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What’s the worst restaurant meal you can eat?

New report names Long John Silver’s as the unhealthiest catch.

By Sally Wadyka Jul 2, 2013 4:51PM

When it comes to dubious honors, “Worst Restaurant Meal in America” certainly ranks up there. And that is the title just bestowed on Long John Silver’s Big Catch meal -- a deep-fried extravaganza that features fish, onion rings and hushpuppies.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit health advocacy group, released this news today in the hopes of shaming the restaurant chain into changing their unhealthy ways. Lab tests of Long John Silver’s Big Catch revealed some incredibly shocking numbers.  The fried fish feast packs an almost unbelievable 33 grams of trans fat, another 19 grams of saturated fat, and a whopping 3,700 milligrams of sodium.

To put those numbers in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily intake of trans fat to about two grams a day; less than 10 percent of your daily calories should come from saturated fat; and 2,300 mg of sodium should be your absolute daily max.

 And while the amounts of saturated fat and sodium are dangerously high, they aren’t without precedent in other, similar restaurant offerings. But what really shocked the researchers at CSPI was the amount of heart-stopping trans fat this chain still used -- most of it coming from frying their food in industrially produced partially hydrogenated oil. Thanks in part to educational efforts by CSPI on the health hazards of partially hydrogenated oil (and a lawsuit against KFC in 2006), most major restaurant chains have stopped using it -- and consequently their meals now contain little to no trans fats.

But what’s even worst that these dismal nutritional statistics is the fact that Long John Silver’s is lying about them. CSPI’s lab tests found more trans fat in both the onion rings and hushpuppies than the restaurant cops to on their website. The Big Catch meal is described on packaging as “lean” (which fish is, but not when enveloped in batter and artery-clogging grease). They also claim that the meal contains a seven to eight-ounce piece of 100 percent haddock -- but when the CSPI testers pulled off the breading, they found that it was more like 60 percent fish and 40 percent batter and grease. As Michael Jacobson, CSPI’s executive director, put it: “Nutrition aside, that’s just plain piracy.”

After identifying this heart-attack-on-a-plate, the CSPI today formally notified the CEO of Long John Silver’s that they will sue them if they continue to use partially hydrogenated oils and misrepresent what’s really in their meals. If KFC can deep-fry their chicken without adding any trans fats, what excuse does Long John Silver’s really have?

Will you eat at Long John Silver's again? Join the discussion on Facebook.

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Jul 2, 2013 5:47PM
great message..Do what we want or we will  sue you.I do however agree if LJS falsified there website that should be changed.But i cant stand these organizations that feel everyone's health is there problem.If I walk into a 7-11and get a big gulp that's my choice and  I like having it.
Jul 2, 2013 5:39PM

I think the title  "....WORST restaurant meal..." is misleading.  I was expecting an article about bad tasting restaurant food.  Long John Silvers is actually tasty, not at all what I would call worst.


A more correct title would have been  "least healthy restaurant meal".

Jul 2, 2013 5:58PM
ahhhh CSPI...aka food nazis, where anything that isn't shade grown organically and watered with Mother Teresa's tears of joy, is immoral and poison.
Jul 2, 2013 6:08PM

Only in America. 


I rarely eat any type of fast food but I do consider it my own choice. Just like movies or TV channels. I am not a captive to advertising trying to force their products down my throat.


But the line..."change or we'll sue you"...makes a bit of vomit come up in my throat a lot quicker than greasy, overpriced fast food.

Jul 2, 2013 5:48PM

Nutritional value that may be true : but it taste good and I will continue to eat it


Jul 2, 2013 5:28PM
"If KFC can deep-fry their chicken without adding any trans fats, what excuse does Long John Silver’s really have?"

 Have you tasted KFC lately? *shudder* Makes me miss the early 90's.

 That may have something to do with why LJS is putting their foot down, and not switching over.
I loved their deep fried clam strips...
Jul 2, 2013 6:02PM
If I want "Healthy" fish, instead of ordering fried, I can order "Baked" or "Grilled". Oh, wait, I can do that at home... if I go to LJS for fish, which I do once every 4 years, yes, FOUR YEARS, then I want their deliciously unhealthy deep fried, artery hardening cholesterol building fish. Everything will kill you. All the extra processing to make our food "healthy" is going to kill us. They got many people to stop eating real butter. Now, most people smear what amounts to "Near-Plastic" on their toast.
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