What a couple of weeks it's been. The United States government released its Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, which acknowledges that people are too heavy and should eat a more plant-based diet. Then a report from Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation let us know that residents of 28 states are still gaining weight.
So it makes sense that Health.com would come out with its list of the "50 Fattiest Foods Across the Nation," a state-by-state rundown of the worst fat and sugar-laden offerings. Let's start with California, where the venerable In-N-Out Double-Double comes in at 670 calories and 18 grams of saturated fat. Although some people think this hamburger is the stuff dreams are made of, others see it as an artery-clogging nightmare.
We'll move on to Colorado, which typically gets good marks for having lower obesity rates compared with the rest of the country. They must be doing something right, and it probably isn't eating Jack-N-Grill's grande breakfast burrito that weighs in at -- what? -- five pounds. We're not even going to mention calories and fat because it would probably make us weep.
New York (or Manhattan, really) is known as foodie heaven, but the state's contribution to the list of fattiest foods doesn't exactly fall under the category of "gourmet." This one is called the "Garbage Plate," and it consists of a starchy base such as home fries, macaroni salad or baked beans topped with some type of meat (cheeseburger, fried ham, sausage) and covered with a boatload of condiments. There's even a veggie burger version! Considering the countless variations possible, it's no wonder there's no official nutritional information for this dish, which allegedly was born at a Rochester restaurant called Nick Tahou Hots in 1918. But estimates put it at anywhere from 93 to 203 grams of fat per plate. Mmmmmm.
Feeling queasy yet? No? Good, because there's lots more. Hey, Mississippi, we hear your obesity rates are through the roof! That's too bad, because your Mud Pie is one of our guilty pleasures. This sweet treat can be made a number of different ways, but basically relies on chocolate, cream, butter and sugar. There's a commercial version of the pie that has 35 grams of fat per serving. But who's counting?
Let's head north to Vermont, that pretty state that gave the world Ben and Jerry, as in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Yes, there are sugar-free and lower-fat frozen desserts, but beware the Vermonster, which has 20 scoops of ice cream, plus hot fudge, bananas, cookies, brownies and other toppings. Wait -- you're supposed to share this? With other people? Oh.
In Washington the big offender is a salad. Not just any salad, but a Crab Louis. And Louis apparently knows how to ratchet up the calories and fat. Blame it on the mayonnaise-based dressing, which probably accounts for most of the 15 to 25 grams of fat. But at least there's some lettuce and tomatoes in there.
And finally, give some props to Arizona, which hasn't been feeling the love so much these days. There you can indulge in a Quadruple Bypass Burger at the Heart Attack Grill. This puppy is guesstimated to have 8,000 calories and at least 60 grams of fat. We'll take ours with a side of irony, please.
-- Jeannine Stein
The In-N-Out Double-Double burger ranks as one of the fattiest foods in America. Photo credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times