Eat Healthy the Good Language Way

If you’re wearing your grammar picky-pants, you know that “eat healthy” isn’t actually “good language” — It should be “eat healthily,” using an adverb. But I’ll rant about the decline of the adverb at some indefinite point in the future, when my picky-pants are back from the cleaners.

Today’s rant (Bonjour, Bonjour, c’est le rant du jour!) is brought to you by the good folks at Our Nation’s Fine Restaurants, and courtesy of Yahoo Health, which is writing about America’s Worst Breakfast Foods.

The worst kids’ meal (though Yahoo says “worst kids meal” — must we lament the decline of the proper use of the possessive as well?!) is the Denny’s Big Dipper French Toastix, with a whopping 770 calories and 71 g of fat. Holy childhood obesity, Batman!

The worst breakfast sandwich has 710 calories, 51 grams of fat, 2,250 mg of sodium — that’s congestive heart failure in one handy hockey puck!

Hardee's Monster Biscuit. It's what's for heart disease!

Hardee's Monster Biscuit: It's what's for heart disease!

The worst smoothie is the Smoothie King Grape Expectations II (40 oz.). Now, if you’re going to drink 40 ounces of anything other than water, it had better be malt liquor. But just in case you want to flood your guts with grape, it’ll come with 1,102 calories and 256 grams of sugar (same as 12 Haagen-Dazs bars). I gotta give props to our Yahoo nutrition expert for the apt description here: “this ‘drink’ should be renamed ‘diabetes in a glass.’ ”

The worst omelet is the IHOP Big Steak Omelet (1,490 calories), and the worst breakfast in America is the Bob Evans Stacked and Stuffed Caramel Banana Pecan Hotcakes (“This bad boy packs in more than 75 percent of your calories for the day, along with more sugar and fat than nine glazed Dunkin’ Donuts, and nearly as much sodium as five Bloody Marys.”

Calories, fat, sodium, sugar — these have the whole smorgasbord. But they also have something else: bad names.

I mean, would you eat something called a “monster biscuit”? or a 40-oz. grape smoothie? Or “Toastix”? (“Made with genuine Foodex™ food-like products!”). Or think anything named “Big Steak” could be good for you?

Or for that matter, would anyone with a few grams of self-dignity order “Bob Evans Stacked and Stuffed Caramel Banana Pecan Hotcakes”? Bob Evans makes sausage. And these pancakes are stuffed. With caramel. Here’s a tip: if it takes nine damned words to describe a plate of pancakes, they’re pretty much gonna kill you.

And this is my point. In most cases*, you don’t need nutritional labels to know what to eat. If the language sounds bad, the food is practically assured to be. About to smack your lips on a Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll? God help you. Or if you still find the connection vague, just find some heavy person at the mall, follow them around for a while, and repeat after me: cinnabon … cinnabon … cinnabon

* That said, one  healthier alternative is a “Croissan’wich” (a name that gives me the heebie-jeebies), and another is “Kid’s D-Zone Smiley Alien Hotcakes.” But it gets murky here, because it’s not obvious that smiley aliens are WAY healthier than Big Dipper French. But look again: It’s the Kid’s D-Zone Smiley Alien Hotcakes. See that proper apostrophe use? It’s like a secret grammar/health code for fast-food dining cognoscenti.

Unless, of course, it was just dumb luck.