This is a bad bad list, people. Nasty. Men's Health has published a list of the top 20 Worst Foods in America. Usually it's fun to look at gut bombs, but after cruising through this list you'll want to brush your teeth and wash your face.
The list is part of Men's Health on-going "Eat This, Not That" series. For instance, instead of the large Cinnabon Caramel Pecanbon, they suggest a four pack of the Cinnabon classic bites (also sold at Burger King) for just 420 calories, 17 grams of fat and 25 grams of sugar.
Ah, but yet another failed diet plan. Maybe if you plan to run 10 miles the Cinnabon bites are OK. Otherwise this is just the lesser of two evils.
Here's a look at a few items off the "Eat This, Not That", but with an even better local option.
The queen of the disco here, coming in at number one on the list shaking their shameless portly figure in a tight white unitard in the middle of the dance floor is The Cheesecake Factory's French Toast Napoleon. One plate (it can't be one "serving," because their plates are usually enough for a family of seven) has 2,530 calories; the fat content is "N/A" -- self preservation?
Instead, you should eat TCF's 690-calorie Energy Breakfast, which is scrambled egg whites with chicken breast, tomato, mushrooms and spinach. Half of that would actually be a good breakfast.
Even Better Local Option: Belly up to a table at the Rosemont for the oatmeal waffles, a bowl of steel-cut Irish oats, or Smoke's granola parfait with caramelized bananas wrapped in a soft golden sheen. Or if you need something with more muscle, try the Deep Bowl at Company Café -- grass-fed beef and sweet potato has, topped with avocado and two cage free eggs.
The Worst Burger is Chili's Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger. Men's Health describes it as a, "blatant display of excess translates into a sandwich with more calories than seven McDonald's cheeseburgers and more than four times your recommended daily allotments of salt and saturated fat."
Even Better Local Option: Liberty Burger offers burgers not so guilt-laden. They have a lean bison burger, a Woodstock burger loaded with vegetables and an all white meat chicken patty that is ground with nuts and berries. Slap that on either a cracked wheat of organic Hippy Pullman bread and you're golden. The Worst Pizza is an Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Individual Pizza. The MH's writer is just pissed at this point:
"Truth be told, we're running out of ways to express its nutritional transgressions, so we'll break it down like this: If you ate just one of these "individual" pies each week, you'd take in enough calories to gain 34 pounds in a year."
Even Better Local Option: I don't have the caloric information for one of Jay Jerrier's pies at Il Cane Rosso, but a quick glance will tell you that based on dough alone, it has to be half the calories - possibly even a quarter. Order any pie that's easy on the cheese, heavy on vegetables (many are anyway), and geez, it's already the best pizza in the city.
Number 11 on the worst of list is Worst Health-Food Fraud: Cheesecake Factory Grilled Chicken and Avocado Club.
Did you just roll your eyes? Good. You should. Let's not even address it (OK, let's do: 1,750 calories and again fat content is MIA on account of loss of all dignity).
Even Better Local Option: It's impossible not to eat healthy at the Southpaw's Organic Grill (3227 Mckinney and 6009 Berkshire Lane). There aren't even self-indulgent options. But, it's also actually tastes good. Like mom, they sort of trick you into eating well. If you didn't read the menu and someone just handed you a plate, you might not realize that each ingredient in the dishes is thoughtfully chosen. Plus, the owner hangs all his triathlon numbers on the wall for inspiration (or guilt), so you never feel like you're depriving yourself, but rather doing what's right. They also have a nice patio at their McKinney location.
on the list is the Outback Steakhouse Chocolate Thunder from Down Under. Me and any number of my friends or relatives could plow through that in under three minutes. We'd high-five across the table after. Then, feel like crap the rest of the day from the 105 grams of fat and 1,554 calories.
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SHOW ME HOW
suggests to instead eat a slice of classic cheesecake for 334 calories.
We can do even better than that though.
Even Better Local Option: Going on a complete lack of actual nutritional information, I'm going to gander a guess that Malai Kitchen's banana pot de crème is a much better option. Hard chips of pure dark chocolate (probably less than one ounce, but more than enough to cure a chocolate craving) with a perfectly caramelized banana in a bowl of lightly toasted rich custard can't be too bad (a cup of custard has about 230 calories). Actually, it's amazing.