David Sinczenko and Matt Goulding, authors of Eat This, Not That! published their annual list of the “Worst Foods in America” last week and uncovered the secrets behind some of our favorite restaurant dishes. With dishes weighing in at upwards of 2,000 calories and maxing out our daily doses of sodium and fat, it’s not hard to understand why obesity has become so prevalent and why so many Americans are unhealthy. Here are the Top 10 Worst Restaurant Foods in the country:
10. Southern Fried Chicken Biscuit Platter (Perkins)
Winning the Title of “Worst Breakfast in America,” this dish from Perkins comes with fried chicken, biscuits, eggs, gravy, cheese, bacon and hash browns and contains 1,860 calories, 86 grams of fat (43 grams of saturated fat and .5 grams of trans fat) and 6,680 milligrams. That translates to 2 days’ worth of saturated fat, and 4 days’ worth of sodium.
A healthier alternative from Perkins: Classic Eggs & Smoked Bacon with Breakfast Potatoes and Fresh Fruit – it has 620 calories, 37 grams of fat (11 grams of saturated fat) and 1,280 mg of sodium.
9. Enchilado Style Chicken Nacho Burrito (Baja Fresh)
The “Worst Burrito in America” from Baja Fresh comes with salsa, cheese sauce and shredded Jack and Cheddar cheeses. If ordered Enchilado Style, it comes with even more cheese and salsa, deep fried chips, and sour cream. It also comes with 1,880 calories, 82 grams of fat (36 grams of saturated fat) and 4,650 milligrams of sodium.
A healthier alternative from Baja Fresh to try instead: Chicken Americano Soft Tacos. You get 2 tacos at only 460 calories, 20 grams of fat (9 grams of saturated fat) and 1,180 milligrams of sodium by comparison.
8. Create Your Own Combo Chicken Strips Entrée – Honey BBQ & Kickin’ Buffalo (Friendly’s)
The “Worst Chicken in America” comes from none other than Friendly’s with fries, cole slaw, and a side of 1,890 calories, 121 grams of fat (19 grams of saturated fat) and 2,810 milligrams of sodium.
A better alternative to try at Friendly’s: Half Turkey Club Super Melt Sandwich with Chili. It contains only 620 calories, 33 grams of fat (12 grams of saturated fat) and 2,050 milligrams of sodium.
7. Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger (Chili’s)
The “Worst Burger” champion is Chili’s with a burger that contains ground beef, cheese, bacon, fried onions, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce and a side of fries as well as 1,730 calories, 105 grams of fat (34 grams of saturated fat) and 4,350 milligrams of sodium. In case you didn’t know, that’s more calories than 7 McDonald’s cheeseburgers and over 4 times your recommended daily intake of sodium and saturated fat.
A healthier alternative to try from Chili’s: Custom Combinations Classic Sirloin with 500 calories, 22 grams of fat (7 grams of saturated fat) and 1,720 milligrams of sodium.
6. New England Fish & Chips (Applebee’s)
Winner of the “Worst Fish in America” title is Applebee’s New England Fish & Chips with 1,930 calories, 138 grams of fat (24 grams of saturated fat and 1.5 grams of trans fat) and 3,180 milligrams of sodium.
A healthier alternative at Applebee’s: Blackened Tilapia with Fried Red Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables that comes with only 410 calories, 15 grams of fat (4.5 of grams saturated fat) and 1,410 milligrams of sodium.
5. Bloomin’ Onion (Outback Steakhouse)
This “Worst Appetizer in America” from Outback Steakhouse has 1,959 calories, 161 grams of fat (48 grams of saturated fat as well as 4 grams – two days’ worth – of trans fats) and 4,100 milligrams of sodium. It’s the same as eating a medium pepperoni Pizza Hut pizza by yourself…before you even eat your meal.
A better alternative to try at Outback Steakhouse: Shrimp on the Barbie – it comes with only 319 calories, 20 grams of fat (5 grams of saturated fat) and 589 milligrams of sodium.
4. Chicago Classic Individual Pizza (Uno Chicago Grill)
This dish from Uno Chicago Grill wins the “Worst Pizza” title at 2,300 calories, 164 grams of fat (53 grams saturated fat and 1 gram of trans fat) and 4,910 milligrams of sodium. If you ate one of them a week for a year, you’d have eaten enough calories to gain over 30 pounds. All that just for some pizza.
A better alternative at Uno Chicago Grill: Sausage Thin Crust Pizza. For half of the pie, you get 540 calories, 26 grams of fat (11.5 grams of saturated fat) and 1,360 milligrams of sodium.
3. Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken (The Cheesecake Factory)
The “Worst Pasta Dish in America” winner comes from The Cheesecake Factory with 2,300 calories, 103 grams of saturated fat, and 1,297 milligrams of sodium. One serving has more fat than an entire stick of butter.
A healthier alternative at The Cheesecake Factory: Skinny Licious Pasta with only 540 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, and 660 milligrams of sodium.
2. Shiner Bock BBQ Ribs with Cinnamon Apples & Homestyle Fries (Chili’s)
A full rack of the Shiner Bock BBQ Ribs wins “Worst Grilled Entrée” with 2,330 calories, 123 grams of fat (45 grams of saturated fat) and 6,490 milligrams of sodium. That is more than 2 days’ worth of saturated fat, and four times the daily recommended intake of sodium.
A healthier alternative to try: Chili’s Margarita Grilled Chicken with 590 calories, 16 grams of fat (4 grams of saturated fat) and 2,090 milligrams of sodium.
1. French Toast Napoleon (The Cheesecake Factory)
The “Worst Food in America” comes from The Cheesecake Factory with 2,530 calories, 65 grams of saturated fat, 1,930 milligrams of sodium, and 253 grams of carbohydrates. For French toast with strawberries, pecans, and powdered sugar you can also enjoy eating the equivalent amount of calories to 3 dozen eggs.
A better alternative to try: Energy Breakfast with 690 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 1,288 milligrams of sodium.
Even the supposedly healthier alternatives fail to impress in most cases as they still have borderline ridiculous amounts of sodium and unnecessary calories. All the more reason to cook your own meals!
All images via Men’s Health
Do you have any restaurant swaps you make to save calories? What restaurants do you go to when you want a healthy night out?