

                    One of the items I have eaten is the Chicken dish from Cheesecake Factory [I know, I know, how "unChow" of me ;-) ]. My wife and I can split it and there's STILL enough left for two more portions equal to what we just consumed. So yeah it might be 2000 calories or whatever, but sheesh, does anyone actually eat the entire plate in one sitting?!?

                    I tend to agree with ipse, this is purely a marketing ploy to push more of these "Eat this, not this" books.

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: a213b

                      You'd be surprised what people could and do eat in one sitting. Especially in a place like CF.. think about it... if you're dining with a group and the food is on the plate and the conversation keeps going... lots of people would just keep eating till it's gone.

                      A friend of mine goes there b/c they have 'healthy' options on the menu. She'll get a salad with grilled fish, but won't request no oil, no sauce, no cheese, lowfat dressing. The amount of full fat dressing on the salad probably has more calories than one should be consuming in a day.

                      1. re: cheesecake17

                        haha ive looked up the calories in some of those "healthy" options in preparation for going there... its really just ridiculous. its also so sad that restos are willing to mislead people like that by labeling some of those meals as healthy when they contain just as many calories as things not on the healthy menu

                        1. re: mattstolz

                          What's even worse is that, while pretty much anyone knows those foods aren't exactly healthful fare, it's impossible to know just HOW awful they are.

                          That kid's mac & cheese? I wouldn't have guessed it's over 1,000 calories. But then I am blown away by the calorie content of a simple whopper (i used to get a jr. w/cheese until the last one which was so freaking horrible i won't be missing those anymore, either).

                          1. re: mattstolz

                            sometimes the meals aren't labelled as healthy, but they just sound healthy. Like a salad that has fruit and grilled chicken. But.. it also has cheese, croutons, oily or mayo dressing, fried something or other, and nuts.

                            I wonder... do diners purposely overlook these details and think "salad = healthy?" Or are diners just not aware that these components add calories and fat?

                            1. re: cheesecake17

                              i think that the average diner overlooks these details, and thinks that veg=healthy regardless of what you put on it. kind of like the ranch commercials ("theres a place called hidden valley where kids cant get enough veg" where the kids are swimming in bowls of ranch dressing).

                              i think not only that, but some restos legitimately think they are offering a healthy option by offering a salad, regardless of what they put on it

                              1. re: cheesecake17

                                "I wonder... do diners purposely overlook these details and think "salad = healthy?" Or are diners just not aware that these components add calories and fat?"
                                the former. unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, you have at least SOME sense that chowing down on something loaded with fried tortilla strips, cheese, sour cream, oily dressing, etc isn't going to whittle your waistline.

                                and regarding portion size, i think that at this point *everyone* knows on some level that these ginormous servings are inappropriate, but in the frenetic settings in which they're consumed (fast-food joints or crowded, fast-casual restaurants with loud music and chirpy, up-selling servers), the atmosphere just encourages them to shovel it in mindlessly and heedlessly.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  I think it has less to do with portion size per meal, than it has to do with portion size per day.

                                  In other words, people just aren't aware of how much they consume for the entire day, which I think is more important than focusing on how much one eats per meal.

                                  There's nothing wrong with eating a ginormous Chili's burger with fries and ranch dressing if the rest of your meals for that day are just simple fruits and veggies.

                                  The problem is someone will eat one of these supposedly "20 Worst Foods" for lunch and then when they go home pickup a large pizza for dinner.

                                  And really, portion sizes are personal, no? What's a portion for me may only be half a portion to someone else.

                                  I know, for a scientifically validated fact, that 2 Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and a large Vanilla Milkshake constitute but ONE serving for me ...

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Thinking about this.. I remember a scene in a college nutrition class for health science majors. The teacher just got through explaining how a good-for-you lunch could be a salad with chicken and brown rice. The salad had veg, the chicken had protein, and the rice was a carbohydrate.

                                    Guy in class raised his hand and honestly questioned the teacher. "Why isn't a big mac healthy? It's got carbs (bun), protein (meat AND cheese) and vegetables (lettuce AND ketchup). The teacher looked shocked, but the guy was really asking honestly.

                                    So hey... maybe some people *are* living under a rock!

                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                      college nutrition classes taught me a lot.

                                      mainly that the majority of nutrition majors have no idea what theyre talking about [no offense meant to any of you nutrition majors out there... im sure youre not in the majority ;) ]

                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      I think people go out to dinner to enjoy themselves, not to count their calories. In fact I used to voice caloric concerns just about my own food while out and - well I do not do that anymore. People who want to know can figure it out for themselves. Those who don't should be granted their desire to remain blissfully ignorant.

                                      And it is not just fast food or chains that pile on the calories. But what would be the fun in hunting down a place few could relate to when adding up the cals.

                                      About portion size - I think people get used to the giant portions and stop realizing it is big. Especially if you eat out a lot. I am careful about portioning because I love to eat and I graze. But I have to really watch my plate when out and have had to get downright pissy when they seem miffed when I want to box up my food (mostly foreign countries, mainly Swiss).

                                      Also, I think there was a reference to Americans being gorgaholics (other words). Unfortunately people world wide will be gorgers and plumper as their economic status and food availability improves. They eat more meat - sometimes for B, L and D when before they may have only had it a couple times per week. Some only a generation ago had extreme food insecurity and now tis new generation has no sense of that.

                                      Finally, I make it a practice not to order dinner salads out. Even if it is with the dressing on the side. I WILL eat the bacon and avocado and the cheese and the crouts. it won't keep in my fridge and I will eat the ENTIRE thing because I am a clean plater (who only gets around that if I can order small things or take home half).

                                      Whew. Out of breath! better lay off the pumpkin bread! Or should i have said "The baconater"? I am gonna have one of those one day.

                                2. re: cheesecake17

                                  Sad but true.....Most members of the Dining Public equate quality with "MASSIVE portions; and we wonder why 27% of adult population in the U.S. is OBESE.

                                3. re: a213b

                                  Judging the amount of posts waxing rhapsodic over Velveeta and boxed mac and cheese and other things they "eat in secret" or what not - I think you are safely chowhoundy eating the chicken at Cheesecake Factory.

                                  I have seen a person eat a 52 ounce piece if prime rib (not including the bone!), a potato the size of a baby's head (fully loaded with butter and sour cream), a salad, G-d knows how many rolls and probably 5 very stiff liquor drinks (he left the broccoli) all in one sitting. One of his table mates ate a 2 pound filet mignon. I know! Not at all mignon! That was years ago and I still remember it vividly.

                                  I digress. My point is people can eat more than you think and PLENTY - I'd say most finish what is given to them at restaurants. And Chows love a broad spectrum of chow.

                                4. Holy crap. I mean, how on earth can a shrimp pasta dish add up to almost 3,000 calories??? Seriously, do they add a pound of butter or something?

                                  Thankfully, pretty much all those foods look utterly disgusting to me (just like any other food commercial on TV for TGIF's, Chili's, Olive Garden etc pp), save for _maybe_ the grilled shrimp club sandwich or whatever the hell that was. Still -- where do ALL those calories come from?

                                  Gross, is what that is.

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    finishing with olive oil, massive quantities, and tons of cheese and bacon add up fast. as do buttering breads to toast them

                                    1. re: mattstolz

                                      The olive oil wouldn't explain the saturated fat, however.

                                      1. re: observor

                                        thats true. from what ive seen the amount of butter just randomly thrown around in most kitchens though is just ridiculous haha.

                                    2. re: linguafood

                                      People always think it's the fat, but starches are very calorically dense, too. Together, you may just apply them directly to your gut, thighs and butt. :-)

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        Well, a cup of cooked pasta has about 200 calories. That would be 15 cups of pasta.


                                        1. re: linguafood

                                          And honestly, after the first 10 cups or so, who's counting? :-) It would not surprise me if the pasta accounted for up to half the calories, perhaps.

                                          I thought all the foods looked disgusting, too. And all that low quality protein and fat was layered with blobs of calorie dense, mostly nutrient free starch. I'm guessing the salad minus the dressing, or more lightly dressed, might not be such a calorie bomb, though with enough avocado, it can add up, but at least it's high nutrient calories.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            I think the sad thing about the salad is that everyone knows the other foods are bad for you but how many people are ignorant enough to think, "Ooh, salad, I'll be healthy and get that!" I'd say it's a good number.

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              The salad *is* healthy minus the tortilla strips and the probable half cup of dressing that's being counted in the total. Savvy diners, at least, can have a healthy meal from it. In my case, it'd be minus the tortilla strips, black bean and corn salsa, most of the dressing (I'd probably ask for and use plain vinegar or lemon with the avocado providing the fat), s and p. Most places have it listed at 500 calories, but TGIF does not provide much info for it; I'm guessing that's the salad minus the dressing, which every diner pretty much knows is optional and a calorie bomb. Having eaten at at TGIF not long ago when on the run, I think I had this very salad; it was so sloppily thrown together, and skimpy on the good stuff that I'm pretty sure I'd never go back even on a dare, though.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                The key is the "savvy" dinner. I don't think that's most people. It might seem obvious to people who have a rudimentary understanding of nutrition but that's not the general population. Overall, I'm not saying a salad isn't healthy or can't be made healthier, just that that particular salad, as served, isn't and most people don't know it. No one would order the triple baconator and think he/she were getting a healthy meal but this salad is deceptive.

                                                1. re: chowser

                                                  IIRC, they serve that dressing on the side; most online calcs say the salad itself is 500 calories and you can only imagine the size of the dressing portion, which comes in a gravy boat, IIRC. I agree that if you look around you, it's clear that a lot of us aren't savvy diners, but most folks know that dressing piles on the lbs, at least. They may use it anyway...and eat the chips. I ordered it sans chips and used little dressing. It was a skimpy mess.