Every year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest puts on its Xtreme Eating Awards. But this is one title no one wants to win. Instead, the health advocacy group ranks the unhealthiest meals from American restaurant chains.
For reference, most Americans should aim to get about 2,000 calories, 22 grams of fat, and no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Most of these “winners” go way, way past that in a single meal.
If you want to lose weight or keep your heart healthy, we recommend staying far away from these dishes.
IHOP’s Cheeseburger Omelette
IHOP didn’t just throw beef and cheese in some eggs and call it a day. It also added hash browns, tomatoes, onions, ketchup, mustard, and pickles. And since you can’t go to a pancake house without eating pancakes, the chain graciously throws in three buttery, syrupy pancakes on the side. By the time you’re done with breakfast, you’ll be done eating for the day, if you follow its nutrition facts. The meal has 1,990 calories, 45 grams of saturated fat, 4,580 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of sugar, and 1,005 milligrams of cholesterol. Yowza. Don’t miss these other “healthy” breakfast mistakes that could ruin your diet.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Cheese Curd Bacon Burger With Fries
A burger doesn’t start the healthiest—especially when you add bacon and cheese. But when that cheese is battered and fried, things get even worse. In a single meal, you’ll gobble down 1,950 calories, 53 grams of saturated fat, and 4,700 milligrams of sodium. Check out these other foods nutritionists never eat.
The Cheesecake Factory’s Pasta Napoletana
Meat lover’s pizza—the inspiration for this dish—is bad enough, but plop it on a heaping pile of pasta and you’ve got yourself a heart attack on a plate. This single meal clocks in at a whopping 2,310 calories, 79 grams of fat (almost four days’ worth), and 4,370 milligrams of sodium. If you order this artery-clogging meal, might want to keep out for these signs you’re headed for a heart attack.
Dave & Buster’s Carnivore Pizzadilla
What do you get when you cross pizza with a quesadilla? Nothing healthy, unfortunately. This, er, fusion food is loaded with four types of cheese and three meats, both in and on every slice. Hopefully you’re sharing this appetizer because that utter decadence adds up. Keep it to yourself and you’ll scarf down 1,970 calories, 67 grams of saturated fat, and 4,440 milligrams of sodium. Make your own at home with these healthy pizza crusts instead.
Texas Roadhouse’s Prime Rib Dinner
A 16-ounce (OK, let’s call it what it is: one pound) prime rib alone has 1,570 calories, but the sides are what really put this meal over the edge. With a 770-calorie sweet potato loaded with mini marshmallows and caramel sauce, plus a Caesar salad, the stats skyrocket. This one meal manages 2,820 calories, 72 grams of saturated fat, 5,330 milligrams of sodium, and 51 grams of sugar—and that’s assuming you don’t touch the peanuts and rolls with honey cinnamon better (which we bet you will). Stay at home and satisfy your craving with these healthy barbecue recipes instead.
The Cheesecake Factory’s Flying Gorilla cocktail
As soon as you mix drinks with desserts, you know it won’t be healthy (though we wouldn’t say no to these recipes for boozy milkshakes). Your basic banana shake gets a boost of dark chocolate and banana liqueur to make for a very happy ending to your meal—just not for your waistline. Order one, and drinks alone will set you back 950 calories, 26 grams of saturated fat, and 60 grams of sugar. If you do indulge, we recommend passing on the cheesecake just this once.
Uno Pizzeria & Grill’s Ridiculously Awesome, Insanely Large Chocolate Cake
The name alone should be your first clue that this is not a guilt-free dessert. Because, really, what better way to end a pizza dinner than with another meal’s—scratch that: day’s—worth of calories? End your meal with a slice, and you’re also tacking on 1,740 calories, 32 grams of saturated fat, 770 milligrams of sodium, and about 168 grams of sugar. Don’t worry, we’d never tell you to give up chocolate cake for good. In fact, eating dessert every day can be healthy.
Chili’s Ultimate Smokehouse Combo
CSPI voted this as the “worst visceral effects.” When you upgrade your combo to the “ultimate,” you can pick any three meats, but the group chose sausage, fried chicken, and ribs. With fries, corn, toast, and pickles, the meal clocked in with 2,440 calories, 41 grams of saturated fat, and 7,610 milligrams of sodium. With double the saturated fat and three times more sodium than you should eat for the whole day, it’s clearly one of the worst foods for your heart. We recommend sticking with this heart-healthy routine to make up for it.