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Subway Sub, McDonald’s Oatmeal Among Five Worst “Healthy” Fast Foods

worst "healthy" fast foodMore sugar than five Twinkies. More fat than a cheesesteak. PCRM’s new report finds some items marketed as “healthy” by fast-food chains are packed with more fat, sodium, or sugar than many people should eat in an entire day.

On the list are Wendy’s Baja Salad with 1,990 milligrams of sodium and McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal with more calories than a hamburger and more sugar than many candy bars.

“Your health and your waistline will thank you for saying no to these so-called healthy foods,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Fast-food chains hope to cash in on consumer ignorance with labels like ‘fat-free’ and ‘low-calorie.’ But some of these foods contain more sugar, sodium, or fat than anyone should eat in an entire day, and eating them can increase your risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.”

KFC’s grilled chicken, marketed to health-conscious consumers as a “better-for-you” alternative to the chain’s high-fat fried chicken, contains a carcinogen called PhIP that has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer and other cancers.

The five worst “healthy” fast-food items are:

Five Worst “Healthy” Fast-Food Items

Nutritional Shocker

Wendy’s Baja Salad

1,990 milligrams of sodium—more than most people should consume in an entire day.

McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal

More sugar than a Snickers Bar.

Subway Fresh Fit 6” Turkey Breast Sub

With standards such as cheese and mayo, this “low-fat” sandwich jumps to 24 grams of fat. Contains processed meat, which is linked to increased cancer risk.

Sonic Strawberry Smoothie

More sugar than five Twinkies.

KFC Kentucky Grilled Chicken

Contains PhIP, a chemical classified as a carcinogen by the federal government.

Coinciding with the release of the report, PCRM also continued to counteract fast-food advertising aimed at children by joining more than 550 health professionals and institutions in signing an open letter to McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner that asks McDonald’s to stop marketing fast food to children.

To read the complete “Five Worst Supposedly “Healthy” Fast-Food Items” report and learn more about the dangers of fast food, visit


PCRM Online, June 2011

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