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Daily Dose

Chain’s ‘Big Catch Meal’ called big health problem

Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that a meal of fried fish, onion rings, and hush puppies is bad for you. But a consumer group last week slammed Long John Silver’s “Big Catch Meal” as worse for your health than almost anything else you could possibly eat.

Lab tests released last Monday found that the meal holds a whopping 33 grams of trans fat and 1,320 calories. That’s 16 times the maximum amount of trans fat that you should get daily, the American Heart Association says. The Center for Science in the Public Interest calls it the quickest way to clog your arteries in the fast food business.

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Long John Silver’s uses partially hydrogenated frying oil, which the group says most restaurants have nixed because of lawsuits and government restrictions.

Dr. Walter Willett, who runs the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in a statement posted on the center’s website that this kind of oil should be obsolete by now: “It might have been defensible to use hydrogenated oil in the 1980s, before trans fat’s harmfulness was discovered, but no longer.”

The food chain posted a statement on its website saying in part, “Big Catch is a limited time only special that delivers tremendous value to value hungry consumers. The Big Catch can be paired with a variety of side items including corn, green beans, rice, cole slaw, fries, onion rings and hush puppies.”

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