Each year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest publishes its Xtreme Eating Awards, dishes from chain restaurants that are the worst offenders in terms of calories, fat, sodium, and sugar.
The CSPI reviews the menu and nutritional information of over 200 of America’s best restaurant chains, and ranks the dishes you should avoid if you’re watching your weight – or if you like extreme food, the menu items you must try at the top. less once that.
If you decide to indulge yourself, the CSPI has also broken down the amount of exercise you need to get to burn calories.
This year, Red Robin takes first place, but the Cheesecake Factory makes a strong impression with its three courses.
Take a look at CSPI’s most unhealthy restaurant dishes of 2014 and get your TUMS ready:
1. Red Robin: Monster Burger with A.1 pepper, with steak and fries and Monster salted caramel milkshake
• Calories: at least 3,540
• Sat Fat: 69g
• Sodium 6,280 mg
This includes A. 1. Pepper burger (with bacon), a salted caramel “Monster” milkshake and an order of steak and fries. You would need to take a brisk 12 hour walk to burn it off.
2. The Cheesecake Factory: Burnt French toast with optional bacon
• Calories: 2,780
• Sat Fat: 93g
• Sodium: 2,230
This treat for the sweet tooth lovers consists of bread soaked in pastry cream, powdered sugar, maple butter syrup and bacon. To burn that off, it would take 7 hours of lap swimming, says CSPI.
3. Famous Dave’s: The Big Slab
• Calories: 2,770
• Sat Fat: 54g
• Sodium: 4,320 mg
This plate of ribs contains almost 1.5 pounds of meat and is topped with gravy. It is also served with a cornbread muffin, fries and baked beans.
4. The Cheesecake Factory: Farfalle with chicken and roasted garlic
• Calories: 2,410
• Sat Fat: 63g
• Sodium: 1370 mg
This mountain of bow tie pasta is topped with chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, pancetta, peas and caramelized onions in a creamy roasted garlic and Parmesan sauce. Although the serving size is huge, the creamy garlic Parmesan sauce turns the dish into a total fat bomb.
5. BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: Small Chicken and Bacon Pizza with a Deep Dish
• Calories: 2,160
• Sat Fat: 30g
• Sodium: 4,680 mg
The small size (9 inches) is about the same as that of three Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni pizzas, according to CSPI. You would need to cycle for 5.5 hours to burn off this meal.
6. Chevys: Chevys Super Cinco Combo
• Calories: 1,920
• Sat Fat: 36g
• Sodium: 3,950
It comes with two enchiladas: a beef, a chicken, a crispy or sweet beef taco, a hand-rolled pork tamale and a chili relleno, served with Mexican rice. You will only need 3.5 hours of tennis to burn those calories.
7. Joe’s Crab Shack: The Big “Hook” Up
• Calories: 3,280
• Sat Fat: 50g
• Sodium: 7610 mg
The Big “Hook” Up Platter features seafood and crab meatballs with cream cheese, jalapeños and panko breadcrumbs, beer-battered fish and chips, two kinds of shrimp and hush puppies ( fried cornmeal dough). It would take 11 hours of golf (without a caddy) to burn, says CSPI.
8. Maggiano’s Little Italy: New York’s best Contadina-style steak
• Calories: 2,420
• Sat Fat: 66g
• Sodium: 5,260 mg
The Prime New York steak, Contadina style, comes with a steak and a side of not one, but two Italian sausages. After this meal, it would take 7.5 hours on a rower to burn it.
9. The Cheesecake Factory: Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
• Calories: 1,500
• Sat Fat: 43g
• Sugar: 21 teaspoons
Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory is filled with her famous peanut butter cups as well as a fudge and caramel cake. It would take a 4.5 hour aerobic session to burn it off.