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The Worst Meals in America

by Berkeley Wellness  

A pasta dinner with four days’ worth of saturated fat. A breakfast combo with a three-day supply of sodium. An ice-cream dessert with more than 2,000 calories—and 29 teaspoons of added sugar, plus 4.5 grams of dangerous trans fat.

These are just a few of the recipients of this year’s “Xtreme Eating Awards,” an annual report by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) that highlights the unhealthiest chain restaurant meals in America. Nine meals made this year’s list, coming from popular chains including Cheesecake Factory, IHOP, Red Lobster, and Outback Steakhouse.

Here are some of CSPI’s “winners.” (For reference, most people should eat about 2,000 calories a day on average, and no more than 20 grams of saturated fat and 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams of sodium.)

The Cheesecake Factory Louisiana Chicken Pasta: 2,370 calories, 80 grams saturated fat, and 2,370 milligrams sodium.

IHOP Chorizo Fiesta Omelet, with optional side of three pancakes included: 1,990 calories, 42 grams saturated fat, and 4,840 milligrams sodium.

SONIC Pineapple Upside Down Master Blast: 2,020 calories, 61 grams saturated fat, and 4.5 grams trans fat.

Uno Pizzeria & Grill 2 for $12 Pick & Choose with Baked Ziti & Sausage Pasta and Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza: 2,190 calories, 49 grams saturated fat, and 5,420 milligrams of sodium.

These dishes are obviously extreme examples. But even an “average” restaurant meal still has more calories, fat, and sodium than you should eat in one sitting, as we’ve reported in the past.

In addition to calling out the nation’s worst restaurant foods, CSPI’s report offers tips to help you keep from overdoing it when you dine out, such as ordering from the “light” menu; getting a turkey, chicken, or veggie burger rather than beef; replacing fries or biscuits with a side salad; and eschewing fried seafood. You can view the full Xtreme Eating Awards report on the CSPI website. Bon appétit!

See also: Calories on Your Restaurant Menu

See also: How Restaurant Menus Manipulate You