Trying to lose weight and eat healthy? Stay far away from these options while dining out.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is out with their annual “Xtreme Eatling” report – in which nutrition experts checked out menus at 200 restaurant chains in the United States in order to find the menu options with the most calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.
They found really unhealthy options in breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert menu items.
Here are the worst of the worst, listed in order from lowest to highest calorie count:
This dessert is loaded with whipped cream, caramel sauce, apple crumble, and not just one, but two scoops of ice cream. It has 48 grams of saturated fat and 32 teaspoons of sugar.
The only breakfast item on the list comes as eggs “loaded with spicy chorizo sausage, roasted peppers, onions, and pepper jack cheese, then topped with a citrus chili sauce and sour cream,” according to the report. That doesn’t sound too bad, but then it also comes with three buttermilk pancakes.
The report estimates you will use four tablespoons of syrup on the pancakes – which will bring the calories to 1,990, with 42 grams of saturated fat, 4,840 milligrams of sodium, and 1,035 milligrams of cholesterol.
Looking for a ton of calories without actually chewing anything? Look no further than this shake with vanilla ice cream, pineapple, salted caramel, and pie-crust pieces. If you get the large, you get 2,020 calories, with 61 grams of saturated fat and 29 teaspoons of added sugar.
Uno offers up a “2 for $12” deal that lets you choose from five salads, four pastas, and three pizzas. The most unhealthy combo: the Baked Ziti & Sausage Pasta and a small Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza. That duo comes with a total of 2,300 calories, 49 grams of saturated fat, and 5,420 milligrams of sodium.
The Cheesecake Factory is known for offering up some not-so-healthy options, but this dish is the king of them all. From the report:
The Louisiana Chicken Pasta, which weighs an impressive 1½ pounds, comes topped with four slices of heavily breaded chicken (in case you didn’t get enough white flour in the mound of pasta). Add the New Orleans sauce (butter and heavy cream), and your plate is up to 2,370 calories (more than a day’s worth), plus 80 grams of saturated fat (a four-day supply) and 2,370 milligrams of sodium (1½ days’ worth). For those numbers, you could have had two Fettuccine Alfredos plus two breadsticks at Olive Garden.”
If you get this dish, be glad you skipped out on the Bloomin’ Onion, as the 16-ounce prime rib contains 1,400 calories. Add your wedge salad and baked potato and your meal is now 2,400 calories, 71 grams of saturated fat, and 3,560 milligrams of sodium – and that is not counting the bread and butter.
With this meal, you pick three meats and two sides. If you should choose Polish sausage, pork ribs, and beef brisket and add some fried onion tanglers and macaroni and cheese – then you have a 2,500 calorie meal.
2. Steak ‘n Shake: 7×7 Steakburger ‘n Fries with a chocolate fudge brownie milkshake (2,530 calories)
Not sure why anyone would need seven beef patties on a burger, but at Steak ‘n Shake, that is an option. The 7×7 Steakburger’s patties alone account for 1,330 calories. Add a small order of french fries and chocolate fudge brownie milkshake and you have 2,530 calories, 68 grams of saturated fat, 5,060 milligrams of sodium, and a whopping 26 teaspoons of sugar.
Topping the list is a combination platter from Res Lobster. Choose the Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp, Walt’s Favorite Shrimp, and Shrimp Linguine Alfredo. Then pair it with a Caesar salad, fries, and a cheddar biscuit – and your meal comes in at 2,710 calories! Need something to wash it down? Order a Lobsterita, the a 890-calorie margarita, and now you can put 3,600 calories into your mouth.
“It’s like eating an eight-piece bucket of KFC Original Recipe chicken with four sides of mashed potatoes with gravy, four pieces of corn on the cob, and eight packets of ‘buttery spread,” the report says.