The Worst Restaurant Meal in America: Something’s Fishy at Long John Silver’s

Nutritionists have been telling us to eat more fish for years, but the Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has revealed the worst restaurant meal in the United States to be Long John Silver's Big Catch.

On Tuesday, the non-profit organization tweeted:


The restaurant chain introduced the meal, which includes a piece of fried haddock, hushpuppies, and onion rings in late May for the bargain price of $4.99 writing in a press release, "The Big Catch is a premium menu item, with the classic taste that Long John Silver's is known for." While it may be a lot of food for a cheap price, its no great deal in terms of nutrition.

According to the CSPI, Big Catch contains 33 grams of trans fats, an additional 19 grams of saturated fat, and 3,700 grams of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends that adults limit their consumption of trans fats to less than two grams a day and saturated fats to less than 16 grams per day. The recommendation for sodium is less than 1500 grams per day. Trans fats and saturated fats are associated with higher bad cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease.

"Long John Silver's Big Catch meal deserves to be buried 20,000 leagues under the sea," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said in a press release. "This company is taking perfectly healthy fish-and entombing it in a thick crust of batter and partially hydrogenated oil. The result? A heart attack on a hook. Instead of the Big Catch, I'd call it America's Deadliest Catch."

Walter C. Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health added,"It might have been defensible to use hydrogenated oil in the 1980s, before trans fat's harmfulness was discovered, but no longer."

Because Big Catch is a temporary menu item, Long John Silver's is not required to disclose its nutritional information. The CPSI estimates the meal contains about 1,320 calories, about the same amount as in a MacDonald's Big Mac, French fries, and milk shake.

The CSPI also asserts that Long John Silver's is telling a fish tale when it comes to the amount of haddock included in the meal. According to the restaurant, "It's the largest fish we have ever offered weighing in at 7-8 ounces of 100 percent premium Haddock caught in the icy waters of the North Atlantic." However, tests performed by the CSPI, reveal that's a significant overstatement. "It turns out that when Long John Silver's says 7 to 8 ounces of 100 percent haddock, it's more like 60 percent haddock, and 40 percent batter and grease," said Jacobson. "Nutrition aside, that's just plain piracy." The restaurant chain has not responded to Yahoo Shine's request for comment.