Traditional American food, like the American waistline, is getting a touch chubby these days.
Even though some states have a better reputation than others regarding dishes with large portion sizes, high calorie counts, or high fat content, no state is completely guilt-free.
If you want to try some of these regional favorites on your next road trip, you might want to limit your portion size.
Alabama: Bacon-wrapped meatloaf
With the second-highest obesity prevalence in the country, trailing only neighboring Mississippi, you’d think the deep-fried-bacon-loving south would have some fatty culprits. And Greer’s Market in Mobile’s Chef Kevin Layton does not disappoint with his bacon-wrapped meatloaf dish.
Ground beef, onion, bell pepper, celery, eggs, breadcrumbs, and seasonings are used to make this meatloaf, which is then wrapped with bacon.
Fat content: Each 3-ounce serving of 80% lean meatloaf has approximately 14 grams of fat. Likewise, each slice of bacon adds 3 grams of fat to your diet.
Alaska: Eskimo Ice Cream
Akutaq, often known as Eskimo Ice Cream, is a traditional native delicacy still popular today. When the men returned with a newly slain polar bear or seal, the women produced a batch of the frozen delight. Traditional recipes called for meat and fat from caribou, moose, bears, seals, and fish, but modern versions use Crisco.
Among the ingredients are reindeer fat, seal oil, salmonberries, and blackberries.
Without a defined serving size of this native food, estimating the fat content is difficult. However, consider this: A typical serving of reindeer fat contains 91 grams. A variation made with fish, berries, and seal oil has 9 grams of fat.
Arizona: Quadruple Bypass Burger
The Grand Canyon State takes fatty dishes to a new level at the Heart Attack Grill. Customers weighing more than 350 pounds eat for free. The Quadruple Bypass Burger, which some estimate to be worth 8,000 calories, is at least refreshingly honest about its possible health impact.
Four beef patties, eight pieces of cheese, tomato, onions, sauce, served on a bun
Fat content: Four patties contain roughly 60 grams, close to the upper limit of 65 grams for a 2,000-calorie-a-day woman.
The south is known for frying almost everything. Arkansas catfish is an old favourite for a traditional southern fish fry. When you consider that this dish is frequently served with hush puppies, another southern fried classic, you can sure you’re catching a lot of fat alongside your fish.
Catfish, cornmeal, flour, eggs, and seasonings
Fat content: Despite being faux-fried in the oven, this dish has a hefty 25 grams of fat per serving.
California: In-N-Out Burger Double Double
The Golden State is famed for its fit physique, gym-sculpted abs, and fondness of In-N-Out Burger. This West Coast drive-thru company employs fresh ingredients, but their Double Double is notable for its high fat level, approximately double that of a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger.
2 beef patties, lettuce, tomato, 2 slices of American cheese, and spread
The fat content is 41 grams. A McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger has a respectable 23 grams of fat.
Colorado: Jack-N-Grill’s 7-pound breakfast burritos
While this mountainous state is well known for its healthy reputation—it has the lowest obesity rate in the country—it is also home to one of the world’s largest burritos. Finishing one of Jack-N-Grill’s 7-pound breakfast burritos is such an accomplishment that it was featured on a Travel Channel episode of Man v. Food.
7 potatoes, 12 eggs, a pound of ham, a full onion, cheese, and chile.
Fat content: A pound of ham and 12 eggs have about 100 grams of fat, which is nearly double a woman’s daily fat limit, and that doesn’t include the fat in the cheese and chili.
Connecticut: 2-foot-long hot dog
Man v. Food also stopped by Doogie’s, a hot dog stand outside Hartford. The hot dog is a Connecticut local favorite, with over 24 locations in Hartford alone. However, Doogie’s has elevated the diet-buster with its 2-foot-long hot dog piled in half a pound of extra toppings.
2 foot long pork and beef hot dog, three rolls, onions, peppers, chili, cheddar cheese sauce, and bacon
Fat content: A foot-long hot dog has roughly 24 grams of fat, 10 grams of which is saturated. But this is double the size and includes bacon, chili, and cheddar cheese.
Delaware: Deep-fried pastry
Like the Chinese snack crab Rangoon, the First State is famed for a deep-fried pastry appetizer loaded with crabmeat and cheese.
Recipes vary, but most call for cooked crab or imitation crabmeat, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, seasonings, and frying oil.
Crab is a low-fat food, but many recipes include a lot of butter and mayonnaise. One little puff can have anything from 3 to 8 grams of fat, and richer recipes can contain up to 20 grams per serving.
The South American impact on Floridian cuisine is undeniable. Empanadas are folded meat pies popular throughout the country but especially famous in the Sunshine State’s southern region.
Ingredients: Lard is used to make the dough. The chef chooses the filling, ranging from cheese to vegetables to varied meats.
Fat content: Various empanada recipes range from 10 to 22 grams per empanada. An empanada’s nutritional content can vary depending on what you put inside. However, the dough is typically made with lard, so it is never a low-fat option.
Georgia: Luther Burger
The Luther Burger’s origins are obscure. However, the consensus is that this horror was created in a Decatur, Ga., suburban bar named after R&B legend (and diabetic) Luther Vandross. Paula Deen of the Food Network took it further in 2008 by topping it with a fried egg.
Ground beef patty topped with cheese and bacon sandwiched between two donuts instead of a bun
The two Krispy Kreme glazed donuts have 24 grams of fat, and the patty has another 16.
Hawaii: Loco Moco
According to legend, the islands’ comfort meal dates back to 1949, when a group of hungry teenagers asked the owner of Hilo’s Lincoln Grill to prepare something inexpensive but substantial. He allegedly put together some white rice, a beef patty, and gravy to create the Loco Moco.
Variations in ingredients exist today. For example, the Large at Island Cuisine Maui features two hamburger patties, two eggs, three scoops of jasmine rice, with onions, fish, and mushroom gravy.
Fat content: Two hamburger patties include 32 grams of fat, two eggs contain 10 grams, and a portion of mushroom sauce contains roughly a gram of fat, bringing this dish dangerously near to the daily recommended limit.
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