Have you ever asked yourself, “why do the worst foods taste so good!?” I mean, why can’t celery taste like a grilled cheese sandwich, or a tub of Rocky Road ice cream? In the case of sugary beverages; the answer is simple – it’s the sugar that makes them taste so good.
But what about steak and cheese breakfast sandwiches with onions, bits of bacon and an egg? Is there any reason why we can’t somehow make tofu taste this good but without the fattening agents? The short answer is, well, no – we can’t. It’s precisely the fat that makes those other foods taste so good, because fat is flavor. Just check the ingredients of any of your favorite food, and you’ll see many grams of fat and/or sugar on the nutrition panel. If you don’t believe me, well then let’s check out some of the tastiest foods out there and take a peek at their nutritional (using the word very loosely) value.
The Extra-Special Ribs from Missouri
By way of introduction to this delicious and fatty monstrosity, let’s first realize that the FDA’s Daily Recommended Value for fat intake – based on a 2,000 calorie diet – for most people is about 65 grams of fat. That’s for a whole day. Well, a rack of St. Louis-style ribs has about 100 grams of fat.
So, if you eat one of these, you should be set from Monday to Wednesday insofar as fat consumption is concerned. It’s just as bad because the ribs contain a lot of saturated fat, which is just about the worst kind you can eat in substantial quantities. The daily value for that is 20 grams or less.
A Favorite for the Sweet-toothed
Who doesn’t love pecan pie? It’s a pie, but it tastes as good as many outright cakes – and it’s deceptively healthy because it contains pecans, which have fats that are actually good for our body. But let’s not fool ourselves here: in pie form, any benefit you might have received from the pecan nuts by themselves has been drowned to death in a tub of margarine and high-fructose syrup, and then cremated in an oven until it comes out as a plate of absolutely delicious fats (bad fats, mind you).
One slice of a pecan pie can contain more than half of your recommended daily maximum value – not to mention a fourth of the calories at 500 big ones.
Wait – A Drink Can’t Be Fattening, Can It?
Depends. If you want me to lie to you – then no; drinks are perfectly healthy. If you want the truth, then look no further than the Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino with whipped cream from premier coffee chain Starbucks. This 16 ounce cup of arterial carnage has over 500 calories and nearly 20 grams of fat – 11 of which is saturated fat (NOT heart-healthy). That’s not even the worst part; this single cup matches your entire day’s worth of allotted sugar with 59 grams (the FDA says stop at or before 60 grams). This drink has more calories than most basic cheeseburgers!
You Only Live Once
Balance is the key to a healthy and fulfilling life. So splurge every now and then with a 3,000 calorie bender but be sure to get back to the gym tomorrow (and the next day…actually you should probably just sleep there for a while).
As always, enjoy fried stuff responsibly.