8 Worst Foods In America

A new book called Eat This, Not That! shows photos of foods you shouldn’t eat and their more reasonable substitutes. Here is its list of the top eight worst foods in America:

  • Fast Food Meal: McDonald’s Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips with creamy ranch sauce: 870 calories
  • Drink: Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo’d Power Smoothie: 166 grams of sugar, which equals eight servings of Ben & Jerry’s
  • Supermarket Meal: Pepperidge Farm Roasted Chicken Pot Pie: 64 grams of fat
  • “Healthy” Burger: Ruby Tuesday Bella Turkey Burger: 1,145 calories
  • Airport Snack: Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll: 813 calories
  • Kids’ Meal: Macaroni Grill Double Macaroni ‘n Cheese: 62 fat grams
  • Salad: On the Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef: 102 grams of fat and 2,410 mg of sodium
  • Dessert: Chili’s Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream: 1,600 calories, which equals three Big Mac

Eat This, Not That! is mainly a picture book, so it should be easy enough to understand for people whose brains are high on high-fructose corn syrup.

[via Lifehacker]


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    That sounds like one delicious meal.

  2. smitty1123 says:

    Suddenly, I’m in the mood for a deep fried philly cheesesteak (with all the trimmings) and a big tub of guacamole fer dippin’.

  3. 44 in a Row says:

    Now I want Cinnabon.

  4. BrockBrockman says:

    Just as a reminder:


    And for good measure:


  5. novelgirl says:

    Not my Pepperidge Farm pot pie! sigh. Not that this will stop me from eating it, yummy!

  6. Beerad says:

    It’s kinda messed up when you can skip dessert at Chili’s, have two Big Macs instead, and think “Hey, that was a healthy life choice!”

    The Jamba Juice thing is kinda funny. Yeah, I’d feel energized if I sucked down 2 pints of liquified ice cream, until the buzz wore off and I’d need to, uh, what’s — I’m just gonna lie down over here and take a nap…

  7. CRNewsom says:

    w00t, Hot Pockets are still good for you.

    /-:Insert Jim Gaffigan Hot Pockets Routine Here:-

  8. Dobernala says:

    166 grams of sugar? Holy jesus!

    That must be like that hallucinating experience that Bart and Milhouse had at the Kick-E-Mart when they paid Apu to give him the most syurpy squishee he could muster up.

  9. BlondeGrlz says:

    You could just call this: Everything that tastes delicious is bad for you.
    It still wouldn’t stop me from wanting to eat all those things.

  10. lasereric41 says:

    I’m getting visions of the Boondocks cartoon, when Grandad opened a soul food restaurant… “a full pound burger patty, 3 types of cheese, 6 strips of bacon, all sandwiched between…. 2 krispy kreme donuts!”

    “This is what crack must feel like.”

    Next time my girlfriend orders that pie from Chili’s I’m going to suggest we get Bic Macs instead. Wonder how that will turn out…

  11. MakGeek says:

    @BrockBrockman: Thank you, I thought the same thing to lazy to search though.

  12. MakGeek says:

    and FYI, anything thats a double serving, ie Kids’ Meal: Macaroni Grill Double Macaroni ‘n Cheese: 62 fat grams. can never be good and should not be offered (period)

  13. Custom Reality says:

    Fat and unhealthy people (aside from those who suffer from genetics) are that way because they don’t give a flip about calories or healthy lifestyles. Why would a healthy person be eating at McDonald’s to begin with? I don’t know anyone with abs or the ability to run a triathlon (of which I know many) who even consider fast-food or frozen food as food at all.

    Trying to eat healthy at McDonald’s is like taking part in a gangbang while trying to stay a virgin.

  14. FrankTheTank says:

    How is the Chicken Selects the worst “Fast Food Meal” in America when there are sandwiches that have more than 870 calories?

    These lists have become idiotic.
    As BrockBrockman points out, everyone and their moms have issued one, and they say different things.

    (although they all seems to list Carl Jr’s Double Six Dollar Burger…)

  15. TechnoDestructo says:

    Bleh, Cinnabon…I don’t know how anyone can eat that shit.

    Seriously, eating a cup of sugar would taste less sweet than that. Makes my teeth hurt just thinking of it.

  16. forgottenpassword says:

    I will eat what I want & not care about the consequences thankyou very much!

  17. bohemian says:

    Yuk. Just yuk. None of that sounded remotely good.

  18. rmz says:

    Chipotle fails to make the list?

    I’m disappointed.

  19. Pink Puppet says:

    @Custom Reality: It’s startlingly doable, provided you exercise restraint. Fast food is one of my favorite treats, something I eat rarely as a personal reward.

    Then again, I’ve never tried a triathlon. I can’t swim.

  20. Mr_Human says:

    @forgottenpassword: Thanks for raising our insurance rates.

  21. Mr_Human says:

    @rmz: Don’t tell me Chipotle is bad, too! Sigh.

  22. Gorky says:

    So basically they say you cant eat something that actually tastes good and they substitute some nasty health food that isnt anywhere near as satisfying as the food they intend to replace. No thanks Id rather die a few years early by eating things that taste good instead of eating things I hate just so I can live a few more years eating those same things I hate

  23. farcast says:

    Chipotle just has a lot of sodium. I wonder what option you could skip to reduce that. If you only eat half a burrito, or get a bowl (the tortilla is like 1000 calories) you should be ok.

  24. dorianh49 says:

    @CRNewsom: death pocket!

  25. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @Mr_Human: That’s a myth. Over a lifetime, the morbidly obese die far earlier and with less overall healthcare costs than a healthy person dieing at a ripe old age.

  26. Balisong says:

    @CRNewsom: Oh Christ, hot pockets XD I hate those things. My friend played that Jim Gaffigan clip for me once and I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe!

  27. I’m never looking in the mirror…. AGAIN.

  28. SOhp101 says:

    mmmm… i love the Peanut Butter Moo’d. I know it has a lot of sugar but the other drinks @ Jamba Juice are no less innocent. At least you get some protein and fat in the PBM so your calories are a bit more balanced.

    General rules of thumb:
    – Avoid fast food/chain restaurants if possible
    – If u must eat on the go, try to omit the sauce/spread/dressing whenever possible, or use sparingly
    – Eat fast food slowly and/or in small portions–your stomach is slow to tell your brain when you’re full

    @FrankTheTank: I think the lists are very helpful because they take things that people think are healthy when in reality they are not. Everyone knows that the standard double cheeseburger with bacon and whatnot is going to be pretty bad for you.

  29. Custom Reality says:

    @pinkpuppet: Of course. You need diet – and – exercise. I used to think it was doable too when I used to workout and still eat at McDonald’s in a way I thought was healthy. I got significantly better once McDonald’s left my diet entirely.

    To each his own, but if you’re eating “healthy” at McDonald’s, it’s still McDonald’s.

  30. MickeyMoo says:

    Informed Consent! There’s nothing wrong with eating crap as long as you know you’re eating crap, to allow a restaurant to claim something is “heart healthy” on the menu, yet not disclose the sodium content is criminal.


    It would be trivial to modify menus to indicate the important nutritional content but obviously industry spokesweasels are against it since it would cut into sales.

  31. Shutaro says:

    Most delicious list ever. Just eat some of that tainted cantaloupe, afterwards. You’ll be fine.

  32. sickofthis says:

    @FrankTheTank: I own the book, and believe it or not, there’s not a sandwich on McDonald’s menu that has as many calories as the Chicken Selects.

  33. picardia says:

    I don’t get the whole “I’d rather eat the things I love” thing as applied to shit from McDonalds and Ruby Tuesday. That food is CRAP. If you’re going to sin, sin with something worth eating. Otherwise, you might as well look out for yourself.

  34. Buran says:

    @Mr_Human: Thanks for butting into other peoples’ lives.

  35. forgottenpassword says:


    “That food is crap” is your opinion. Plenty of people enjoy fast food because…. it DOES taste good. I am particularly fond of Chicken Mcnuggets, Arby’s roast beef etc. etc..

  36. HawkWolf says:

    Does fast food taste good because it’s good, or because someone spent a lot of money and a lot of R&D time figuring out how to mass-produce ‘good’ as a chemical flavor additive?

    Anyway, personal responsibility is only as good as social responsibility. Blah blah blah.

  37. fredperry2 says:

    It seems to me that most of the people who tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat are more concerned with controlling your life than maintaining your health. It’s always “What I like EVERYONE should like” and not “We are all different, but this might be a better choice.”

  38. Angryrider says:

    Yawn. They sound fantastic! I’m hungry for ’em right now!

  39. MikeB says:

    @Gorky: Actually, you can eat healthier and the food can taste good. Portion control is a big part of it. I went to Red Robin last week and was able to eat fairly well. I knew I was going to eat some fries so I made sure to eat better that day and walked a little extra that night.

    Portion control and making better choices enable one to eat healthier and the food tastes great.

  40. TPS Reporter says:

    Like the story of the 28 year old who was running the U.S. men’s Olympic marathon trials and dropped dead from a heart defect. Bet he never ate at McDonalds. Didn’t do him much good. Never know how or when you’re gonna die. Point is most things in moderation. And just because a restaurant offers it doesn’t mean you have to eat it. But a Big Mac once a year for me sure tastes good.

  41. sasper says:

    @Custom Reality: I have abs and have completed a triathalon, and am currently training for a marathon, and I still enjoy a McDonald’s sandwich every once in a while. Sure — it’s not 3 times a week, but it is about once a month or so.

    Everything in moderation my friend.

  42. AlexDitto says:

    OK, this is fine and dandy and all that, but I’m tired about hearing how these certain foods are horrible, over and over again. Yes, I KNOW the Chocolate Moo’d at Jamba Juice is a fattening desert. That’s why I don’t get it. What about the All Fruit smoothies they have? How bad are those?

    Yes, I know Ranch sauce is horrible, but what about just the chicken strips? What about a regular bowl of pasta, not covered with cheese sauce? It’s like, suddenly, they’re making these shocking revelations. Oh my God, you mean a chocolate chip ice cream pie desert is bad for me if I eat the whole thing myself? You mean anything that has a creme sauce, made with heavy cream, by definition 30% fat, has fat in it? Who would have known?

    Instead of assuming I’m some crazed food tornado that eats everything in sight, and instead of trying to scaremonger people into thinking they’re going to balloon like belugas if they eat at a Ruby Tuesdays, why don’t they make realistic assumptions about the kinds of things people eat, and write books on that?

  43. luz says:

    So sushi and cigarettes are still really good for you? Dig.

  44. Dustbunny says:


    If you don’t want your Cinnabon, give it to me. Kthxsbai.

  45. kittenfoo says:

    I think free Cinnabons should be handed out at every airport as a reward for all the crap you have to go through at security. If I’m elected president, I’ll make it so!

  46. BlondeGrlz says:

    @kittenfoo: Kittenfoo ’08! Can I be Secretary of Milkshakes?

  47. Ragman says:

    I love me some bad food, but this Sara Lee silk pie we got one year had so much fat and calories in it that I really didn’t want a piece. Freakin’ label scared me off of it.

    I love Chipotle – make one a late lunch and you can just about skip dinner as well.

  48. youbastid says:

    @Mr_Human: Actually, if you knew your facts, you’d know it’s actually obese people dying early that keeps insurance premiums LOWER.

  49. b_rent says:

    Psh, I eat fast food probably every other day and have around 4 sodas in a day (what’s that, 600 calories right there) but I’m a busy, poor working college student. I need something quick, cheap, and filling and fast food hits the spot. But then again, I did run cross country and track all four years of high school, so running 4 miles is just apart of my day.

    So as long as people try to balance their diet and exercise, fast food is not something to be afraid of. In just 30 minutes of my day I easily burn 500 calories, so my body needs that 1k calorie lunch of burger and fries.

  50. goodkitty says:

    @Custom Reality: OK, true story. I recently went and got a McDonald’s hamburger for the first time in over a decade. I kid you not. When I was little, they would always make me vomit, and since my tastes have changed, I decided to see what was so damned interesting about them to everyone.

    Surprisingly, I didn’t throw up after having one (a double cheeseburger meal… quite the bargain at $4 for the whole shebang — compare to subway at $10). Anyway, the burger was nothing special… salty, greasy bun, and a patty that tasted surprisingly like Burger King (which is nothing special either). The next day, I noticed two interesting things. First, while the burger didn’t want to come out of one end, it did want to come out of the other.

    Secondly (and less disgustingly), I had a strong, and I do mean strong craving for another one, despite what the previous one was making me feel like. In fact, I had to go and save more money by getting one again the next day. I was shocked, though not too surprised, at how ridiculously addictive whatever they do to the things was. It isn’t just nutrition, they’ve really gotten the food science down to where your body craves this stuff, not normal food anymore.

    Not only that, but I couldn’t make a decent meal for $4, when you consider the costs of food purchasing, storage, cooking, cleanup, and time. Food shortages? Hah! There’s more food than you can shake a stick at in the world, and it’s super cheap. The only problem is, it’s this engineered food crap.

  51. dweebster says:

    @Mr_Human: Well, at least your insurance money is going into denying coverage if you ever get sick…

  52. IamTCM says:


    Seriously, enough with the reposts on this.

  53. pmathews says:


    That’s was truly scares me. I love cooking for me and my wife daily, but nothing is better than eating engineered goodness…

  54. Bender says:

    I have this book and keep it in my car. If you are trying to eat a little better it’s actually pretty helpful.

    Yes some of the the worst choices are obvious, but some are really suprising. You’ll actually find a few salads on the “worst choice” lists which caught me off guard.

    On the flip side, some of the good choices are things I had always assumed were bad choices. (McDonalds Quarter Pounder, good?)

  55. sir_eccles says:

    Mr Taco Salad Inventor Guy says “but it’s a salad isn’t it?”

  56. cockeyed says:

    I have this book… I think what some people here are failing to understand is that you want to avoid these places if you want to eat healthy. BUT if you have no choice, eg, you buy lunch instead of bringing it to work, then these are the best alternatives on the menu.

  57. LOUWEEZY says:

    Macaroni Grill – Spaghetti & Meatballs w/Meat SauceHow a simple dinner of spaghetti and meatballs has: 2,430 calories, 128g of fat, 5,290mg of sodium and 207g of carbs.
    What I wonder is how that much sodium could be in something period? ick..

  58. doodaddy says:

    The author of “Eat This, Not That” is participating in a “web panel” currently at Askville [askville.com]

  59. Dervish says:

    Just FYI, the cinnabon classic roll weighs 8 oz. pre-baking. Yes, that’s right, half a pound. People eat these and think that they’re adequate breakfasts. Of course, if you just eat the delicious center curls then you only get about 400 calories, not 800.

    On a related note about unhealthy snacks, people will polish off a 6 oz. muffin and think they’re eating healthy. They’re not. There’s a LOT of oil and eggs that goes into a muffin.

  60. @Custom Reality: Really? Hmm… I must relay that to my triathlon coach next time we carb-load on McD’s pancakes after a 10 mile swim/run/bike interval.