The 8 Worst Meals (And 1 Dessert) In America For 2010

Every year, the Center for Science In the Public Interest releases their Xtreme Eating Awards list, where they single out the most carb-heavy, fat-saturated, salt-laden calorie bombs available on the market. This year’s round-up of gut-busters covers everything from breakfast through dessert and contains some items that may surprise you.

In no particular order…

1. Five Guys’ Bacon Cheeseburger
Before you put a single topping on it, the bacon cheeseburger from this rapidly growing chain will set you back 920 calories and 30g of fat. Throw in anywhere from 620 to 1,460 calories for Five Guys’ generous portions of fries and you’ve got yourself a calorie, fat and salt bonanza.

2. The Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake
Weighing in at 3/4 lb, this chocolate lover’s dream will cost you 1,670 calories and 48g of saturated fat. Yikes… and yum.

3. California Pizza Kitchen’s Tostada Pizza
The picture basically looks like a salad on a pizza crust. But even without any meat, this pie packs 1,440 calories and 2,630mg of sodium. Add grilled steak to the mix and ratchet up the calories to 1,680 and throw on almost another 700mg of sodium.

4. The Cheesecake Factory’s Pasta Carbonara
The Factory’s second entry on the list is another item where appearances could be deceiving to the undiscerning diner. It’s just spaghettini with chicken, peas and bacon in a garlic cream sauce; how bad could that be? Try 2,500 calories (blam!) and a whopping 85g of saturated fat. Finish that off with the Truffle Cake listed above and you’re in 4,000 calorie country.

5. P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo
1,820 calories is a lot to consume. But where this dish really excels is in the salt department — 7,690mg of sodium! According to the CSPI, that’s 3 whole teaspoons of salt… for one dish.

6. Outback’s New Zealand Lamb
Equal to eating about 8 individual lamb chops, this entree from the not-Australian steakhouse packs a pretty hefty calorie punch. Including the garlic mashed potatoes and veggies (which have so much butter they alone bring 7g of saturated fat to the plate), you’re looking at 1,820 calories, 80g of saturated fat and 2,600mg of sodium. As the CSPI points out, you’d be better served ordering the 16 oz. prime rib at Outback which, even with the same sides, betters the rack of lamb in all three categories.

7. Chevys’ Crab & Shrimp Quesadilla
Again, a slightly stealthy calorie bomb here, as the cheese, flour, sour cream and guacamole greatly outnumber the titular seafood filling. At 1,790 calories, 63g of saturated fat and 3,440mg of sodium, the Crab & Shrimp Quesadilla even beats the restaurant chain’s Carnitas & 3-Cheese Quesadilla.

8. California Pizza Kitchen’s Pesto Cream Penne
Another entry from CPK. The menu says “Basil pine nut pesto cream sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese,” but the nutritional info says “1,350 calories, 49g of saturated fat, and 1,920mg of sodium.” And that’s before you add any chicken or shrimp to the mix.

9. Bob Evans’ Cinnamon Cream Stacked & Stuffed Hotcakes
Forget the IHOP wannabe. This here’s the real deal. This is how CSPI described it: “So he takes two pancakes and stuffs them with either good stuff (like blueberries or bananas) or garbage (like cinnamon chips made of sugar and oil). Then comes a layer of vanilla cream cheese (it’s more like cream than cheese) and a sugary topping (like cinnamon cream), with whipped topping as the coup de grease.” And all that will set you back around 1,380 calories, 27 g of saturated plus 7g of trans fat, and 27 teaspoons of sugar.
Can you think of a better way to start your day?

Xtreme Eating 2010 [CSPI]