The Cancer Project today issued its list of the five worst fast-food value menu items. And the envelopes, please...
1) Junior Bacon Cheeseburger (Jack in the Box, pictured). $1; 400 calories; 23 grams of fat; 8 grams of saturated fat; 1 gram of trans fat; 55 milligrams of cholesterol; 860 milligram of sodium; 1 gram of fiber; processed meat; grilled beef; high-fat dairy. Judges comment: "costs a dollar, but consumers who make it a regular part of their diet might end up paying a pretty penny in healthcare costs."
2) Cheesy Double Beef Burrito (Taco
3) Breakfast Sausage Biscuit (Burger King). $1; 420 calories; 27 grams of fat; 15 grams of saturated fat; 0.5 gm trans fat; 35 milligrams of cholesterol; 1,090 milligrams of sodium; 1 gram of fiber; processed meat. Judges comment: "The Breakfast Sausage Biscuit might be the worst possible choice for the most important meal of the day."
4) McDouble (McDonald's). $1; 390 calories; 19 grams of fat; 8 grams of saturated fat; 1 gram of trans fat; 65 milligrams of cholesterol; 920 milligrams of sodium; 2 grams of fiber; high-fat dairy. Judges comment: "The McDouble, which recently replaced the Double Cheeseburger on McDonald's Dollar Menu, is a double disaster that derives more than 43 percent of its calories from fat."
5) Junior Bacon Cheeseburger (Wendy's). $1.53; 310 calories; 16 grams of fat; 6 grams of saturated fat; 0.5 grams of trans fat; 50 milligrams of cholesterol; 670 milligrams of sodium; 1 gram of fiber; processed meat; high-fat dairy. Judges comment: "Wendy's also offers the Double Stack, a sandwich with two beef patties. If the Double Stack is ordered with optional extras, including cheese sauce and three strips of bacon, it's actually more unhealthful than the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger--but those options cost extra."
Cancer Project judges arrived at the winners via a points system that awarded a point for various characteristics, like speed in which the faux food clogs your arteries. Okay, I made that up, but you get the idea. Also, only the five chain restaurants mentioned were visited, so you're off the hook this year, Sonic.
The project did provide "cheap and healthful alternatives," including the BK Veggie (Burger King) and the bean burrito without cheese (Taco Bell). Quick, frozen options from the local market can also be cheap and healthy, including the Amy's Kitchen line of frozen burritos, which are admittedly a little pricier at more than $2 each. But Amy's anything does taste pretty amazing.
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Cheapest, healthiest and tastiest of all, says CP, is veering away from the frozen-food aisles and picking up a can of pinto beans, tortillas, brown rice and salsa to create "a delicious treat that only costs $1.22 per serving."
Brown rice? Gack!