Food For Clot
By Anna Sachse
Thanks to all the grease, salt and sugar, fast food also tastes real good going down. Combine that with quick, easy and cheap and it’s no wonder studies have found that the states with the most fast food restaurants per square mile also have the highest rate of obesity. Another recent study, this time specifically focused on body-fat data from over 1 million California ninth-graders gathered over an eight-year period, found that teens who attend classes within one-tenth of a mile of a fast-food outlet are 5.2 percent more likely to be obese than their peers whose campuses are located farther away. Big surprise.
But harried, car-less, lazy and/or poor people should not despair—there are fast food choices you can make that are significantly better than others. For comprehensive insight into the menus of nearly 70 fast food joints, check out the Stop & Go Fast Food Nutrition Guide by Stephen G. Aldana, Ph.D.
In the meantime, I’ve made you up a crib sheet.
In general, avoid anything breaded, fried or creamy and keep your portions on the small side. Try to select your cheap eats in this order (from best to worst): Sandwich shops, Asian, traditional American fast food without trans fat, pizza, Italian, Mexican, traditional American fast food that uses trans fat, breakfast (‘cuz fast-food breakfast usually consists of fried starches and processed meats).
The following is a round-up of the good, the bad and the ugly at a few fast food faves. Judgments took into account calories, fat, proportion of saturated and trans fats, sodium and processed meats.
THE FORMAT IS:
FOOD ITEM (CALORIES: GRAMS OF FAT: MILLIGRAMS OF SODIUM).
Charbroiled Shrimp Ensalada (230 : 6 : 1,110)
Charbroiled Chicken or Shrimp Taco (250 : 8 : 240)
Charbroiled Shrimp Taco (250 : 8 : 290)
Savory Pork Carnitas Burrito (970 : 52 : 2,320)
Charbroiled Steak Nachos (2,120 : 118 : 2,990)
Hamburger without spread (310 : 10 : 730)
Cheeseburger with onion (480 : 27 : 1,000)
Chocolate Shake (690 : 36 : 350)
Hamburger (260 : 9 : 530)
All of the salads except for those with crispy chicken or any version of the Bacon Ranch
Egg McMuffin (290 : 11 : 850)
Deluxe Breakfast (1,220 : 60 : 1,900)
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (330 : 17 : 1,170)
Plain Bagel with 2 oz. Plain Reduced-Fat Cream Cheese (410 : 13 : 680)
Bad: Chicken Salad on Nine Grain (640 : 9 : 1,340)
Ugly: Italian Combo on Ciabatta (1,050 : 54 : 3,570)
Veggie Lovers Personal Pan Pizza (560 : 22 : 1,250)
Cheese Personal Pan Pizza (640 : 28 : 1,240)
Pepperoni Personal Pan Pizza (640 : 24 : 1,280)
Meat Lovers Personal Pan Pizza (890 : 49 : 2,460)
If you want to play it safe, try Panda Express. From the Kung Pao Chicken to the Mongolian Beef, everything is a pretty good choice as long as you stick to a single serving, generally 5.5 to 8 oz. And there’s also Subway. The Turkey Breast Wrap (190 : 6 : 1,290) and 6-inch Veggie Delite (230 : 3 : 520) are especially smart choices, but you’re pretty much good to go as long as you stick to the salads, soups or a 6-inch sandwich.
Want the very worst thing you could ever eat? Chili’s Awesome Blossom has 2,710 calories, 203 grams of fat and 6,360 milligrams of sodium. It’s kind of like taking a shit on your heart.