Caloric Foods

Think granola is a lighter breakfast option than bacon? Think again: One cup packs the same caloric punch as 10 slices. VIEW OUR GALLERY of 13 foods that give burgers and doughnuts a run for their money.

1. Rise and Swine

1 cup Quaker Oats granola = approx. 10 medium slices of bacon = 440 calories

The next time you give yourself a pat on the back for ordering the “sensible” brunch option of granola, consider this: You could down 10 slices of pig fat for the same calorie count. The nuts, coconut, brown sugar, maple syrup, and sometimes dried fruit in granola add up, and if eaten recklessly, might make the number on the scale shoot up as well.

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2. Japanese Junk Food?

8-piece Philadelphia sushi roll = 1 medium bagel with plain cream cheese = 300-500 calories

While many associate sushi with health, beware: Not all rolls are created equal. The cutely named Philadelphia or Philly roll—after its signature ingredient of cream cheese—can pack as many calories as a plain bagel with gooey goodness. Other ingredients in a Philly roll usually include smoked salmon, cucumber, rice, and seaweed.

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3. Bottoms Up!

5 oz. Mai Tai = Wendy’s double cheeseburger = 360 calories

Margaritas and piña coladas may be known for their bad caloric reputations, but they’re hardly the only culprits in the cocktail world. For the calories in a generous Mai Tai—made with rum, crème de almond, triple sec, sweet and sour mix, and pineapple juice—you could eat a Wendy’s double cheeseburger. Also worth avoiding: Long Island Iced Teas, which can boast as many calories as a McDonald’s Big Mac.

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4. Where’s the Beef?

Portobello mushroom burger = McDonald’s Big Mac = 540 calories

Speaking of Big Macs: While choosing to eat a Portobello mushroom burger over a hamburger can have health benefits, when it comes to calories, the former is often no better. Portobello mushrooms themselves aren’t major offenders; raw, they can register as few as 25 calories. But when grilled in oil, slapped on a bun, and slathered with sauce and other fixings, the calories add up. Consider the 'Shroom Burger at New York's Shake Shack, consisting of a "crisp-fried Portobello filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheese."

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5. Snack Attack

½ cup sunflower seeds (no shells) = 2 bags plain M&Ms = 420 calories

Sunflower seeds may be small, but they have a mighty ability to make us gain weight. Just a half cup of shelled seeds packs the same amount of calories as two regular-size bags of M&M candies. Then again, they melt neither in your mouth nor your hand.

6. Saucy Offenders

1/2 cup pesto = more than 1 cup Alfredo sauce = 600 calories

Just because a food is green doesn’t make it good. While it’s widely known that Alfredo sauce is basically liquid fat, pesto has managed to avoid stigma—until now. The tasty sauce is heavy in olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts or walnuts, and Buitoni's version is about twice as caloric as its Alfredo sauce.

7. A Taco by Any Other Name

1 Chipotle grilled chicken salad = approx. 2 Taco Bell quesadillas = 900 calories

It bears repeating: Green isn’t always good. Just because a food calls itself a salad doesn’t mean it’ll go easy on your gut. A Chipotle salad with lettuce, tomato salsa, corn, shredded cheese, black beans, sour cream, guacamole, grilled chicken, and salad dressing adds up to about 900 calories—comparable to two Taco Bell quesadillas. Ay dios mio!

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8. Between the Bread

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich = 2 packages Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups = approx. 500 calories

While more modest PB&Js—made with wheat bread and conservative amounts of peanut butter and jelly—can add up to between 250 and 400 calories, heartier ones veer into the 500s.

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9. Smooth Operators

Jamba Juice Strawberry Surfrider (power size, 31 fl. oz.) = 2 McDonald's Strawberry Sundaes = approx. 570 calories

With the temperature rising, the allure of fruit smoothies is high. But don’t let the seeming “healthy” promise of places like Jamba Juice or Smoothie King fool you: Hidden in their menus are super-high-calorie options. For the same calorie count as a large Jamba Juice Strawberry Surfrider smoothie, for example, you could down two McDonald’s strawberry sundaes.

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10. Tea for Two Chins

24 oz. can Arizona Iced Tea = 1 large slice cheese pizza = 270 calories

Relatively speaking, Arizona Iced Tea is low in calories—but if you drink all three servings in a 24 oz. can (the standard sold in convenience stores and delis), you’ll be taking in the same calories as a large slice of cheese pizza. Perhaps homemade iced tea would be a better choice for the next family barbecue.

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11. Sweet and Scary

7 chunks dried mango = just shy of 2 packages Starburst = 320 calories

Fruit may be born from the earth, but by the time it’s dried, loaded with sugar, and packaged, its calorie count is out of this world. Just seven pieces of dried mango add up to about 320 calories—while two regular-size packages of Starburst equal 340.

12. Nutty

3/4 cup walnuts = Burger King’s King Size Onion Rings = more than 500 calories

While nuts offer very real health benefits—they’re high in protein and good fat, and research shows that eating them regularly can lower the risk of heart disease—they’re calorically dense, so moderation is key. One can down 3/4 of a cup of walnuts without even thinking, and he or she will have consumed the caloric equivalent of Burger King’s King Sized Onion Rings. Yowza.

13. Holey Smokes

Large, dry bagel = 2 glazed Dunkin Donuts = 360 calories

Ah, the ever-maligned doughnut—always cited as an example of what not to eat. Indeed, while doughnuts’ nutritional value and fat content don’t do a body good, when it comes to calories, many are better than your average New York bagel. For one plain, dry bagel (yum!), one can eat two glazed Dunkin' Donuts. Not that we recommend this.