We Are What We Eat - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

We Are What We Eat

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UPDATE: Long John Silver's is responding to a dubious honor awarded to the fast-food chain by the so-called food police. Earlier this month the Center for Science in the Public Interest said Long John Silver's Big Catch meal with Onion Rings was the unhealthiest fast-food meal in the nation. This was based in part on CSPI saying the meal contains 33 grams of trans fat. A publicist for Long John Silver's writes to tell us this does not apply to restaurants in California because no trans fats are used in the state. Long John Silvers also says there are many choices of sides other than onion rings and the big catch was limited time only meal. However, they don't dispute the 19 grams of saturated fat in the meal. And as our Tony McEwing wrote, when the story was first reported, once consumers know what's in the food they're buying, the decision to eat it is up to them.



Most of us have heard the old saying "You are what you eat." Well the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an organization that many revere and others revile, has now released its choice for the absolutely unhealthiest fast food restaurant meal in America. And this year that dubious distinction may surprise you. If the choice doesn't surprise you, just wait until you find out what's in the meal deemed by CSPI to be the most offensive in the nation.

Drum roll please! And the winner (or loser) of this year's worst fast food selection in the country is: Long John Silver's Big Catch meal. The nonprofit health advocacy group is releasing its findings hoping to shame or at least guilt the restaurant chain into providing healthier menu items. So just how bad is it? According to lab tests, the fried fish feast features a heart clogging 33 grams of trans fat with another 19 grams of saturated fat for good measure. As if that isn't enough of an assault on your heart and waistline, the Big Catch contains a mind boggling 3,700 milligrams of hypertension inspiring sodium.

So what do these numbers mean exactly? Well, the American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily intake of trans fat to about 2 grams a day. TWO! And 2,300 milligrams of sodium should be your absolute daily limit. Basically you get more trans fat in this one meal than you should put in your body in two weeks!

If you think this article is going to be about how awful you should feel if you order Long John Silver's Big Catch Meal, you're wrong. While I am a big fan of restaurants listing the caloric, fat and sodium content of their offerings, the decision about what you eat, how often and how much, is entirely up to you. When I know better, I try to do better. But I am certainly not above indulging my culinary cravings occasionally.

Maybe I'm naive, but I believe most people know when they're eating something that isn't good for them. But they may not necessarily be aware just how bad, which is why I support restaurant labeling. However, once you do know exactly what you're consuming and the potential consequences, to eat or not to eat is a question only you and your conscience will answer.

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