The Unhealthiest Restaurant Dishes

  • Put Down That Burger!

    It’s been a great year so far for unhealthy foods. KFC released the Double Down, a greasy bacon and cheese sandwich that replaces bread with two slabs of fried chicken. Not to be outdone, IHOP unveiled its Pancake Stackers, an apocalyptic desert in which a slice of crustless cheesecake is sandwiched between two buttermilk pancakes and topped with your choice of fruit and whipped cream. Just typing that makes my arteries harden. This would be laughable if not for the fact that America is still in the midst of a serious obesity epidemic. Approximately 34% of adults in this country are obese, which is more than twice the percentage 30 years ago. What’s worse is that the percentage of children who are obese has tripled in that time and now sits at 17%. In a continued attempt to encourage consumers to eat healthy, the Center for Science in the Public Interest released its annual Xtreme Eating list, which features nine ridiculously unhealthy dishes currently being served at restaurants around the country. You know these foods must be bad because both the Double Down and the Pancake Stackers failed to make the cut. Photo Credit: skippyjon
    Five Guys' Bacon Cheeseburger
  • Five Guys' Bacon Cheeseburger

    When it comes to fast food, Five Guys may be the best deal for the money. The chain uses high quality ingredients to turn out gourmet burgers and hot dogs. But that doesn’t mean their products are healthy. The CSPI singled out the Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger in particular for having 930 calories and 30 grams of saturated fat (more than a day’s worth) before you even add toppings to it. According to the CSPI, that is basically the equivalent of eating two Quarter Pounders at McDonald’s (Stock Quote: MCD). Unfortunately, much of the allure of Five Guys is the abundance. Every burger comes with unlimited toppings, the server always gives you an extra container’s worth of fries and there are free refills on drinks. That is precisely why the chain is growing so fast, but we need to ask ourselves whether that abundance is what Americans need right now. Photo Credit: BrentDPayne
    Outback Steakhouse's New Zealand Lamb
  • Outback Steakhouse's New Zealand Lamb

    Outback may be known for steaks, but it’s their lamb dish that packs a punch. If you were to just have the lamb alone, it would have 1,300 calories, which is the equivalent of eight lamb chops. But the New Zealand lamb dish also comes in a wine sauce and is served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. All together, the dish has 80 grams of saturated fat and an incredible 2,600 mg of sodium (nearly two day’s worth.) On top of that, it is 1,820 calories, which is dangerously close to the total amount of calories you should have a day (roughly 2,000-2,500.) Photo Credit: Raelene G
    California Pizza Kitchen's Pesto Cream Penne
  • California Pizza Kitchen's Pesto Cream Penne

    Now, I worked at California Pizza Kitchen one summer so this one makes me feel especially uneasy. According to the CSPI, nearly all of California Pizza Kitchen’s pastas are more than 900 calories and some are close to 1,500, mostly due to their reliance of white flour. In particular, the CSPI warns against eating the Pesto Cream Penne, which is 1,350 calories has 49 grams of saturated fat and contains 1,920 mg of sodium. And that’s without adding chicken or shrimp to the pasta, which is also an option. That’s why the CSPI has dubbed this dish “pesticide.” Oh well, it’s not like all of their dishes are that horribly unhealthy. Oh wait… Photo Credit: Cpk.com
    California Pizza Kitchen's Tostada Pizza
  • California Pizza Kitchen's Tostada Pizza

    Why California Pizza Kitchen, why? The Tostada Pizza, which is covered with cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, black beans and salsa is 1,440 calories, has 27 grams of saturated fat and contains 2,630 mg of sodium. That’s already enough to put the fear of god into your intestines, but when you add on grilled steak, the dish shoots up to 1,680 calories, 32 grams of saturated fat and a whopping 3,300 mg of sodium. Interested in reading about other foods with way too much salt? Of course you are. Photo Credit: bredgur
    Cheesecake Factory's Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake
  • Cheesecake Factory's Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake

    The Cheesecake Factory certainly has no shortage of decadent deserts, but this one takes the cake. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist that.) The Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake is 1,670 calories and has 48 grams of saturated fat, thanks to all the chocolate, white flour and butter, butter, butter in the recipe. Plus, as the CSPI notes, “A tower of any food is rarely a good idea. If it weren’t served on its side, this one would stand over six inches tall.” Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org
    Cheesecake Factory’s Pasta Carbonara with Chicken
  • Cheesecake Factory’s Pasta Carbonara with Chicken

    In addition to churning out the suicidal desserts, The Cheesecake Factory also knows how to make a dense pasta. The Pasta Carbonara with Chicken is 2,500 calories, which tops out your maximum daily calorie limit. If that’s not bad enough, the dish has an absurd 85 grams of saturated fat. That maxes out your daily limit… for four days!
    P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo
  • P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo

    In general, it’s probably a bad idea to eat food that has “double” in the name. But you might wonder how bad an Asian dish could really be? According to the CSPI, this lo mein noodle dish is fried and comes with a rich assortment of beef, pork, chicken and shrimp. All in all, the dish is 1,820 calories. But that’s actually the good news. The bad news is that it contains an astronomical amount of sodium: 7,690 mg. That is five day’s worth. If this is your lunch choice, get help. Photo Credit: House of Sims
    Chevys’ Crab & Shrimp Quesadilla
  • Chevys’ Crab & Shrimp Quesadilla

    The Crab and Shrimp Quesadilla at Chevy’s is like a cheesy graveyard. It is 1,790 calories, has 63 grams of saturated fat and contains 3,440 mg of sodium. This makes Taco Bell look healthy. Photo Credit: Chevys.com
    Bob Evans’ Cinnamon Cream Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes
  • Bob Evans’ Cinnamon Cream Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes

    These hotcakes at Bob Evans are stacked and stuffed with calories, not to mention some trans fats. The pancakes come filled with fruits or cinnamon chips and are topped with vanilla cream cheese and whipped cream. The dish is 1,380 calories and has 27 grams of saturated fats plus 7 grams of trans fats, which have been proven especially bad for you. And to top it all off, there is a grand total of 27 teaspoons of sugar in this dish. Nice way to start the day. Bon Appetite! Photo Credit: BobEvans.com
    Want to Eat In?
  • Want to Eat In?

    Since restaurants don't seem to be serving up the healthiest options, you may want to dine in your own home this evening. MainStreet has looked at several dinners and figured out which options are cheaper to make yourself or get pre-made at the grocery store. Photo Credit: Getty Images
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