© David Tonelson | Dreamstime.com
We're putting this last on our list, but maybe it should be first. While the label says that a serving ("1 cup") is 520 calories (with 31 grams of fat and 740 milligrams of sodium), not many people are going to split a pot pie. But you just might want to, because if you eat the whole thing it's — yes — 1040 calories. And that's the kind of comfort food that leaves us uncomfortable.
Sounds straightforward enough, but loaded as it is with creamy sauce, this pasta meal winds up being 630 calories. The good news is, the meal doesn't seem to contain imitation cheese; the downside, besides the calories, is the high sodium (840 milligrams) and 35 grams of fat.
That "extra helping" gets you all kinds of extra goodies including your entire recommended daily allowance of sodium, at 2,363 milligrams. It's extra generous with fat, too, at 40.5 grams. The Salisbury steak comes with mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn. Calories weigh in at 646.
This is one of Boston Market's Home Style Meals. But do most meals made at home have ingredients like Dl-Alpha tocopherol and ascorbyl palmitate? (Those probably aren't in your spice rack.) And at home you can control salt better than the 1,500 milligrams here; 31 grams of fat and 680 calories round out the meal.
Unhealthy frozen meals are not the exclusive domain of dinnertime; breakfast gets its fair share of entries. This 710-calorie Breakfast Bowl, with four sausage links and three pancakes, also has 34 grams of fat and 1,000 milligrams of sodium. Their site asks: "Feeling the glow yet?" Um, no.
What could be a good protein source is clouded by enough sodium (2, 100 milligrams) and calories (740) to negate the positives. These 30-fat-gram enchiladas come on a corn tortilla and are sided with Spanish rice, beans, and salsa, which in themselves could be fine without all the sodium. They're covered with imitation Cheddar cheese made with sodium aluminum phosphate and cellulose powder, among other things.
This single-serving pizza might seem a better idea than grabbing a few slices at your local pizza joint. But still, its 770 calories are significantly more than most frozen pizzas, with 32 grams of fat and 1,330 milligrams of sodium (plus chemicals like methylcellulose and sodium stearoyl lactylate) to boot. And while this pizza is technically two servings, we're not sure who would stop at half.
We like our Mexican fix as much as the next person, but not when it involves a heaping load of calories (790), 43 grams of fat and 790 milligrams of sodium (plus a dose of sodium metabisulfite, whatever that is). According to CalorieKing.com, you'd have to walk 219 minutes to work off your meal.
Part of Hungry Man's Sports Grill series, the Popcorn Fish and Chips meal is topped with cheese sauce just to make it even more caloric (880). Like its colleague, the Classic Fried Chicken, it has an insane amount of sodium (2,640 milligrams) and actually even more fat (48 grams).
You'd better be a Hungry Man (grrr!) to eat this one, which comes with reconstituted potatoes, corn, and a brownie — and you'd better be an Exercising Man to work it off. It tops our list in the calorie category, coming in at 960, with an over-the-top sodium level (2,869 milligrams!) and 45 grams of fat. Ingredients like monosodium glutamate and sodium acid pyrophosphate make it even less like down-home cooking.