It seems crazy to blend a slice of apple pie into a milk shake — wouldn’t you rather eat the pie than drink it? — but that’s what the restaurant Johnny Rockets’ does with its Big Apple Shake. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit nutrition activist group based in Washington, DC, analyzed the calories in this shake and came up with a whopping 1,140.
It’s one of the foods that earned an“Xtreme Eating Award’’ (though award somehow seems like the wrong word for this dubious distinction) from the nutrition group, which hopes that publicity about the recipients will lead consumers to avoid them.
I credit CSPI for kicking off the nationwide effort to get calorie counts and nutritional information posted on chain restaurant menus; the federal health law now requires chains with more than 20 locations to list their calorie counts on menus and menu boards.
In case you haven’t been reading those calorie counts carefully, here are some Xtreme Eating award winners that, in addition to the Big Apple Shake, would require several extreme workouts to burn off all those excess calories you consume.
1. Peanut Power Plus Grape Smoothie at Smoothie King: This combines peanut butter, banana, sugar, and grape juice in this smoothie. It might sound somewhat nutritious, but a 40-ounce large size has 1,460 calories and 22 teaspoons of sugar; that’s more than three times the daily added sugar limit set by the American Heart Association.
2. Macadoozy at Uno Chicago Grill: The Deep Dish Macaroni & 3-Cheese at Uno Chicago Grill has four cups of pasta; cheddar, parmesan, and romano cheeses; an Alfredo sauce made from heavy cream, cheese, rendered chicken fat, and butter; and crushed Ritz Cracker topping, according to CSPI. It also contains a day’s worth of calories (1,980) and with 71 grams of saturated fat, drastically exceeds the daily recommended limit, which is about 20 grams.
3. Crispy Chicken Costoletta at the Cheesecake Factory: This fried chicken dish has nearly as many calories as a 12-piece bucket of Original Recipe KFC. At 2,610 calories for the thin breaded chicken slices, mashed potatoes, and asparagus, it contains more calories than any steak, chop, or burger on the Cheesecake Factory’s menu, according to CSPI. Another entree to skip there: the Bistro Shrimp Pasta, which contains 3,120 calories.