Long John Silver's meal named 'worst' by watchdog group

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Updated: 7/03/2013 4:29 pm Published: 7/03/2013 3:36 pm

Posting humorous photos with finished Long John Silver's "Big Catch" meals has become an online trend, but a health group says there's nothing funny about the dish.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says the "Big Catch" is the unhealthiest grub in America.

The watchdog group hopes calling attention to the meal will encourage the fast food chain to stop using partially hydrogenated oil.

The "Big Catch" meal includes fried fish, hushpuppies and onion rings. It has more than 19 grams of saturated fat and 3,700 milligrams of sodium.

The CSPI's report said while there are other fast food meals with more calories, the "Big Catch" has a whopping amount of trans fat.

Trans fat is considered to be the worst type of fat according to the Mayo Clinic, because it raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol in the body.

According to the American Heart Association, people should limit themselves to about two grams of trans fat per day.

The "Big Catch" meal has 33 grams of trans fat, more than 16 times the recommended allowance and about how much a person should have in two weeks, according to the CSPI.

The CSPI is also slamming Long John Silver's for the amount of fish in the "Big Catch."

The fast food company's website says the meal is seven to eight ounces of 100 percent haddock, but the CSPI says it is actually only about half of that, with 3 fluid ounces of fried batter.

Long John Silver's posted a song to its website in May called "No Better Batter."

But the CSPI disagrees.

The batter in the dish is fried in partially hydrogenated oil which gives the meal 33 grams of trans fat, according to the CSPI.

The group is threatening to sue Long John Silver's if it continues to use the oil in its deep fryers and if it does not lower the amount of fish it says is in the meal's nutrition facts.

Long John Silver's responded on its website: "We stand behind our published food data."

The company also said it is willing to go over any issues raised by the group.

The CSPI said Long John Silver's should start using canola oil instead of partially hydrogenated oil.

The watchdog also is asking the Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of that oil altogether.

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