7 of the Worst Restaurant Foods in America


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  269 comments   :  377,686 Views

We all enjoy eating away from home from time to time and try to make smart choices when we dobut sometimes we sabotage all our best efforts and give in to a moment of weakness. The more you know about diet-friendly dining, the better equipped you'll be to resist temptation.

Recently, Eat This, Not That outlined the 26 Worst Restaurant Foods in America. Here are seven you should avoid if at all possible.

1. Hardee's and Carl's Jr. 1/2-Pound Thickburger El Diablo

The name of this calorie-packed burger is the first clue that you should run the other direction. With nearly a day's worth of calories (1,290 to be exact), 85 grams of fat and a mind-boggling 2,790 milligrams of sodium, the only thing this monster has going for it is the high protein content.

2. Sbarro Stuffed Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza

You can't do too much damage with a single slice, right? Think again. This burrito-inspired pizza is stuffed with cheese, sausage and pepperoni, adding up to 810 calories, 40 grams of fat and 2,180 milligrams of sodium. Instead, opt for a skinnier slice with a thin crust and veggie toppings.

3. Arby's Curly Fries

The occasional French fry might not wreck your diet, but an order of these high-fat fried potatoes can do some damage. At 550 calories and 29 grams of fat per serving, these have the dishonor of containing more calories per gram than any other fast-food fries.

4. Uno's Chicago Grill Classic Deep Dish Individual Pizza

When you're craving a delicious Chicago-style pizza, selecting an individual pizza can seem like a great way to limit the nutritional damage. When it comes to deep pizza, remember that all that space provides plenty of room for extra cheese, sauce and toppings, which contribute over 2,300 calories, 164 grams of fat and 4,910 milligrams of sodium.

5. Chili's Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger

Although this sandwich includes items from a variety of food groups, it also includes more calories than most people should have for the entire day. It's packed with such diet wreckers as cheese bacon, mayo, barbecue sauce and (gasp!) fried onions. If the 1,400 calories aren't enough of a warning, the 84 grams of fat and 3,780 milligrams of sodium are pretty big red flags.

6. Quiznos Chicken Carbonara

A grilled chicken sub might seem harmless, but when you look closer, you'll see that it's smothered in Parmesan alfredo sauce, cheese and bacon. Eat the whole thing for lunch and you'll consume 1,360 calories, 70 grams of fat and 3,340 milligrams of sodiumthat doesn't leave much room for dinner.

7. California Pizza Kitchen Full Moroccan Spiced Chicken Salad

This 1,500-calorie whopper gives salads a bad name. We're all about making fresh greens the centerpiece of a meal, but not when they come with 99 grams of fat and 80 grams of sugar, not to mention the 1,380 grams of sodium. 
Since most of these food items provide more calories, fat and sodium than recommended for an entire day's healthy diet, they are best left on the menu and not on your table.

What are the BEST entrée alternatives you have found to replace these seven when enjoying a meal away from home?

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  • 269
    This is only the tip of the iceberg. Claim Jumper's widowmaker. Wildflower Bread company's 1100 salad. I could go on and on. - 10/26/2017   11:50:57 PM
  • 268
    Don't eat out very much, but good to know. - 10/18/2017   12:56:40 AM
    Good to know, glad I don't go to those restaurants! - 9/11/2017   9:38:14 AM
  • 266
    Good to know! - 6/20/2017   8:45:35 PM
  • 265
    I would have thought the Baconator and the KFC sandwich thingy (sorry can't think of the name offhand) would have been on there as well. My bad vice is ordering a super assorted sub from Mr Sub with loads of veggies so "maybe" it makes a difference (not holding my breath) - so bad but so good - maybe 2 or 3 times a year. - 6/20/2017   6:32:01 PM
  • 264
    You know--lose the roll and the Quiznos Chicken Carbonara would fit LCHF (low carb, high fat) nicely. I eat about 120 gr of fat/day & still losing weight and my lab reports are the best reports of my life. Cholesterol is down 90 points. - 6/20/2017   4:19:37 AM
  • 263
    But day-yum #5 is good! - 6/19/2017   12:48:06 PM
    love eating out but avoid fast food - 6/12/2017   12:43:57 AM
  • 261
    I love eating out and always try to be aware as much as possible. Every once in a while I just relax and not worry. Lucky I am pretty good about being really aware thanks to nutrition tracker and the internet - 6/10/2017   12:37:15 PM
  • 260
    luckily none of those chains are near where I live! - 6/5/2017   8:36:49 AM
  • QUEEN3510VA
    At Uno's I get the flatbread spinach, eggplant, feta. I just looked up the nutritional values and my mouth is still hanging!! WOW!! Knowledge is power! Sounds healthy but NOT. - 5/31/2017   8:24:47 AM
  • YMWONG22
    Am I glad I don't take these fast foods. - 5/28/2017   4:44:10 AM
    Thanks. - 5/27/2017   5:44:31 PM
  • 256
    dbl post - 5/22/2017   11:46:19 PM
  • 255
    We do stop on a very rare occasion at some of these places but I do take into account what I am eating and the values of the foods for my tracking. Good article. - 5/22/2017   11:46:19 PM
  • 254
    I don't go to any of those fast food places. When eating out at restaurants I find that the sodium is high. I usually order salad with dressing on the side.Chicken. Portion sizes is also something I watch. If I have a steak I either have a 6 oz or share the entree with my husband. It is shocking to see the calories, fat, sugar that are in restaurant meals. I can't understand why they have so many "Supersized" items on the menu's. That is just plain wrong!! - 5/18/2017   10:05:41 AM
  • 253
    Wow! That's why we have so many overweight people! - 5/18/2017   9:03:09 AM
  • 252
    Great information! - 5/18/2017   8:35:28 AM
  • 251
    Great info. Thanks. - 5/18/2017   6:48:28 AM
  • 250
    When I go out to Applebee's, I usually go for a Caesar Salad with dressing on the side and split an order of sweet potato fries with my fiancé. If I want something more, (and I know that I am going out to dinner the day before) I try to adjust my breakfast and lunch accordingly.
    Also eating only a third or half of the meal for pasta dishes. They give so much these days! - 5/17/2017   2:42:03 PM
  • 249
    This is great information. Also, for those who are not aware of this, I recently noticed Domino's has diversified its menu to include more diet friendly items. Another plus, they include portion sizes and calorie count for everything they offer, including drinks. Regardless of how you feel about Domino's, it's good to know it's a healthier option when all else fails. - 5/17/2017   12:16:54 PM
  • 248
    gross - 5/17/2017   11:57:32 AM
  • 247
    I don't eat at any of these places, but healthy food can be hard to find when eating out. One of my favorite things to order is Red Robin's Cobb salad. I have them leave off the blue cheese and order Italian dressing on the side which lightens it even further. Another favorite is Outback's 6 oz Victoria filet with sides of seasonal veggies and grilled asparagus. Neither of these is as low sodium as I cook at home, but since I don't have blood pressure issues, I figure an occasional high sodium meal is okay. I find most places will tailor your order to some extent if you ask. - 5/17/2017   11:38:17 AM
    none of these places are nearby and to be perfectly honest, I have never been a fan of any of the "fast food" chains. The only "fast food" chain I ever went to was years ago and that was Wendy's and the only thing that I would get there was a plain baked potato with nothing on it. Where we live now, I do know that there are a couple of Burger Kings & McDonalds but never go there either. Great information for some folks though. - 5/17/2017   10:58:47 AM
  • 245
    There aren't any of these places around here, even so when I do rarely choose to go out I find the healthy options on the menu to order, the taste much better to me then something doused with rich sauces and tons of salt. - 5/17/2017   9:45:41 AM
  • 244
    Thanks for the information! - 5/17/2017   9:34:32 AM
  • 243
    I am very thankful that fast food items do not interest me. - 5/17/2017   7:04:15 AM
  • 242
    indeed - 5/17/2017   3:42:37 AM
  • 241
    Many of us have been overweight for years, yet we have never eaten at any of these places, so we can't blame the eating establishments, really....there are a lot of mental issues that make us overeat. - 5/17/2017   1:18:20 AM
  • 240
    My stomach churned just reading about these items. I guess people really eat them but it doesn't appeal to this gal! - 3/16/2017   9:03:48 AM
  • 239
    No problem for me here. These are not places I would ever think to get something to eat. I LOVE deep dish pizza and am from Chicago - and old enough to remember when UNOs was not a franchise. After that the product changed significantly and it became another of the "why bother" foods. - 1/11/2017   7:59:09 AM
  • 238
    No problem for me here. - 12/2/2016   6:45:17 PM
  • 237
    I've not had any of those, but I love Mac and cheese. I am sure that dish is also too high in fats. Many Restaurant foods are not healthy so I am sure a look at their web sight would help immensely. - 5/22/2016   9:21:08 PM
  • 236
    Restaurant food is generally high fat, high calorie, high sodium; that's why it tastes good.
    If eating out is not something you do regularly, go ahead and eat what you like and don't waste time nattering about alternatives and substitutions.

    - 5/5/2016   9:00:56 AM
  • 235
    Like CINDYM55 I would not be ordering any of them. The item names screams high fat and calories - 7/6/2015   7:27:20 AM
  • 234
    I can't understand why an entree is meant to serve 2-4! That just doesn't happen in the UK unless it specifically says so on the menu (and then it says for 2 sharing). No wonder people become morbidly obese. - 6/14/2015   2:23:36 AM
  • 233
    I wonder if the UNO individual pizza that you can get frozen is the same. - 3/21/2015   12:02:20 AM
  • 232
    So glad I don't like any of those! - 2/5/2015   10:27:40 PM
    It seems that most restaurant meals have 2, 3 or even 4 "recommended" servings. At my favorite local restaurant they're used to me asking for the take out box at the beginning of the meal. I box at least half of the meal to start, then eat slowly and try my best to stop eating before I'm full. Often I take home enough for 2 meals. Change up your leftovers by adding vegetables, rice, pasta, or even adding them to soup or salad. - 10/6/2014   12:38:18 PM
  • 230
    Oh my God. 6000 mg. of sodium???? - 10/6/2014   8:46:21 AM
    Being gluten and dairy free saves me from the headache of dealing with this type of food. Yay Allergies! - 7/13/2014   1:24:03 AM
  • 228
    Was happy to discover I've never tried any of these particular dishes. Sad they are even on the menu.... - 7/11/2014   10:23:18 PM
  • 227
    First off... the comment about having to eat your sandwich over the sink because of the mess is absolutely disgusting.. Lol And second off, these calories in these foods are ridiculous!!!!!!! - 7/11/2014   7:49:47 PM
    I'm learning to appreciate the flavor of foods without alot of these calorie rich dressings, cheeses, etc. I'm not saying that I eat everything totally plain, but I'm much more aware now, especially when it comes to restaurant food. They use these sauces at these chain restaurants to cover up their cheap quality meal. Usually at nicer restaurants, even if they add a calorie rich sauce the food isn't doused in it...it complements the dish rather. - 7/11/2014   10:09:46 AM
    i actually agree with the great chef, julia childs. we eat for the pallet.

    i believe that a sandwich isn't a sandwich unless you have to eat it over the sink because it drips off of your elbows. secondly, if it looks good, eat it. - 6/18/2014   10:38:52 PM
  • 224
    Stuff tastes so much better at home anyway - 6/13/2014   9:43:42 PM
  • 223
    Wow to the calorie count. None of them seem worth it. - 4/20/2014   11:18:25 AM
  • 222
    None of those restaurants in our area. But there are plenty of others offering offering sauce drowned, gravy drowned, syrup drowned meals. If you are eating out, look for foods that are steamed, grilled (you usually have a choice of how it will be seasoned or treated, just ask), sauces or dressing on the side or not at all. One of my faves is grilled salmon - just a brush of oil, steamed broccoli, house salad with no cheese and dressing on the side. Ice water with lemon to drink. This is available many places.
    - 1/25/2014   2:42:16 PM
  • 221
    Sooo...its like if there are more than 2 words in the dish...example: Grilled Chicken...good! Grilled Chicken covered in our yummy sauce....bad! - 1/14/2014   1:39:47 PM
    On holiday in the states I found it hard to find a restaurant that didn't either cover everything with cheese or syrup. Apart from all of the extra calories ths means, you aren't really able to taste what the food really tastes like. - 7/11/2013   5:08:18 AM

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