Thursday, April 9, 2009

Eat This Not That

Not losing the weight you want, even though you are working out?
Since January I have lost 20 pounds. Ten of those pounds dropped of just from changing how I eat. One small bag of chips could be adding 360 calories to your body.

It is important that you know what you're consuming. Eat This, Not That! scoured the delis and the sub shops from coast to coast to come up with this list of the worst sandwiches in America. We’re not the least bit willing to give up our handheld food of choice (grilled cheese and turkey sandwiches are basically American birthrights, after all), so we’ve provided you with plenty of ways to get your fix--without mainlining calories. Herewith, our best and worst list. And while you’re at it, make sure you're not washing down the vast majority of your lunch with one of these high-calorie drinks.

WORST BREAKFAST SANDWICH Au Bon Pain Sausage, Egg and Cheddar on Asiago Bagel810 calories47 g fat (23 g saturated, 0.5 g trans)58 g carbs1,540 mg sodium A healthy breakfast sandwich can be a great start to your day—the protein-packed eggs and meat will keep you feeling fuller longer. But Au Bon Pain’s breakfast bagel isn’t what we had in mind. Cut calories by switching to bacon and Swiss there, and cut carbs by choosing an English muffin over a bagel, roll, or croissant.

EAT THIS, INSTEAD! Scrambled Eggs Tomato and Spinach Wrap390 calories15 g fat (4 g saturated)47 g carbs650 mg sodium
(For other early morning sandwiches to dodge at home, check out THIS list of the 12 worst breakfast foods at the supermarket.)

WORST TURKEY SANDWICH Atlanta Bread Company Turkey Bacon Rustica960 calories56 g fat (19 g saturated)62 g carbs2,480 mg sodium Sandwiches shouldn’t top much more than 500 calories; this one gobbles up almost half your daily allowance. While it’s loaded with protein, it’s also packed with saturated fat and more than a day’s worth of sodium (the blame falls largely on the one-two punch of mayo and pesto). EAT THIS, INSTEAD! Turkey on Nine Grain370 calories6 g fat (2 g saturated)50 g carbs1,240 mg sodium WORST STEAK SANDWICH Quizno’s Prime Rib Cheesesteak Sub, Large1,490 calories92 g fat (22.5 g saturated, 2 g trans)102 g carbs2,620 mg sodium At 670 calories, even the small version of this sub is pushing the bounds of reasonable consumption. But in this big guy, you’re taking in a day’s worth of sodium, along with a day’s worth of saturated fat, and nearly a whole day’s caloric intake as well. A survival strategy for eating at Quiznos: If you’re going to order a sub, order it small and without dressing or cheese. Better yet, skip the subs altogether in favor of the more restrained Sammies. You’d be better off with two of them than with most regular-sized sandwiches at Quiznos.

EAT THIS, INSTEAD! Bistro Steak Melt Flatbread Sammie280 calories13 g fat (4 g saturated)26 g carbs645 mg sodium WORST GRILLED CHICKEN SANDWICHRomano’s Macaroni Grill Grilled Chicken and Artichoke Sandwich1,260 calories80 g fat (17 g saturated)71 g carbs2,990 mg sodium Most people know by now that grilled equals good in the world of chicken, but Romano’s somehow manages to challenge that well-established nutritional tenet. The heavy-handed Italian chain takes two reasonable foods—lean chicken and nutrient-rich artichoke—and turns them into a monster of a fat-laden sandwich that comes with almost a day-and-a-half’s worth of sodium and the caloric equivalent of 27 chicken McNuggets.

EAT THIS, INSTEAD! Pollo Magro 320 calories5 g fat (1.5 g saturated)29 g carbs1,630 mg sodium WORST FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH Chili’s Cajun Crisper Bites Sandwich1,410 calories79 g fat (18 g saturated)124 g carbs3,930 mg sodium Words on the Chili’s menu to avoid: “Cajun” and “Crisper.” In Chili’s land, they translate to fat- and calorie-packed sauces and frying oil. Put them between two slices of bread, and you’ve got one of the worst sandwiches we’ve found on all counts—with the sodium equivalent of 120 saltine crackers and the same number of calories as you’ll find in 56 strips of bacon. Taste the same bold flavors and save more than 1,000 calories and 2,000 milligrams of sodium by opting for the Fajita Pita instead.

EAT THIS, INSTEAD! Fajita Pita Chicken380 calories12 g fat (2 g saturated)1570 mg sodium WORST VEGGIE SANDWICH Blimpie Special Vegetarian 12 Inch1,186 calories60 g fat (19 g saturated)131 g carbs3,532 mg sodium “Vegetarian” doesn’t automatically translate to “healthy” (the same holds true for salads—check out this list of America’s worst salads to see what we mean). Sure, this sandwich has vegetables, but it’s also loaded with fatty oils and sauce, and it’s on bread that’s 12 inches long. No wonder it contains over half a day’s worth of calories and an explosion of carbs. Portion control is key to keeping weight off. Your strategy with this sandwich: Share it with a Little League team.

EAT THIS, INSTEAD! VeggieMax 6 Inch522 calories20 g fat (6 g saturated)56 g carbs1,272 mg sodium WORST “HEALTHY” SANDWICH Noah’s Deli Chicken Salad Sandwich1,150 calories95 g fat (14 g saturated, 1.5 g trans)61 g carbs1,190 mg sodium Don’t be fooled because it’s got the word “salad” in its name. This trans-fatty Noah’s sandwich is not a healthy choice for your arteries or your waistline. (Click here for an indispensable list of other health food imposters.)

EAT THIS, INSTEAD! California Chicken Sandwich360 calories7 g fat (2 g saturated)49 g carbs840 mg sodium WORST SANDWICH IN AMERICA Quizno’s Tuna Melt, large1,760 calories133 g fat (25 g saturated, 1.5 g trans)92 g carbs2,120 mg sodium Tuna melts are scary because they sound so harmless—in almost all other forms, tuna is usually a smart and healthy choice. So what’s with the insane caloric overload? Blame the fat-packed mayo the tuna is mixed with, along with Quizno’s larger-than-life portion sizes. Even though they’ve managed to trim this melt down from the original 2,000-plus calorie mark when we first tested it, it still remains the worst sandwich we’ve found.

EAT THIS, INSTEAD! Sonoma Turkey Flatbread Sammie280 calories14 g fat (4 g saturated)26 g carbs760 mg sodium We hope this list will help you sidestep diet disasters when you’re ordering out. You might also enjoy our list of the best fast food meals under 500 calories and our 10 ways to make fast food healthy. Swaps like these can help you lose 10, 20, or 30 pounds in a year!
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