Think fish is a healthier alternative to the red meat doled out by most fast food restaurants? Think again.
Though a small piece of fish prepared properly can provide many nutrients with relatively little fat, that’s not the case with Long John Silver’s “Big Catch.” On the contrary — the popular fast food menu item was just named the unhealthiest meal in America by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer advocacy group.
For those unfamiliar with the dish, it consists of two deep-fried pieces of fish and the choice of two side dishes. It sells for just $4.99, which is a big part of why it’s so popular.
When consumers choose onion rings and hushpuppies (fried cornbread balls that are popular in the South), it all adds up to a meal that includes a staggering 19 grams of saturated fat, 33 grams of trans fat and nearly 37 grams of sodium. All that bad stuff is in the breading, as an unbattered and unfried piece of whitefish contains just a gram of saturated fat, less than a gram of sodium and no trans fat at all.
Trans fat is considered so unhealthy that New York City banned it seven years ago. The American Heart Association suggests adults consume no more than about two grams of the stuff every day — a far cry from the 33 found in the Big Catch.
The CSPI also accused Long John Silver’s of fudging the nutritional data about the Big Catch, suggesting it’s even worse than officially stated.
In an official response, a representative of Long John Silver’s said the Big Catch “is a limited time only special that delivers tremendous value to value hungry consumers” and that the company would “review any requests from CSPI that raise questions about our data.”