Country Fried Steak & Eggs Combo
IHOP
Calories: 1,760
Saturated Fat: 23 grams
Sodium: 3,720 mg
Added sugar: 11 teaspoons

Photo by Tom Spaulding

Bacon Cheddar Double Burger
Johnny Rockets
Calories: 1,770 calories
Saturated Fat: 50 grams
Sodium: 2,380 milligrams

Photo by: taminator

Deep Dish Macaroni & 3-Cheese
Uno Chicago Grill
Calories: 1,980
Saturated Fat: 71 grams
Sodium: 3,110 mg

Photo by: GabrielaP93

Bistro Shrimp Pasta
The Cheesecake Factory
Calories: 3,120
Saturated Fat: 89 grams

Photo by: mike mccormick

Peanut Power Plus Grape Smoothie
Smoothie King
Calories: 1,460
Added sugar: 22 teaspoons (plus 17 more teaspoons of sugar from the grape juice).

Photo by: Majiscup

Chocolate Zuccotto Cake
Maggiano’s Little Italy
Calories: 1,820
Saturated Fat: 62 grams
Added sugar: 26 teaspoons

Photo by: lookslikeamy

2013-01-17

Co.Exist

These Are The Worst Meals You Can Eat In America

A new study on the most "Xtreme Food" in the country found some meals with more calories than a person needs in an entire day. Take a look at these gut-busters.

Every year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest puts out a list of some of the most calorie-packed and utterly non-nutritious foods offered at the nation’s largest chains. This year’s list is full of some of the "heartiest" meals you can think of, but also some items that might trick you into thinking you’re eating something vaguely healthy when you are, in fact, getting a few days worth of calories and sodium and fat in one plate.

Let’s review. The amount of calories you need varies, but it’s about 2,000 a day for a normal, semi-active person (but be honest: are you even semi-active?). You can play around with the Mayo Clinic’s calorie counter here to get a better sense. But whatever your specific number is, it’s not going to support eating one 2,000-plus calorie item a day.

So when you order the Bacon Cheddar Double at Johnny Rockets and get 1,770 calories just from the burger (add another 590 for the sweet potato fries), you’re really not doing yourself any favors, unless you plan on eating pretty much nothing the rest of the day. Same with the Deep Dish Macaroni and Three-Cheese at Uno Chicago Grill which, according to the CSPI "has four cups of pasta; Cheddar, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses; an Alfredo sauce made from heavy cream, cheese, rendered chicken fat, and butter; and a crushed Ritz Cracker topping." Would you eat an entire family size box of Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese with half a stick of butter melted on top? No? Because that’s the same amount of calories.

Now let’s talk sodium, which you want to try to limit to less than 2,300 milligrams per day (and you’d be fine with about 500 milligrams). Or saturated fat, which you want to keep at about 20 grams per day. Keeping those numbers in mind, consider the Chocolate Zuccotto Cake at Maggiano’s Little Italy, which has 60 grams of saturated fat and is the equivalent of eating an entire eight-serving Entenmann’s Chocolate Fudge Cake. Or the Country Fried Steak and Eggs combo at IHOP, which jams in 3,720 milligrams of sodium into one serving.

The CSPI notes that the new health care bill will soon require all these chains to put calorie information on their menus. But will that discourage people from clogging their arteries with these meals? Evidence in places where calorie counts exist seems to indicate it won’t. Perhaps. But as companies with calorie-heavy items like Coke start timidly addressing the obesity crisis, it’s just a matter of time before restaurants that are serving these meals are going to have to start thinking about taking a little more responsibility for what they’re helping us put in our bodies.

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6 Comments

  • TeachingGirl09

    Here's a thought:
    when you go out to eat, don't eat the whole dish if you know it has too many calories and that it's bad for you!!!  The restaurants are providing food for us that we like to eat, food that we just simply enjoy.  If you want to eat healthy, STAY HOME!  It's also a lot cheaper.
    When my husband and I go out to eat, we usually eat about half the meal that we order and take the rest home for a meal another day (usually lunch during the work week).  While it still may be a little too much calories (depending upon the meal and how well I'm sticking to my exercise plan), by eating half the meal in one sitting, I've significantly reduced the calories.  It is not the restaurant's job to make sure I'm eating healthy.  That is MY job.  Whatever happened to responsibility for your own actions and your own life??  People complain about the government having too much control: e.g. taking away morbidly obese children from their parents, controlling what can be said on radio/TV, etc. yet they want laws requiring restaurants (who, by the way, are essentially in the entertainment business) to be responsible for what WE eat?? Are you serious??
    I will agree, however, that restaurants should provide more healthy choices for meals and/or sides but I think that should be up to the discretion of the restaurant and not a requirement.  You CHOSE to go out to eat knowing full well that the meals served are not all that healthy.  It is NOT the fault of restaurants that you can't control yourself or don't know how to eat healthy.
    As I said before, if you want to eat healthy, stay at home and make your own food, using as much fresh ingredients as possible (I will be the first to admit that making everything homemade is pretty much impossible unless you don't have a day job). You can use fresh lettuce or make your own homemade mashed potatoes (even with butter, salt, etc. it's still better than the store bought boxed or frozen kind) or your own casseroles rather than use Hamburger Helper: buy some noodles, cook up the ground beef and using a thickened soup or gravy mix it all together and bake to heat through. Sprinkle on some bread crumbs for a crunch.
    Take responsibility for yourself people and stop making others do it for you.

  • homesickyank

    "Would you eat an entire family size box of Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese with half a stick of butter melted on top?"

    Yum!  Thanks for the idea!

  • gbacoder

    Be careful if exercising and reducing sodium as you lose it sweating. 500 milligrams per day which you said is ok will not do in that case. This is perfectly possible in people trying to be healthy who exercise and cut out processed food.

  • Erin Schulte

    Amusing that there's a chain whose catchphrase is apparently "chewing is overrated." Get your empty calories faster--you don't even have to chew! 

  • Weekenddreams

    remove all that sugar and smoothies from smoothie king are actually pretty healthy.  Mind you, they are supposed to be taken after working out when your body needs all those calories and protein.  I love smoothie king, I wish they would find a way to cut down on all that sugar though...

  • Jason Williams

    My personal favorite may not qualify as a "large chain", but Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas was certified has having the world's calorific burger in the world:  The Quadruple ByPass Burger packs 9,982 calories, that is 6.9 calories per gram.
    http://www.heartattackgrill.co...