Fat is flavor, as they say, so when you take something that’s full of fat and add in a bunch of sugar or salt, our brains kick into overdrive. But what are the most fattening foods on Earth?
There’s no question what the single most fattening food on the planet is: That would, obviously, be pure fat, which comes in a few forms. There’s animal fat (lardo, or cured pork fat, is probably the food product that contains the most of it); there’s dairy fat, which is butter in its most concentrated form; and there are nut and vegetable fats, which are pure oil (like olive, peanut, or soybean oil) in their most concentrated forms. Whichever foods contain the most of these fats are, quite obviously, the most fattening foods around.
There are good fats and there are bad fats, but these foods contain the most of the bad fats, the ones high in cholesterol and saturated fats. We’d advise against eating these if you’re not looking to put on weight.
Chicken-Fried Steak With Cream Gravy
Fat on fat on fat. A pounded steak is battered and fried, then topped with a cream-based gravy that very well might have sausage mixed in for good measure. The chicken-fried steak with sausage gravy served at IHOP, for example, contains 81 grams of fat, and if you decide to add eggs to it and call it breakfast, the fat content is boosted to a whopping 115 grams, making it the single most fattening menu item there. The smaller, frozen version sold by Marie Callender’s clocks in at 31 grams of fat.
If you’ve ever seen sausage being made, it usually starts with not only a pork shoulder, one of the fattiest cuts on the pig, but also a hefty portion of fatback, or pure fat. One link of Johnsonville bratwurst, for example, weighs 82 grams, and contains 21 grams of fat. That means that this sausage, which is pretty representative of sausage as a whole, is pushing a fat content of 26 percent, more fat than most burgers. One 45-gram classic Oscar Mayer wiener, in comparison, contains nine grams of fat, clocking in at about 20 percent.
Foie gras is the liver of a duck or goose that’s been purposely fattened up, and it’s rich, creamy, unctuous, and insanely decadent. It’s also insanely high in fat: A 100 gram, 3.5-ounce portion contains 44 grams of fat, meaning that it’s a full 44 percent fat.
Cheese is basically concentrated milk, and contains a very high amount of fat. Needless to say, if you take a bunch of it, melt it in a little pot, and serve it with little cubes of bread, it’s going to be one of the most fattening foods around. At The Melting Pot, a fondue-based chain, one order of traditional Swiss fondue contains 50 grams of fat.
Rib meat contains a ton of fat, and people tend to eat more of it because there isn’t a whole lot of meat on the bones. Should you decide to head to your local Tony Roma’s and order a full 1.5 pound rack of St. Louis ribs, which are meatier and fattier than Baby Backs, that’ll set you back a whopping 94 grams of fat. The Baby Backs, at a still-excessive 38 grams of fat, seem light in comparison. And we wouldn’t advise eating a full six-piece slab of the beef ribs; those contain a completely absurd 189 grams of fat, not to mention 2,289 calories, making it the most fattening item on the menu. Might want to schedule a visit to the cardiologist on the way home.
Super-Premium Ice Cream
Super-premium ice creams, like those sold by Ben & Jerry’s, for example, are the most fattening ones around because they contain so little air and contain a high level of butterfat. For example, half a cup (or 106 grams) of their Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream contains 16 grams of fat, meaning that 15 percent of their ice cream is pure butterfat. And that right there is why it’s so creamy and delicious.