Penned by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding, and published by Rodale Press, Eat This, Not That looks like a knockoff of the celebrated website and coffee-table book This Is Why You’re Fat. This square paper-bound volume abounds in pictures of fattening foods printed in breathtaking color, with little windows revealing the nutritional stats for each. But the purpose is not to make you drool, but to compare various kinds of fattening foods so you can make “intelligent” choices. And some of the conclusions are contrary to what you might have thought. Here are five comparative shockers.
1. Froot Loops are better for you than Kashi Strawberry Fields. If you’re one of those people, like me, who grimaces every time a pious Kashi commercial comes on TV, chortling just how healthy their crap is and how far around the globe they hiked to get it, you can take great pleasure in knowing that Fruit Loops Sprinkles has fewer calories (110 vs. 120), less sodium (135mg vs. 170mg), and more fiber (3g vs. 1g) than Kashi’s Strawberry Fields. John Lennon would be pleased, I’m sure. (Kashi: Stop ripping him off!)
2. Plain old Heinz Ketchup is less fattening than Grey Poupon. Well, we’re talking about Grey Poupon’s new Savory Honey Mustard, but still, isn’t it contra-intuitive that ketchup could have fewer calories (20 vs. 30) per tablespoon and the same amount of fat (0g) as mustard? And isn’t “savory” supposed to mean “not sweet”?
3. Subway’s Steak and Cheese Sub is much better for you than Subway’s Tuna Sub. Next time you’re reaching for that tuna sub, instead of the beef and cheese, thinking of all the calories you’re saving and how you’re doing the earth a big favor (as well as your waistline), note that the six-inch beef and cheese comes in at 380 calories, while the same size tuna grinder is 530 calories. Further, the tuna has 30 grams of fat while the beef and cheese flaunts a penurious 10 grams of fat. Really, when it comes to comparing the nutritional features of fast food, no one wins.
4. Starbucks’ Mocha Light Frappuccino (left) has many fewer calories than Iced Nonfat Caramel Macchiato (right). Maybe you sensed this already, but the word “nonfat” as applied to processed foods and fast foods doesn’t mean shit. In this case, the Iced Nonfat Caramel Macchiato has a whopping 650 calories, 30.5 grams of fat (making the “nonfat” part of the name a hideous, misleading lie), and 640 milligrams of sodium. The Mocha Light Frappuccino, meanwhile, has 390 calories, 710 milligrams of sodium, and 10 grams of fat.
5. Doublicious, a gloppy KFC sandwich with cheese and bacon, is more nutritionally smug than one Extra Crispy Breast. Of course, one would assume quite the opposite, especially since the sandwich seems to be just oozing calories, fat, and sodium. Yet the statistics don’t lie: Doublicious has 380 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 950 milligrams of sodium, while the simple unadorned breast, sans coleslaw or mashed potatoes, incorporates a whopping 510 calories, 33 grams of fat, and 1,010 milligrams of sodium. Wow!
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 12, 2011