A battered seafood dish in the US has been crowned the country's worst-ever fast food meal, with health officials describing it as a "heart attack on a hook". The Long John Silver's Big Catch meal (pictured) contains a whopping 3700 milligrams of sodium and 33 grams of trans fat, which is fourteen times more than the recommended daily intake. So how does a typical seafood basket in Australia compare?
On the surface, battered seafood seems to be a slightly healthier option than most takeaway food — after all, those critters are supposed to be chock-full of protein and vitamins.
However, once it's been encased in batter and chucked in the deep fryer, any health benefits have been obliterated in a tidal wave of fatty oil. In the case of the Long John Silver's Big Catch, the dish was found to contain almost the same amount of oil-soaked batter as actual seafood.
A Red Rooster Seafood Basket, meanwhile, contains 2912 kilojoules, 35 grams of fat and 894 milligrams of sodium. All of these figures are pretty high for a single meal — especially if you add sauce, salt and soft drink to the equation.
By contrast, an entire Domino's Chef's Best Deli Vege & Camembert pizza — which is typically shared between two people — comes in at 3954kj, 33g of fat and 1554mg of sodium. To be fair, a seafood basket does contain more protein than a pizza, but there are obviously better ways to get your protein fix.
While most people are aware that battered seafood isn't particularly healthy, it's interesting to see just how unhealthy it is. On the plus side, most fish 'n' chips shops are happy to grill your seafood upon request which cuts down on the harmful oils significantly.