"In fact, fast-food portions are gargantuan, almost double the calories per meal compared to 20 years ago," Susan says. "Twenty years ago the average fast-food cheeseburger had about 300 calories. Today's BK Whopper with Cheese has 720. To burn the excess 420 calories, you'd have to run for 40 minutes. For example, in 1985 a medium French fry had 240 calories, 2.4 ounces. Today's "medium" is 6.9 ounces and 610 calories.
"This fast-food meal of cheeseburger and fries has way too many calories and fat grams, not to mention grams of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol and sodium."
Let's break down this meal. First, take the white-flour bun (refined carbohydrates), then add some processed cheese (saturated fat and trans fat, plus lots of additives and preservatives) and then top off with fried red meat (cholesterol and saturated fats). And let's not forget about the condiments such as the always fattening mayonnaise.
Not sounding so appetizing anymore, huh? Oh, and let's not forget about the infamous side dish. You cheeseburger will most likely come with a side of French fries, which is sadly the most popular vegetable dish in the U.S. Don't kid yourself, French fries are not vegetables, they are extremely high in fat and contain a tiny amount of nutrients.
3. Fried Chicken and Chicken Nuggets Foods cooked in highly heated oils (most notably partially hydrogenated oil) have been known to cause cancer, weight gain and other serious health risks if ingested regularly. A 10-piece chicken McNugget from McDonald's has 420 calories, 24 grams of fat and 1120 milligrams of sodium. One Extra Crispy Chicken Breast from KFC has around 420 calories and eight grams of saturated fat. So unless you want to super size yourself, it's best to make a clean break with fried foods.
4. Oscar Mayer's Lunchables Sure they are convenient and easy , but boy are they unhealthy! These kid-marketed lunches are loaded with saturated fat and sodium. They usually contain highly processed meats and cheeses, white flour crackers and sugary treats. Lunchables get two-thirds of their calories from fat and sugar. And they provide lopsided nutrition since they contain no fruits or vegetables.
"They insidiously promote obesity by making kids think that lunch normally comes in a cellophane-wrapped box," Susan says. "Parents are promoting their children's obesity by buying these items. They're expensive, too. Pack a sandwich and save dollars and health."