5 Most Fattening Foods Ever
These super-high-calorie creations may be the worst foods ever for your diet.
How Bad Is Extreme Eating?
The reality is that most of us would indulge in such high-calorie monstrosities rarely, if ever. What harm can an occasional super-feast have if you otherwise eat healthy and get regular exercise?
Once or twice a year is probably fine, says University of Texas assistant professor of nutrition Lona Sandon -- but more than that is trouble.
Two out of three adults in the United States are already either overweight or obese. And because fat is more than twice as caloric as carbs or protein, eating high-fat foods is the easiest way to gain weight. It's also associated with heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
"Engage in eating colossal-calorie foods on a regular basis, and it will not only add lots of unwanted pounds but will also increase your risk for obesity, heart disease, stroke, certain forms of cancer and all the complications associated with these preventable diseases," says Hurley.
Tempted by the Worst Foods?
When you're tempted by an ultra-fattening food, your best bet is to go for a similar, but less caloric item, experts say.
If giant portions are what you want, go for a big green salad instead of monster-sized servings of french fries, bacon, cheese, or burgers.
When you're eyeing that monster burger on the menu, look a little further and "go for plain burger with a side salad" instead, recommends Sandon.
When you're at the ballpark, look for less caloric creations, says Moore. "Opt for the foods that are delicious with much fewer calories, such as crepes, or pita breads stuffed with veggies and grilled meats," she says. "And if you much indulge in the monster burger, at least share it with a few friends."
Instead of breakfasting on a mega-burrito - which is likely to wipe you out for the rest of the day - opt for a filling, but much more reasonable morning meal, says Moore. A more energizing way to start the day is with one egg, a slice of whole-grain toast, and some fruit.
If a frozen treat is calling your name, enjoy a scoop of ice cream in a dish -- and skip the syrups, nuts, whipped cream and deep-fried coating. "Ice cream is high enough in fat and calories," says Moore. "You don’t need to fry it or layer on the extras."
And what if it's the prospect of your name on the Wall of Fame (or Shame) that you find most tempting?
Keep in mind that when you engage in "extreme eating," you not only risk problems with your physical health, but can set yourself up for emotional distress, including an eating disorder, warns John Foreyt, PhD, director of behavioral medicine research center at Baylor College of Medicine.
"The best advice to tame the desire to get your name on the wall is to stay away from places that feature mega-eating," Foreyt says. "Don’t watch the television shows or go to the web sites."
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.