Low Fat Is Out, High Fat Is In

This past week, the Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI) came out with a startling report about high fat meals and appetizers on restaurant menus. Remember when low fat was in? Remember when you used to see those little hearts next to menu items because they were heart healthy? Some of the meals you will read about below should have little icons of heart defibrillators next to them. It seems like all of that heart healthiness has gone out the window with what CSPI calls X-treme Eating.

And extreme it is. Several major restaurant chains including Ruby Tuesdays, Uno Chicago Grill, Cheesecake Factory, On The Border and others have gone completely crazy trying to quench our ever increasing lust for high fat foods. It is almost as if they are trying to out do each other for the Grand Gluttony Prize.

Two of the most extreme menu items come in at nearly 2,000 calories or over and one is an appetizer. Yes, the Pizza Skins at Uno’s is an appetizer. Read what the menu at Uno Chicago Grill says about this artery clogger, “We start with our famous deep dish crust, add mozzarella and red bliss mashed potatoes, and top it off with crispy bacon, cheddar and sour cream,” so says the menu. Voilà! Pizza Skins.” You might as well be drinking a glass of warm olive oil, or even motor oil, since there isn’t an ounce of nutrition in either.

After you’ve gorged yourself on the appetizer from Uno Pizzeria, head on over to Ruby Tuesday’s and have their Colossal Burger, and an entire vascular system replacement why you are at it. This colossal monstrosity tips the scales at 1,940 calories and gives you a death wish 141 grams of fat. Can you spell g-l-u-t-t-o-n-y?

Now let’s have dessert at Cold Stone Creamery and a Founder’s Favorite (is the founder still alive?) in the Gotta Have It Size. (All these creative name for sizes, why don’t they be realistic and call them double, triple or quadruple bypass sizes!) You will need all your fingers and toes to count the calories in this one at 1,740 and 48 grams of fat.

Now that we’ve had a filling meal let’s count the whole thing up. With some time at the San Diego Supercomputer Center I was able to come up with a total meal calories of 5,730 and a total fat content of 237 grams. We can’t add up the total sodium because Ruby Tuesday’s stays silent on the sodium content of their Colossal Burger. They could tell you, but then they’d have to kill…oh wait, they’re already doing that with the burger.

So there, if you’ve eaten this wonderful meal provided by three big franchise restaurants, you’ve eaten more than 5,700 calories worth of garbage and help contribute to the $1.3 trillion in health care costs in this country for a single year. Granted this is an extreme example, but the calories in a meal like this could feed nearly 3 people for a day instead of 1 person for a single meal. The high fat content of this meal is bad enough, but on top of that, this food is pure junk and nutritionally void. Obviously that doesn’t matter to the restaurants that serve this stuff.

Okay Ruby Tuesday’s, Coldstone, Uno Chicago Grill, where does it end? How much fat will you stuff into the next meal you dream up? To which culinary school does one go to learn the finer art of creating one of these orgies of gastronomy? How close is the Colossal Burger to creating its own gravitational field? Enough is enough.

If you don’t want the government interfering in your business, like they are doing in New York City with the ban on trans fats, then don’t give them a reason.


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