Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not So Fit-Food: Fat Meals from the 50 States

I still remember the images of odd food combos I saw when I first visited This Is Why You're Fat last year after Liz shared the link. Not clearly, mind you, as I most definitely couldn't name the bacon-wrapped, deep-fried, Krispy Kreme-covered concoctions I was looking at or pin-point exactly which foods were most cringe-worthy (hmm, maybe all of them?). After a while, they all start to look the same: a stomach ache, heart attack, gastrointestinal disaster in the making.

The Chicago Tribune brought back those noshing nightmares with a feature on the 50 Fattiest Foods Across the Nation--in pictures--from The slideshow doesn't exactly offer the type of treats you'd want to add to your list of "Must Dos" when you're driving through or visiting. Would you really want to add 25 fat grams--thanks South Dakota Fry Bread--to your system when you're sitting in the car all day? I didn't think so. In fact, after reading some of the descriptions and fat gram counts, you might be writing a mental note to steer clear of A, B and C when you're in X, Y or Z.

If you ever want to be turned off from gorging on a meal you know you probably shouldn't be eating, check out the first few slides. They'll either gross you out or leave you running for a nearby state with a more favorable fat food. My top five on the gross-o-meter? Alabama's bacon-wrapped meatloaf--I don't even want to know the fat and sodium counts. Alaska's Eskimo Ice Cream--I love ice cream but when the ingredients include reindeer fat, caribou, moose and seal oil, I'd definitely take a pass. Michigan's BLT Sammich--let's just say I'm shocked my home state concocted this number; I'm sweating just looking at it. Arizona's Quadruple Bypass burger--I saw this once on the Travel Channel; seeing it again only makes my stomach churn. Oregon's Redonkadonk--it's an awesome name for a sandwich, but there's enough meat (burger, bacon, Spam) for at least two.

There are a few bright sides to the state selections. I shouldn't be saying this but if you want reassurance for your supper splurge, view slides 30 through 50, where the meals aren't as appalling and include a healthy (maybe not the correct word choice there) assortment of items. Plus you've probably already eaten a few of these items, either sharing with a friend, gorging on your own, or sacrificing the fatty part to create a more health-conscious meal. Now for the not-so-bads. Idaho's baked potato--it's the state's starch that gets dressed with heavy dressings and loads of bacon bits, but can be pared down and nutrient boosted with broccoli, low-fat cheese, vegetarian chili and more. Maine's lobster roll--if I lived in New England I think my cholesterol would be through the roof because I'd eat these at least once a week. But it wouldn't be the mayo that would be the belly-buster--I hate the stuff and go for minimally dressed wherever possible--just the naturally high cholesterol in the shellfish. Washington's Crab Louis Salad--again, if you leave the dressing off, this salad is packed with protein, good fat in the olives, and vitamin-packed greens. Pennsylvania's Philly Cheese Steak--I know it's not even remotely healthy (hello cheese sauce) but how can you not try one of these when you're in the city of brotherly love? Massachusetts' chocolate chip cookie--I was slightly surprised to see this on the list, and while I know no dessert is ever great, I figured this eat-one-and-be-done treat would be an OK option. South Carolina's turducken--this has become an institution at my house for Thanksgiving and like the description says, they're not all artery-cloggers.

What would you eat, if anything, off this list? What would leave you running for the next state?

Photo grabbed from

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