The 7 Worst Restaurant Foods in America


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  240 comments   :  345,649 Views

We all enjoy eating away from home from time to time and try to make smart choices when we do. Sometimes we sabotage all our best efforts and give in to a moment of weakness. The more you know about Diet Friendly Dining when you are eating Food on the Run the more you will be able to resist temptation.

Recently Eat This, Not That outlined the 20 Worst Restaurant Foods in America. Here are seven you should avoid if at all possible.

  1. Quizno's Large Tuna Melt - While tuna is a good protein source, when it is mixed with high fat dressings the negatives far outweigh the positives. Add to that a large portion size and you manage to create a 1,700-calorie sandwich that provides 133 grams of fat including 26 grams of saturated fat along with more than 2100 mg of sodium.
  2. Chili's Smokehouse Bacon Triple Cheese Big Mouth Burger with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing - Obviously when it takes more than a line to write the title there are too many items in the sandwich for it to be low calorie. This sandwich includes items from a variety of food groups but for most people watching their weight, it also includes more calories than they should have for the entire day with about 1900 calories as well as 138 grams of fat and a whopping 4,201mg of sodium.
  3. On the Border Firecracker Stuffed Jalapenos with Chili con Queso - If you are sharing this appetizer with others and only enjoying a taste you are probably fine. However, enjoying the entire 1,950-calorie appetizer yourself will also contribute 134 grams of fat not to mention more than 6,000 mg of sodium to your daily intake.
  4. P.F. Chang's Combo Lo Mein - This noodle dish with chicken, shrimp, beef and pork is recommended to be two servings which helps lower the calorie and sodium damage to your daily intake. However, if you are super hungry and choose to enjoy the entire entrée you will find your daily intake has been set back an additional 1,968 calories, 96 grams of fat and 5,860 mg of sodium.
  5. Romano's Macaroni Grill Parmesan Crusted Sole - A couple of servings a fish each week is recommended for healthy eating however how your fish is prepared does make a difference. This fried fish entrée covered in cheese contributes a massive 2,190 calories, 141 grams of fat and 2,980 mg of sodium.
  6. Chili's Fajita Quesadillas Beef with Rice and Beans with Four Flour Tortillas and Condiments - Fix-it-yourself dishes can be a great way to control portion sizes and limit higher fat condiments that can quickly increase the calorie count. However, they can also hide total intakes when you have more than one like in this complete entrée that includes four servings and a total of 2,240 calories, 92 grams of fat and 6,390 mg of sodium.
  7. Uno's Chicago Grill Classic Deep Dish Individual Pizza - Chicago style pizza is delicious and selecting an individual pizza can seem like a great way to limit the nutritional damage. When you are talking about deep pizza, it is important to remember that all that space provides plenty of room for extra cheese, sauce, and toppings, which contribute over 2,300 calories, 165 grams of fat and 4, 920 mg of sodium as well.
Since most of these food items provide more calories, fat and sodium than recommended for an entire days 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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  • 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 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
  • 219
    I'm safe...I don't have any of those places anywhere around me...However, it is a good example of what the calorie count is in other restaurants...I can't imagine how many calories I took in when I used to eat at my favorite mexican restaurant or TGI Friday's or this really decadent down home country cooking buffet restaurant back when I lived in Alabama...I probably don't WANT to know...Not to mention how many calories I drank in Dr Pepper and sweet tea with those meals! - 5/31/2013   4:44:33 PM
  • 218
    It really surprises you how many calories are in certain dishes. I used to LOVE Long John Silver's chicken, but once I started to get healthy, I looked up the calorie content in the meal I used to eat. 1,500 calories for the ONE meal! I now eat less than that all DAY, lol! - 5/27/2013   2:56:47 PM
  • 217
    I rarely eat out. Expensive and often dissatisfied with the quality and taste of food. This article made me even happier with my choice. - 5/24/2013   5:38:28 AM
    I don't eat out much, but not at any of these places, besides I can't afford to eat these any way. Don't sound to tasty. - 4/8/2013   6:48:08 PM
    I too research the restaurant websites ahead of time. It is impossible to judge the calorie count from a menu in most cases. I think they are afraid of scaring off customers if they put the counts right there in front of you. - 3/28/2013   11:00:32 AM
  • 214
    Wow! The amount of sodium in these "entrees" is horrific. Luckily most of these restaurants aren't in my little corner of the world. But, they don't sound that tasty anyway. The fat percentage is ridiculous also. Who thinks up this kinda' junk?? - 3/14/2013   10:53:12 AM
  • 213
    If there is no nutritional information offered - you will not find me there. It may seem a little crazy but when my husband and I choose to go out to eat, I research the menus online and the nutrition information before we go. Drives him a little crazy sometimes. :) Honestly, when I first started doing this, i was SURPRISED at how unhealthy of the foods are. Now, I keep a list of things from certain restaurants that is okay to eat.

    And be aware of those fancy restaurant salads - they deceive you!! They are not as healthy as you think! ;) - 7/22/2011   2:18:14 PM
    I do not even think about going into a place that will tempt me, I have worked too hard (With the Lord's help)
    to mess up now and do not want to go back where I was! So my husband and I just go into healthy places to eat. Really is fun trying new food - 9/14/2010   12:07:15 PM
  • 211
    i rarely eat at places that dont offer the nutritional information. user below mentioned panera and i totally agree. :) - 9/13/2010   11:16:50 PM
    I love to eat at Panera--you see the calories right up on the menu board, and there are lots of yummy and filling choices that add to your veggie servings for the day. - 8/30/2010   5:31:15 PM
  • 209
    it appears I can only get points for a blog if I comment on it. - 8/28/2010   11:22:04 PM
    According to Quizno's posted nutritional information, the large tuna melt is 1520 calories. Still a large amount, but let's double check our facts before posting something as true which is not! There is no need to exagerate to make your point. - 8/2/2010   4:19:02 PM
  • 207
    Uno Chicago Grill has nothing healthy on it's menu. Even the salads top 500 calories. - 7/29/2010   10:09:49 AM
  • SLLOYD333
    I am wondering where this article got its information because my daughter works at Romano's Macaroni Grill, they list all the menu items nutritional information on their website and the Crusted Sole is listed as 990 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 1290mg sodium and that includes the side dish of Italian couscous. While not the healthiest item you could ever eat, it is not nearly as bad as the articles listed 2190 calories and 141 grams of fat. - 7/27/2010   9:56:48 AM
    Some of these items are shocking! Who knew you could turn some basic ingredients that are beneficial into such awful concoctions. it seems that sauces are partly to blame. Glad I dislike mayo, sour cream, guacomole, or cheese on a hamburger. - 7/25/2010   10:31:03 PM
  • 204
    We have Quizno's here in Canada, but none of these other restaurants. Some of them I've never even heard of. - 7/15/2010   8:57:18 PM
  • MLD1231
    I have never ever ate any of these things, and reading them I was saying out loud, "Oh My God who the heck would eat these things!!" So I guess my eating habits aren't so bad...really, I know they aren't, now I'm on a kick to not eat anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup. And although I rarely eat red meat, I'm eliminating even more of it. My triglycerides were at a 405, so now back on the two fish oil's a day, per my doctor and my 10mg of choles. meds. And no icecream : ( - 7/12/2010   7:54:48 PM
  • 202
    I'm reading these descriptions and wondering what on earth this "food" looks like. We have fast food (and obesity) in London, of course, but I don't think we have anything on this list. I could be wrong since I don't go in those places. Just reading this gave me heartburn! - 7/12/2010   6:03:53 AM
  • 201
    I hate cooking and go out to eat once a week. I can eat healthy, or I can choose not to but it's my decision. I rarely eat my entire meal, I always bring 1/2 home to eat later that evening or to take to work the next day. I have my favorites so I pretty much know which choices are the best because I go to websites to get the facts.
    However, I tried Jason's Deli Friday after work, got 1/2 a sandwich, baked chips and soup and was feeling really proud of myself because I thought I was really eating within my calorie range and had calories left for the evening. When I went to their website to add my food to the food tracker, I was shocked at the calories in some of their foods. Luckily I had fewer calories at work that day so didn't go over, but if I go back, I will have to research what I want to eat ahead of time. I guess I was thinking because everything is organic, it would also be better calorie counts - NOT! - 7/11/2010   11:49:21 AM
    thats seriously stupid cuz im 14 i usually go to Chile's once every 2 to 3 weeks and i dont order Chili's Smokehouse Bacon Triple Cheese Big Mouth Burger with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing i order a chicken salad with dressing and water or iced tea u choose what u eat not them they just gave you choices to choose u decide what to choose

    - 7/11/2010   7:42:56 AM
  • 199
    Glad to say I've never had any of these entrees - 7/10/2010   2:15:08 PM
  • BLEIGH711
    I worked as a hostess, server, and bartender at Chilis for a little over 4 years while in and immediately after college. Lets just say I am not the least bit surprised that they made this list twice. I made good money working there...but I also gained about 110 pounds over the course of those 4 years. We got our meals half price and sometimes free if we worked doubles. The price was right...and the food tasted good. I guess I partially have Chilis to thank for discovering Spark...ugh I want to head to the gym just thinking about it now. - 7/9/2010   2:22:10 PM
  • 197
    Yikes! I have my share of splurges, but happy to say none of those are it! - 7/9/2010   1:29:32 PM
    happy to say never ate one of these and never will - 7/9/2010   11:42:28 AM
    Well, I don't see McDonald's on the list. Many have pointed out that the nutrition info is there for consumer to read and pointed out that the name alone indicates a 5 alarm fire. An occasional meal like this might be ok but, it's the folks who make this a regular routine that worry me. Eating out is an expensive way to not have dishes to wash. - 7/9/2010   10:46:08 AM
    I try to never eat out. My husband gets really mad at me but it takes forever to loose a pound at my age so don't ask me to eat out - 7/9/2010   10:06:18 AM
    Those may be scary meals in the calorie department, but let us not forget about appetizers. Take the following as an example. I like Red Robin, their burgers taste good and I love the unlimited steak fries. While I'm waiting for my meal I decide I want to have an appetizer.

    1374 Calories - Chili Cheese con Queso (appetizer)
    0936 Calories - Burnin' Love Burger (meal)
    0434 Calories - Serving of Steak Fries

    2744 Calories for just one meal, and lord knows that you never just have 1 serving of those Steak Fries, let alone that a single refill basket is actually 2 servings. They've also really good milk shakes! - 7/8/2010   8:22:32 PM
  • 192
    I love Outback and they have 500 calorie dishes marked. I get the small steak and for my two veggie sides I ask for double steamed veggies - no butter or anything.

    It is delicious and very filling. - 7/8/2010   10:56:48 AM
  • 191
    I do like Chilles, & Quizno's, but don't go there very often. And I am always careful to try to choose healthier options. I ask, or atleast read about how it is prepared. It's so not worth it ri me to have a days calories in one meal, & it's certainly not healthy for your body. I think it's crazy anyone would want to eat all that. As it is, I think we already have too big a portions at most restaurants. - 7/7/2010   11:01:39 PM

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