- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 4, 2000

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is in the business of pointing out foods that are full of nutrition and foods that are full of nothing but salt, fat and sugar. The worst offenders usually are selected as CSPI's "food porn" choices in the monthly Nutrition Action Newsletter.
Sometimes food that would appear to be relatively healthy is anything but, says CSPI senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley. Reading the labels of packaged foods makes it clear just how big a serving size is and whether it contains more sugar than a bowlful of jelly beans.
Here are 10 foods you should never eat, according to CSPI nutritionists:
1. Quaker 100 Percent Natural Honey and Oats Granola Don't let the "natural" label fool you. A serving of this cereal has 3 teaspoons of sugar and more fat than you would get in a McDonald's hamburger. Better cereal choices are Quaker 100 Percent Natural Low Fat Granola with Raisins or low-fat, low-sugar alternatives such as shredded wheat or Grape-Nuts.
2. Gwaltney Great Dogs Chicken Franks Consumers often think a label that features chicken or turkey instead of beef means less fat. However, Gwaltney and Mr. Turkey offer chicken and turkey dogs with 10 to 11 grams of fat each, respectively. Most hot dog companies offer pork, beef, turkey or soy dogs with zero to 2 1/2 grams of fat.
3. Entenmann's Rich Frosted Donuts What do you get when you dip a doughnut in chocolate? A pastry that contains 10 grams of saturated fat, the same as in nine strips of bacon. Entenmann's Light Donuts have 6 to 9 grams of fat each. That does not make them low-fat, but they still are a better alternative.
4. Nissin Cup Noodles With Shrimp A cup of noodles and broth seems as if it wouldn't damage a diet. Not so, Miss Hurley says. The noodles are pre-fried in palm oil and salted to contain more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium, the same as in a 14-ounce bag of potato chips. Fantastic Foods Chicken Free Ramen Noodles have less fat and sodium, according to CSPI.
5. Frito-Lay's Wow Potato Chips These chips, along with Fat Free Pringles, are fried in Olean, the indigestible fat substitute recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Olean (olestra) doesn't add calories, but in many people, it causes severe stomach cramping and diarrhea. Baked chips are a better low-fat alternative, Miss Hurley says.
6. Oscar Mayer Lunchables These compartmentalized lunch offerings are popular among school children, but CSPI says, "It would be hard to invent a worse food than these combos of heavily processed meats, artery-clogging cheese and mostly white-flour crackers." A healthier alternative is reduced-fat Triscuits with two slices of Healthy Choice cold cuts.
7. Burger King french fries These are the worst french fries you can buy at a restaurant, Miss Hurley says. Burger King fries have a salty coating that allows more oil to be absorbed, so a king-size portion packs 590 calories and 30 grams of fat, 12 of them saturated.
A supersize order of McDonald's fries has 26 grams of fat, 4 1/2 of them saturated. Both are fried in unhealthy trans-fat-laden shortening. Meanwhile, Burger King fries have a whopping 1,110 milligrams of sodium, compared with McDonald's 350.
8. Campbell's red-and-white label soups These popular soups are brimming with salt. Half a can averages more than 1,110 milligrams, about half a day's allowance of sodium. A healthier alternative is Healthy Choice or Campbell's Healthy Request, which have about half as much sodium as Campbell's regular soups.
9. Bugles Snack foods such as potato chips and pre-popped popcorn aren't exactly nutritious. That is, until you compare them to Bugles. Bugles are fried in coconut oil, which is about twice as saturated as lard. (Chips usually are fried in corn, soy or canola oil). One serving (about a cup) of Bugles offers 40 percent of a day's saturated fat. A low-fat snack would be Baked Bugles or low-fat tortilla chips.
10. Contadina Alfredo Sauce Eating this is equivalent to melting a stick of butter on your pasta, CSPI scientists say. Healthier choices in the sauce aisle are Classico Spicy Red Pepper or Tomato and Basil or anything from Healthy Choice or Ragu Light.

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