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7 of the Worst Restaurant Foods in America

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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Like CINDYM55 I would not be ordering any of them. The item names screams high fat and calories Report
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. Report
I wonder if the UNO individual pizza that you can get frozen is the same. Report
So glad I don't like any of those! Report
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. Report
Oh my God. 6000 mg. of sodium???? Report
Being gluten and dairy free saves me from the headache of dealing with this type of food. Yay Allergies! Report
Was happy to discover I've never tried any of these particular dishes. Sad they are even on the menu.... Report
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!!!!!!! Report
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. Report
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. Report
Stuff tastes so much better at home anyway Report
Wow to the calorie count. None of them seem worth it. Report
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.
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! Report
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. Report
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! Report
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! Report
I rarely eat out. Expensive and often dissatisfied with the quality and taste of food. This article made me even happier with my choice. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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?? Report
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! ;) Report
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 Report
i rarely eat at places that dont offer the nutritional information. user below mentioned panera and i totally agree. :) Report
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. Report
it appears I can only get points for a blog if I comment on it. Report
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. Report
Uno Chicago Grill has nothing healthy on it's menu. Even the salads top 500 calories. Report
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. Report
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. Report
We have Quizno's here in Canada, but none of these other restaurants. Some of them I've never even heard of. Report
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 : ( Report
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! Report
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! Report
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

Glad to say I've never had any of these entrees Report
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. Report
Yikes! I have my share of splurges, but happy to say none of those are it! Report
happy to say never ate one of these and never will Report
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. Report
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 Report
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! Report
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. Report
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. Report
Pretty much every restaurant has nutritional information available to any guest that requests it. Many dishes that sound harmless are actually dripping with hydrogenated oils and coated in seasoned salt--do your homework. Word of warning: I managed at one of the prevalent restaurants mentioned in the list for several years, and although you may be ordering a healthful dish that tested with reasonable calories and fat it may not necessarily make it to your plate that way. It is usually easier and faster for the cooks to prepare your food the same greasy way they prepare everything else. Once, I ordered an item from the "healthy" menu, and it came to me the regular way, just with vegetables instead of fries. This was a 600 calorie difference from what I ordered! Be wary... Report
I've never had any of the items on the list, but I had to laugh at some of the names:
Chili's Smokehouse Bacon Triple Cheese Big Mouth Burger with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

Really? A Bacon Triple Cheese Big Mouth Burger is fattening? !!! no way. Report
I've never had any of the items on the list, but I had to laugh at some of the names:
Chili's Smokehouse Bacon Triple Cheese Big Mouth Burger with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

Really? A Bacon Triple Cheese Big Mouth Burger is fattening? !!! no way. Report
Hmmm, these fat gram numbers do not seem right to me. I'm sure these sandwiches are very fatty and calorie laden, but 133 grams of fat? 133 grams = 4.69143694 ounces. That is more than 1 stick of butter. Report
I went to Quizno's website and the numbers for their Tuna Melt is for the Large Sandwich and 1750 Cal with Fat Cal being 1210 and Sodium 1940, Carbs 82 Protein 51 and Sugar 10. The sub without dressing and cheese was 1260 cal. and the cheese is 110 and the dressing is 370. This is the total cal count of 1740. I am glad that I don't eat out at those places. Never had anything on the list. Report
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