Are you fast food savvy?

I would say I’m pretty good at guessing the nutritional values of foods. It’s a perk of the job, writing

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I would say I’m pretty good at guessing the nutritional values of foods. It’s a perk of the job, writing and researching nutrition, health and fitness. But I came across a surprising study today from the University of Arkansas (to be published in the Journal of Retailing) that says the higher the calorie, fat and sodium content of fast food, the more likely we are to underestimate these nutrients. Participants were spot on in guessing the nutritional values of their garden salads and diet drinks, but they did underestimate sodium by roughly 1,000 milligrams for other foods. And those eating out regularly added an extra 900 calories to their diet each week. That could mean a weight gain of about 13 pounds each year

To test how fast food savvy you are, I created a quick quiz. For each restaurant, guess which food is higher in calories, fat and sodium.

1. Which Wendy’s item has more fat?

a) a broccoli and cheese baked potato
b) a grilled chicken burger

2. Which Taco Bell item has more calories?
a) Fiesta Taco Salad
b) Nachos Supreme

3. Which Little Caesars three-topping slice (from a 14-inch pizza) has more sodium?
a) a slice with pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers
b) a slice with ham, pineapple and extra cheese

4. Which McDonald’s breakfast item has more calories?
a) an Egg McMuffin
b) a Breakfast BLT Bagel

5. Which KFC item has more sodium?
a) a Classic chicken sandwich with no mayo
b) an Original Recipe chicken breast with the skin removed

Scroll down for the answers.

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1. b) The grilled chicken has 7 grams of fat, (320 calories, 950 milligrams of sodium), and the baked potato has 2.5 grams of fat (340 calories, 490 milligrams of sodium). That’s 4.5 grams more fat, despite its lower calorie content.

2. a) The salad has 850 calories (45 grams of fat, 1690 milligrams of sodium) and the Nachos Supreme 390 calories (25 grams of fat, 670 milligrams of sodium). That isn’t a typical garden salad.

3. a) The pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers slice has 470 milligrams of sodium (230 calories, 8 grams of fat) and the ham, pineapple and extra cheese slice has 434 milligrams of sodium (238 calories, 9 grams of fat). Meat toppers seem to be the high-salt culprits.

4. b) The bagel has 440 calories (20 grams of fat, 860 milligrams of sodium), and the Egg McMuffin has 290 calories (12 grams of fat, 760 milligrams of sodium).

5. a) The sandwich has 890 milligrams of sodium (340 calories, 10 grams of fat), and the chicken breast has 560 milligrams of sodium (190 calories, 7 grams of fat).

How’d you do?

Visit our Healthy Eating section for more on making the right food choices.

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