Restaurants around the country are making it almost impossible to live by the mantra "moderation in all things."
The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest puts out an annual list of the worst restaurant meals in a fight for healthier and safer food. The organization wants to help people avoid 2,500-calorie dinners and 1,500-calorie desserts at chain restaurants found just about anywhere.
"When French toast is ‘Bruléed,’ fries are ‘bottomless,’ and steaks are now garnished with not just one, but two Italian sausages, it’s clear that caloric extremism still rules the roost at many of America’s chain restaurants,” CSPI dietitian Paige Einstein said in a news release. “Two out of 3 American adults are overweight or obese and 1 in 10 adults has diabetes, thanks in part to The Cheesecake Factory, Chevys Fresh Mex, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and much of the rest of America’s chain restaurant industry.”
Here are the worst possible meals you can eat this year at the top 200 chain restaurants in America.
1. Bruleed French Toast, The Cheesecake Factory
Nutrition: 2,780 calories; 93 grams saturated fat (almost a full work week’s worth); 2,230 milligrams sodium; 24 teaspoons sugar
Calorie equivalent: 17 Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
Exercise required to work it off: Five hours moderate swimming
2. Monster Meal, Red Robin: A.1. Peppercorn Gourmet Burger w/ bottomless steak fries and a Monster salted caramel milkshake
Nutrition: 1,670 calories (Monster burger); 370 calories (one serving fries); 1,500 calories (Monster milkshake); total: 3,540 calories
Calorie Equivalent: 12 McDonald’s cheeseburgers or 10 orders of medium fries
Exercise required to work it off: 8 1/2 hours unicycling
3. The Big Slab of St. Louis-Style Spareribs, Famous Dave’s: Served with two sides and a corn bread muffin
Nutrition: 2,770 calories; 54 grams saturated fat; 4,320 milligrams sodium; 14 teaspoons sugar
Calorie Equivalent: 11 regular-sized Snickers bars
Exercise required to work it off: 4 1/2 hours beach volleyball
4. Signature Deep-dish Bacon Ranch Pizza (Small size), BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
Nutrition: 2,160 calories; 30 grams saturated fat; 4,680 milligrams sodium (three days’ worth)
Calorie Equivalent: Three Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizzas
Exercise required to work it off: 5 1/2 hours biking
5. Chevys Super Cinco Combo, Chevys Fresh Mex: Two enchiladas, a crispy or soft beef taco, a hand-rolled pork tamale and a handcrafted Chile Relleno. Served with refried bacon or black beans.
Nutrition: 1,920 calories (disregarding free basket of chips and salsa, an additional 450 calories); 36 grams saturated fat; 3,950 milligrams sodium
Calorie Equivalent: 11 Taco Bell crunchy tacos
Exercise required to work it off: 3 1/2 hours of tennis
6. Farfalle with Chicken and Roasted Garlic, The Cheesecake Factory
Nutrition: 2,410 calories; 63 grams saturated fat
Calorie equivalent: Five single-serve packages of Stouffer’s frozen Classics Chicken Alfredo w/ pat of butter each
Exercise required to work it off: Eight hours walking at a brisk pace
7. The Big “Hook” Up Platter, Joe’s Crab Shack: Great Balls of Fire, Fish & Chips, Coconut Shrimp, Crab Stuffed Shrimp, hushpuppies and coleslaw
Nutrition: 3,280 calories; 50 grams saturated fat; 7,610 milligrams sodium
Calorie equivalent: 7 In-N-Out cheeseburgers
Exercise required to work it off: 11 straight hours of golf without a cart
8. Prime New York Steak Contadina style, Maggiano’s Little Italy: Served with two Italian sausage links, crispy red potatoes, roasted red and yellow Peppers, roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, steak jus, and garlic butter
Nutrition: 2,410 calories; 63 grams saturated fat; 1,370 milligrams sodium
Calorie equivalent: 5 1/2 8-ounce New York strip steaks, grilled
Exercise required to work it off: Five hours shoveling snow by hand
9. Slice of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake, The Cheesecake Factory
Nutrition: 1,500 calories; 43 grams saturated fat; 21 teaspoons (mostly added) sugar
Calorie equivalent: Entire four-serving (17 ounces) Sara Lee Original Cream Cheesecake topped with a cup of Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream
Exercise required to work it off: Running a nine-minute mile for two hours
Will you rethink your next order while eating out?