Americans have always had a love affair with fried, high-calorie foods, and the affair continues. Today, even though millions of Americans are constantly on a diet, foods that are terrible for our hearts and waistlines are some of the trendiest items on menus in both fast-food and sit-down restaurants across the country.
Bacon's not just for breakfast anymore; it's clogging arteries three meals a day. Wendy's Baconator Double includes six strips of bacon along with two hamburger patties and two slices of cheese. It packs 970 calories, 60 grams of fat, and 2,260 milligrams of sodium. Bacon is even sizzling on the cocktail circuit in the form of bacon-flavored vodka cocktails and bacon-flavored bourbon. Bacon lovers can buy chocolate-covered bacon, as well as bacon mints, salt, lattes, lollipops, and bacon-scented candles.
[--pageBreak:"KFC Double Down"--]
2. KFC Double Down
Kentucky Fried Chicken's Double Down skips the bun but not the fat with two pieces of fried chicken surrounding melted cheese and two pieces of bacon. The breadless sandwich has 540 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 1,380 milligrams of sodium.
[--pageBreak:"Fried — Everything"--]
3. Fried — everything
Fried chicken, fish, and french fries have been staples in American restaurants and kitchens for years, and crafty entrepreneurs have catered to our love of fried foods by creating fried Twinkies, Oreos, Pop-Tarts, and other deep-fried treats. One of the newest and most deadly — deep-fried butter!
4. Mega meals
Friendly's restaurant chain features yet another burger without a regular bun: Its Grilled Cheese Burger Melt sports a beef patty between two grilled-cheese sandwiches. The diet-busting burger packs 1,500 calories, 97 grams of fat, and 2,090 milligrams of sodium — and that's without a single chip or fry. Hardee's Country Breakfast Burrito is a tortilla wrap crammed with two egg omelets plus bacon, ham, sausage, cheese, hash browns, and gravy. It weighs in with 920 calories and 60 grams of fat. In fact, according to msnbc, fast-food meals today are up to five times larger than they were in the 1950s. But fast-food joints aren't the only restaurants at fault. Sit-down restaurants also offer supersized meals such as a breakfast that includes several eggs, bacon, hash brown potatoes, and a huge stack of pancakes. And a single entree at some restaurants can top out at 2,000 calories. Ruby Tuesday's Fresh Chicken and Broccoli Pasta is loaded with 2,060 calories and 128 grams of fat.
[--pageBreak:"Huge, Fat-laden Salads"--]
5. Huge, fat-laden salads
Salads can be a healthy food choice, helping you watch your waistline while upping your intake of vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients. But restaurants often drown the diet-friendly lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers under an avalanche of fatty, artery-clogging ingredients, such as ladles of full-fat dressings, bacon bits, and fried chicken. Houlihan's Buffalo Bleu Salad packs 1,435 calories, 37 grams of saturated fat, and 3,036 milligrams of sodium, and California Pizza Kitchen's Waldorf Chicken Salad weighs in with 1,485 calories, 25 grams of saturated fat, and 1,864 milligrams of sodium.
6. Coffee drinks
A black cup of java can give you a burst of energy with no calories, but fancy coffee drinks, made with whole milk — or worse, a generous helping of cream — can bust any diet. A 24-ounce Dairy Queen Caramel MooLatte delivers 870 calories along with 24 grams of fat. Krispy Kreme's large Lotta Latte Chiller packs 1,050 calories along with 40 grams of fat, 30 of which are saturated fat.
[--pageBreak:"Ice Cream Treats"--]
7. Ice cream treats
No one would expect ice cream to make the top 10 list of healthiest foods, but small amounts carry higher calorie and fat counts than you might expect. One serving of Breyer's Hershey Kisses Ice Cream Poppers contains 470 calories and 35 grams of fat, and a single serving of Edy's Dibs Peanut Butter with Chocolaty Coating carries 510 calories and 39 grams of fat.