Flickr photo by Prince RoyNow I know why I never take my family out to eat. It's only partly because it costs a fortune and because my kids will sit for all of seven minutes before the game of hide-and-seek under other patrons' tables starts up -- but it's because of those awful CALORIES.
Enter KFC's Double Down, 540 calories of salty bacon and cheese goodness sandwiched between fried chicken. You've heard a lot of talk about this. The guys in my office are in love with this sandwich and regularly make a lunchtime pilgrimage.
I've privately cringed at the thought of such a high-fat lunch, but recently the The Week featured a list of seven popular chain-restaurant meals that make KFC's now infamous Double Down sandwich look like something they'd serve at a weight-loss spa.
I honestly didn't think it possible to cram upward of 4,000 calories and 4,000 mg of salt (twice the recommended daily intake) into a singular midday meal, but here's just a few to prove me wrong.
Beef Back Ribs from Claim Jumper = 4,301 calories and 7,623 mg of salt
Fresh Mex Sampler from Chevys = 2,560 calories and 4,130 mg of salt
Jalapeno Smokehouse Burger from Chili's = 2,130 calories and 6,460 mg of salt
Truthfully, I wasn't shocked about the ribs and burgers being bad for you. But, upon further investigation, I was quite stunned to find that some of the so-called healthy foods I eat for lunch on a regular basis could give the Double-Down a run for its money. Maybe I'll reconsider joining the gang for the next lunch trip ...
Falafel. Deep fried and alone -- without the yogurt sauce that makes them so tasty -- these can run 230 calories per ball or patty, and I always eat at least two or three. In a pita, no less.
Rice and bean burrito. The beans are a great source of protein and fiber, but add the high-calorie rice, wrap, and sour cream that makes them so gooey and yummy and you've got a major fat blast -- upward of 600 calories or more.
Pizza. Even when I use the power towel trick and go with a more authentic, pizza parlor slice with a thin whole-wheat crust and minimal cheese, I'm looking roundabouts at 250 calories a slice. And it's impossible to only eat one. I mean, that crust is so thin ...
Salad. All the good stuff is ruined by the bad stuff we pour on top of it. Whether made with oil such as balsamic vinaigrette or cream-based like French or blue cheese, salad dressings are mostly all fat and range from 40 to 90 calories a spoonful. Again, stop at just one? Not me!