6 Scariest Frankenfoods


Your appetite is about to be attacked by zombies and vampires. I’m not talking about the children in plastic masks ringing your doorbell on Halloween night. I’m referring to the bowls of Snickers, Smarties, and other sugary snacks that will inevitably show up in your home and office over the next two weeks.

My advice: Indulge. In moderation, of course. And then focus your attention on the real food monsters among us. Every year, the mad scientists of the food industry gather in their creepy labs (or, possibly, boardrooms) to create new disguises for nutritionally inferior fare. In the past, that amounted to an extra patty on your burger or some cheese stuffed into your pizza crust. But as these tricks started becoming commonplace, the food industry began resorting to increasingly crazier creations. These are the strange, mutilated, dangerous monsters I call “Frankenfoods.”

Below you’ll find a list of the most frightening of these freaky foods, courtesy of  the new and completely updated Eat This, Not That! 2013 Edition. Be warned: Not only are these menu items a waste of your money, but eating them may elicit blood-curdling screams when you step on the bathroom scale.

#6: Scariest Chicken Dish
Pizza Hut Garlic Parmesan Bone-Out Wings (6 wings)
780 calories
57 g fat (10.5 g saturated)
2,130 mg sodium

Ever seen a chicken without bones in its wings? Of course not. Mother Nature put them there for a reason, and it wasn’t so multinational food corporations could go yanking them out for their own twisted purposes. Not only are these freakish “bone-out”wings just plain weird, but thanks to a generous coating of creamy sauce and a layer of greasy breading, they have more than three times as many calories as the Hut’s Traditional All-American Wings. They may not have their own bones, but they’ll stick to yours in the worst way.

Eat This Instead!
Traditional All-American Wings (6 wings)
240 calories
15 g fat (4.5 g saturated)
870 mg sodium

SPINE-CHILLING SELECTIONS! From frightening amounts of fat to sinister doses of sodium, there are some nerve-racking nutritional facts lurking behind the walls of your favorite chain.

#5: Scariest Breakfast Sandwich
Carl’s Jr. Breakfast Burger
810 calories
42 g fat (16 g saturated, 1 g trans)
1,480 mg sodium

A plate of eggs, bacon, and hash browns is a simple breakfast meal. A basic cheeseburger is a simple lunch choice. But when you merge them together, you get a freaky invention that’s simply one of the worst fast-food breakfast sandwiches in America. Starting your day with a burger may feel like the adult equivalent of eating ice cream for breakfast, but the party’s over when you consider that indulging will set you back two-thirds of a day’s saturated fat and more calories than two McDonald’s McDoubles.

Eat This Instead!
Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich
450 calories
21 g fat (8 g saturated)
1,470 mg sodium

#4: Scariest Sandwich
Denny’s Fried Cheese Melt with Marinara Sauce
830 calories
40 g fat (17 g saturated, 1 g trans)
2,920 mg sodium

Denny’s received a lot of attention in 2010 when it released this cheesy creation. We’re not sure what’s more disturbing: The fact that it’s a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with deep-fried mozzarella cheese sticks (why?), or that the meal only costs $4. If you’re looking for a cheap thrill, by all means order this sandwich, but if you want to avoid a fattening fate, I suggest you meet your cheese needs elsewhere.

Eat This Instead!
Club Sandwich
630 calories
33 g fat (5 g saturated)
1,530 mg sodium

#3: Scariest Appetizer
Olive Garden Lasagna Fritta
1,030 calories
63 g fat (21 g saturated)
1,590 mg sodium

This appetizer sounds like a fantasy food dreamed up in the early morning hours at a college frat house: “Dude, imagine if you took hunks of lasagna, dipped them in batter, and tossed them in the deep fryer.” Unfortunately, Olive Garden’s preposterous pasta creation is the real deal, and so is its cost to your health. This alarming app will set you back half a day’s calories and a day’s worth of saturated fat, proving that just because you can deep-fry something, doesn’t mean you should.

Eat This Instead!
Stuffed Mushrooms
280 calories
19 g fat (5 g saturated)
720 mg sodium

WHEN APPETIZERS ATTACK! Chain restaurant menus are loaded with calorie-packed “starters” that’ll put an end to your get-fit plans long before your entrée arrives.

#2: Scariest Pasta Dish
Domino’s Chicken Carbonara BreadBowl Pasta
1,480 calories
56 g fat (24 g saturated)
2,220 mg sodium

Sure, you could eat your dinner out of a bowl made entirely of bread. You could also eat your breakfast off of a pancake plate, but why would you? Domino’s already doubled down on refined carbs with this bready pasta vessel, but by brushing it with their signature oil blend, they added 44 difficult-to-pronounce ingredients like “oleoresin garlic”and “lipolyzed butter oil” to the mix. And if ingesting a meal with more chemicals than a bottle of household cleaner doesn’t scare you, consider that this doughy disaster has more than a day’s saturated fat and enough calories to help you cultivate some rolls of your own.

Eat This Instead!
Brooklyn Style Crust Chicken Pizza with Onions and Mushrooms (2 slices, large pie)
570 calories
23 g fat (10 g saturated)
1,400 mg sodium

#1: Scariest Pizza Plate
Uno Chicago Grill Pizza Skins
2,070 calories
140 g fat (48 g saturated, 1 g trans)
3,050 mg sodium

Classic potato skins are scary enough on their own: the innocent spud is slaughtered by globs of sour cream, mounds of melted cheese, and piles of greasy bacon. So when you take the potato-skin conceit and throw in an oil-soaked deep-dish pizza crust, you get a fatty fright fest that’ll haunt your dreams—and your cardiologist—for weeks. This petrifying pie (filled with mashed potatoes, bacon, cheese, and sour cream) houses roughly a day’s calories, more than a day’s sodium, and two times the daily recommended saturated fat load. Run for your life. Literally.

Eat This Instead!
Four Cheese Half Pizza
530 calories
26 g fat (12 g saturated)
1,060 mg sodium


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