What are the worst fast foods and restaurants that I should stay away from? Sodium and sugar are my biggest concerns. I sometimes have no choice but to grab my dinner eating out due to my schedule and I want to choose the best options. Please include the fat and calorie count too.
Conscious Calorie Counter
Dear Calorie Counter,
Here are nine restaurants and choices that rank the worst in terms of saturated fat, sugar and sodium. Keep in mind that foods like nuts, avocado, and olive oil are healthy fats but limit total fat to between 56 to 78 grams PER DAY. Sugar in foods, such as in breads and yogurts – 24 grams for women, 34 for men PER DAY. For salt (sodium), the recommended daily intake is 1,500 milligrams to 2,300 milligrams (about a teaspoon) PER DAY.
The worst is Sonic’s Asian Sweet Chili Boneless Wings 24 Piece: calories 1,860; fat content (trans fat) 2.0 grams; sodium: 5,820 milligrams, sugar 56.0 grams. A Sonic Blast with M&M’S Minis chocolate candies (large): calories 1,540; fat (trans fat) 2.0 grams; sodium 680 milligrams; sugar 138.0 grams. Sonic’s large Peanut Butter Shake: calories 1,490; fat content (trans fat) 2.0 grams; sodium 770 milligrams; sugar 91.0 grams.
Burger King: Rodeo King Burger calories 1,480; fat content (trans fat) 5.0 grams; sodium 2,340 milligrams; sugar 14.0 g.
Hardees 2/3-pound cheeseburger: calories: 1,300; fat content (trans fat) 3.5 grams; sodium 3,140 milligrams; sugar 13.0 g. Hardees 2/3-pound Monster Thickburger: calories 1,300; fat content (trans fat) 4.0 grams; sodium 3,140 milligrams; sugar 13.0 g.
Burger King: Triple Whopper w/cheese: calories 1,220; fat content (trans fat) 5.0 grams; sodium 1,470 milligrams; sugar 11.0 grams. Burger King Bacon King sandwich: calories 1,150; fat content (trans fat) 3.5 grams; sodium 2,150 milligrams; sugar 10.0 grams.
Popeye’s 10-piece Chicken Livers: calories 1,190; fat content (trans fat) 5.0 grams; sodium 2,070 milligrams; sugar 3.0 grams.
Scrutinizing the amount of fat, sugar, and salt in every food you eat isn’t realistic, but it’s important to learn the proper health guidelines so you can aim for the recommended totals. Not sure where to start? Try checking the labels on some of your favorite foods to kick-start your awareness and tailor what you’re buying at the grocery store.
I challenge you to limit yourself to the guidelines for fat, sugar and salt for three days and see if you can. You may see yourself increasing your fat intake whilst decreasing what you eat in sugar quantities.
Eating out will always sabotage you with huge excesses for your daily counts. My advice is to brown bag it if you can and make eating out only a special treat. Your pocketbook will thank you as well! Remember: You will always do what you want, and if you don’t, you’ll always have an excuse for it.
Barb Rock is a mental health counselor and the published author of “Run Your Own Race: Happiness after 50.” Send any questions related to mental health, relationships or life issues to her at BarbRockrocks@yahoo.com.