The greasy votes have been tabulated and the award for “Worst Meal in America” goes to: Long John Silver’s Big Catch!
Coming in at 1,320 calories, 19 grams of saturated fat, 3,700 milligrams of sodium, and 33 grams of trans fat, the deep fried meal earned the official title from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) this week. It’s doubtful that anyone at the fish restaurant will be excited to accept this award.
The CSPI is a non-profit organization designed to be an advocate for nutrition and health. In a recent report by CBS News, the CSPI tested the Big Catch Meal and found the startling results. The meal contains just one piece of fried fish, an order of hush puppies, and a side of onion rings.
According to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, the meal is largely comprised of deep fried batter that uses partially hydrogenated oil, making matters even worse. Hydrogenated oils raise bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol, and harm cells in blood vessels.
In a press release, Michael F. Jacobsen, executive director of CSPI stated, “This company is taking perfectly healthy fish — and entombing it in a thick crust of batter and partially hydrogenated oil. The result is a heart attack on a hook. Instead of the Big Catch, I’d call it America’s Deadliest Catch.”
To make matters worse, the CSPI found that some of the nutrition facts listed from the company were false. Their lab tests found that the onion rings had 19.5 grams of trans fat, while the listing stated they had 7 grams. Furthermore, the lab tests showed that the advertised 7-8 ounce piece of 100 percent haddock, was actually about 4 ounces of fish and 3 ounces of batter.
In several press releases, Long John Silver’s reported that the meal isn’t a permanent menu item, just a temporary addition through the month of July. They also stated that the side orders can be replaced with items like corn, green beans, rice, or cole slaw.
To put it simply, there are better options. Even if you replace the sides, the fish is largely made up of fried batter made with hydrogenated oil. Treat yourself better. Let Long John Silver’s deal with the bad press while you throw this one back and go fish for a real catch of a meal.