Hot Dog vs. Hamburger
You’ve put on the sundress, lathered on the sunscreen, and you’re ready for that ultimate warm weather ritual: the backyard barbecue. And what barbecue doesn't serve hamburgers and hot dogs? A hamburger is double the size of a hot dog and the dog has a lot of sodium, but which one has more fat and calories? Which is worse?
Answer: Hot Dog
“Even if you get the fat-free hot dogs, they’re going to have quite a bit of salt in them,” says dietitian Heather Rasmussen, Ph.D., of the Women’s Heart Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “And salt raises blood pressure, which contributes to heart disease.” Watch the size of the burger though -- keep it to no more than 4 ounces (the size of a deck of cards.) Pass on the cheese to save even more calories.
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Potato Salad vs. Cole Slaw
It’s hard to decide between these two tasty and ever-present side dishes. Both are mixed with mayonnaise, but which is worse?
Answer: Potato Salad
With more calories, fat and sodium, potato salad loses this battle. Coleslaw also has an extra health benefit: it's mostly cabbage. “If you can get around three to five servings per week of any cruciferous vegetable, and cabbage is a perfect example of that, it really can help protect against cancer,” says Emily Gelsomin, R.D., Clinical Nutrition Specialist with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Also see: Which is Worse? Chinese Takeout
Fried Chicken v.s Steak
A fesh steak off a hot grill or crispy and delicious fried chicken -- which is worse?
Answer: Fried Chicken
Yes it’s red meat and yes, it’s known for its saturated fat, but steak is the winner over fried chicken. One piece of fried chicken breast has 728 calories and 37 grams of fat! “I think red meat gets a bad rap,” says Rasmussen. “If you eat it in moderation it really is a good source of protein and it’s a good source of iron.” Just watch your portion size. Aim for a steak the size of a bar of soap -- and go easy on the sauces.
Also see: Which Is Worse? Battle of the Fast Food Breakfasts
Barbecue Sauce vs. Ketchup
This competition is a tight one. Both are delicious and go well with most everything that comes off the grill, so which is worse?
Answer: Barbecue Sauce
Barbecue sauce narrowly loses out to ketchup. “Ketchup has fewer calories and a little less salt,” says Rasmussen. “Plus, ketchup has more lycopene than the barbecue sauce.” Why is lycopene good? It's a cancer fighter.
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Iced Tea vs. Pop
It seems like a cold fizzy pop was made to wash down a hot dog or burger. Then again, iced tea is a summertime favorite. So which is worse?
Pop has phosphorus, which might affect bone strength, so iced tea ekes out ahead on that point. In order to be a real winner, though, the tea has to be homemade. “At least with the black tea, you’re getting antioxidants, which help fight the free radicals that can damage your cells,” says Gelsomin. If you get the store-bought tea mix, this matchup is a wash.
Also see: Which Is Worse? Comfort Food
Peanuts vs. Chips
Both salty snacks are great to munch on while waiting for dinner to be served, but which is worse?
Answer: Potato Chips
Chips have less fat and fewer calories, so how do they lose out to peanuts? Peanuts have fiber, protein, some healthy fat and they’re more filling, which means you’ll probably eat fewer peanuts. "With potato chips, you could eat a million of them and not really feel satisfied,” Gelsomin says.
Brownie vs. Chocolate Chip Cookie
Some would argue that dessert is the best part of any meal. When your choices are a rich brownie square or a butterly cookie sprinkled with chocolate chips, which is worse?
With these desserts, size matters. “Whenever you have sweets, think of the 2-inch rule,” Gelsomin says. “For a brownie, that’s a little square. For a cookie, it’s a little cookie. If you have one of those mondo cookies, they are 350 calories and above.” A small cookie, though, can weigh in at less than 100 calories. If the brownie and cookie are the same size, opt for the cookie -- it’ll be about half the calories (47 vs. 112). If your dessert options are super-sized, just choose the smaller of the two.
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