Denny's Maple Bacon Sundae

April 12, 2011   25 Comments

Last week, I featured a healthy bacon recipe - Who Else Wants Bacon? and read comments about a maple bacon sundae at Denny's.

Denny's Maple Bacon Sundae

Ummm, really?

I decided to visit my nearest Denny's and I ordered the maple bacon sundae. Before I visited, I called Denny's to get the nutritional information on this dish - but, they didn't call me back.

So, then I e-mailed, tweeted, and commented on their FaceBook page - and then I decided to call them again. PERSISTENCE is my middle name.

sounds kinda nice Snack Persistence Girl :)

And, guess what? They gave it to me!

The Denny's "Maple Bacon Sundae" nutritional information:

810 calories, 40g fat, 97g carbohydrates, 16g protein, 0g fiber, 460mg sodium, 22 Points+

For those of you who don't use Weight Watchers, I currently am allotted 29 Points per day. That means I could have breakfast and this sundae and be finished eating for the day.

Denny! We need to talk. I don't know if you have noticed, but ONE out of every THREE Americans is overweight or obese. And, your menu has only TWO "FitFare" options that I could see when I visited.

And, not to point out anything you don't already know, but your stock has FLATLINED for the last five years. McDonald's, meanwhile, is killing it.

Do yourself, employees, and shareholders a favor and WAKE UP!

Would it kill you to serve fresh fruit, more than one or two fresh salads, and have an entire "FitFare" menu? You already serve turkey bacon, egg whites, and Amy's veggie burgers!

Denny, you have to change. Seriously.

You know what, if Denny's served a version of the "maple bacon sundae" that was 1/4 the serving size, I would go back and order it. That was the portion that I consumed and I actually enjoyed the crunchy, salty, sweet, and creamy concoction. It works!

What else worked? The waitress was SO friendly and nice to me. I actually feel bad writing about this sundae after she was so kind.

But, the FDA has proposed rules for calorie labels for fast food chains - and Denny's will have to post these calorie numbers in their menu. I think that when customers realize how many calories are in this food, they are going to avoid it.

I might be wrong, but the "Eat This Not That" series of books are best sellers because the author dug up these important numbers and shared them with his readers (see below).

The winds of change are blowing and Denny's needs to hoist its sail.

(sorry for the silly metaphor - I couldn't help myself)

Please comment on the maple bacon sundae.

Eat This, Not That! 2011: Thousands of easy food swaps that can save you 10, 20, 30 pounds--or more!

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 25 )

I love Eat This Not That! I love that it really educates you beyond calories and fat, but also sugars and labeling tactics. Things I had been eating and thought were healthy choices I learned were not.

I absolutely agree with you! I think it's really sad that when I look at a menu of a typical chain restaurant like Applebees, Ruby Tuesday, etc. it's almost impossible to find something that's not at least 900 calories! I think it's ridiculous that these restaurants can't, and to quote you, WAKE UP and realize that they need to serve healthier food!

sorry for the rant =]

Honestly, I think that when the calories are posted on the menu, that people will STILL not care and eat it. There just seems so be such a give up attitude in this country now. It's sad, people need to be educated more on the extremely negative effects that this stuff will have on their health... Anyway, all that aside, when I see bacon and sundae in the same mix, I'm immediately turned off anyway!

Yep. I don't eat out much anymore because I rarely find something on the menu that I can eat. Even then, I have to do the "can I have the ceasar salad, dressing on the side, no toast, and um, yeah, don't bring me toast". One restaurant I went to gave me HALF A CUP of Ceasar dressing on the side, and this was after my husband heard the chef questioning what kind of person would order a ceasar salad with dressing on the side.

We tend to eat at a local Veitnamese restaurant, lots of choices and a lot of healthier ones at that.

Honestly I could not eat a sundae with bacon in it. It sounds horrible,and the fat's just not worth it.

I'll stick to a lowfat frozen yogurt when I want something similar to ice cream.

yuk. That sundae sounds terrible. I won't go to Denny's ever - when I was younger my parents took us there and all three times I found unidentified objects in my food. D I second Jennifer's Vietnamese suggestion. We lived there for 1/2 a year in 2009 and the food is fabulous, fresh and flavorful

My family usually shares desserts like this. I am definitely going to try it! I had a maple/bacon donut while I was losing weight and found it oddly de-lish :-)

I love portion control and I love food. Great post as always Dr. Cain.

Cheers -- Mark Haub, PhD

Quite frankly I'd be far more concerned with the 97g carbohydrate, much of which is sugar, and that has nothing to do with the bacon content. The bacon is a gimmick, and while I'm not a diehard bacon fanatic, I do feel that it's being vilified a bit. ;)

Wow - this is "food porn" at its worst. I realize that the sundae is not parading around as health food, but there are no healthy choices in sight. I'm thrilled you wrote this post. Thanks, Snack Girl! You speak the voice of reason!

The other thing that sucks about Denny's? California law requires them to post their calorie count next to the food items on the menu and I have yet to find a Denny's that has.Being that I live in California and all. That said, that Baconalia menu makes my heart clench just at the thought.

40g of fat! .... !! I agree that the biggest worry here, though, is probably the carb content. Whoa. I also agree that people probably still won't care if the calorie content is posted. I wonder if there is a pictographic way of showing the calories?

Actually thanks for the idea. No thanks to Denny's but I think I'll use some reduced fat ice cream (1/2 cup), a couple tablespoons light whipped cream, a piece of uncured bacon and 1/8 cup maple syrup at HOME to do something fun. Thank you Snack Girl. I used a calorie calculator--313 calories....more reasonable for sure!

@Brent- I totally agree with you. However, I think the real reason is that the calorie numbers don't mean anything to most people. They don't know how to quantify it. If people really knew what their healthy weight range was for their height and activity level and the number of calories daily to stay in that range, then they might have a better way to quantify it.

I greatly appreciate the calorie counts that are popping up on restaurant menus. I am often surprised how sometimes the healthier sounding item actually contains more calories and vice versa. At any rate, it helps me to decide. However for most people I unfortunately think it is like the terror level colors were. You could say it was 'plaid' and people wouldn't know if that was a level or not. They would just ask, "Well is that bad?" Portion sizes and calorie counts mean nothing to people who have no idea how to apply it to themselves.

Also, @Snack Girl, turkey bacon is often higher in cholesterol and sodium depending on which you buy. (I doubt Denny's is using really good organic, etc. stuff so in this case the turkey or the reg as just about equal in badness.) Also turkey franks are often way worse. A Dr. friend said they are much worse and another friend left some at my house and I compared, and my Dr. friend was right. I was surprised.

PS Eating Well just did a comparison of saturated fat in various restaurant dishes to slices of bacon--now THAT is a visual most people could relate to!…

Even more frightening is that this sundae is part of a full "Baconalia" menu! I was shamefully at Denny's last week and felt even more shame at seeing my first name at the end of that terrible menu's name!

@Yuliya I hear you. But actually Applebee's has an "Under 550 Calories" section on their menu ( I wish there were more (non-shrimp) options, but I'm happy it's there. Now if only there was an Applebee's close to my home!

I love those ETNT books and have quite a few of them. I subscribed to their online newsletter and it's quite entertaining and informative. As for restaurants, I do love my Panda (fast chinese) food restaurant if I'm in a hurry... when you walk in, the calories are all right up front on the labels of every item as you walk down the line to order your food as they build your plate for you. I know exactly how many cal's i'm consuming ... love it! now if they'd only show the sodium, too, as chinese is notoriusly bad for being laden with, but that's probably the part that would make me not want to eat there. (ha!)

I never thought I would ever be defending Denny's, but most of the comments are overly paranoid. This is clearly a novelty treat. If you wanna have some fun and order a wacky item, this is great. If you are watching your weight, you would never order this to begin with. This is no worse for you than cheese cake. Most deserts are a nutritional wasteland. I fail to see how bacon, maple syrup and ice cream is worse for you than hot fudge, sprinkles and ice cream. America's obesity problem stems from over processed foods, too much fat, and a lack of fresh produce. Novelty deserts are not whats bringing us down.

I'm on weight watchers and I saved my extra points to share this with my husband. It comes to 11 points for 1/2 the serving. It's important to build up to an occasional treat. Don't blame Dennys for people's obesity--we have the power to control what we put into our mouths.

I don't complain about what restaurants serve or whether they have a "fit n healthy " menu section. I just don't go. Eating at restaurants is not mandatory. We've made it seem so. I don't eat pork but when I go to the local BBQ joint, I get grilled salmon or a Turkey Burger. They automatically know to not add sauce or cheese. If a place doesn't have the items I eat, I don't....I just enjoy the company of whomever I'm with. No drama. No fuss.

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