Monday, March 10, 2008

Americas 20 Highest Calorie Restaurant Meals

With the cruise (read lots of photos and swimsuits) on the horizon I've been all about healthy eating and going to the gym lately (well the last week, but you gotta start somewhere).

This list is from an e-mail sent to my by Mom O. I did a quick search and found the information is from a Men's Health article by Matt Goulding. Here is a link to original article:

I spot checked the information against the various restaurant websites and the numbers are accurate and really quite appalling.

Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips from McDonald's (5 pieces) with creamy ranch sauce

830 calories
55g fat (4.5g trans fat)
48g carbs

The only thing "premium" about these strips is the caloric price you pay. Add a large fries and regular soda and this seemingly innocuous chicken meal tops out at 1,710 calories.

Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo'd Power Smoothie (30 fl oz)

900 calories
10 g fat
183 g carbs (166 g sugar)

Jamba Juice calls it a smoothie; we call it a milk shake. In fact, this beverage contains more sugar than two pints of Ben and Jerry's Butter Pecan ice cream.
(KO: 900 calories and all of those carbs - WOW!)

Pepperidge Farm Roasted Chicken Pot Pie (whole pie)

1,020 calories
64 g fat
86 g carbs

The label may say this pie serves two, but who ever divided a small pot pie in half? Once you crack the crust, there will be no stopping.
Pick a Better Pie: Swanson's pot pie has just 400 calories.

Ruby Tuesday Bella Turkey Burger

1,145 calories
71 g fat
56 g carbs

We chose this burger for more than its calorie payload: Its name implies that it's healthy.

Chipotle Mexican Grilled Chicken Burrito

1,179 calories
7 g fat
125 g carbs
2,656 mg sodium

Despite a reputation for using healthy, fresh ingredients, Chipotle's menu is limited to king-size burritos, overstuffed tacos, and gigantic salads —all of which lead to a humongous waistline.
(KO: but they have such tasty guacamole.)

Macaroni Grill Double Macaroni 'n' Cheese

1,210 calories
62 g fat
3,450 mg sodium

It's like feeding your kid 1 1/2 boxes of Kraft mac 'n' cheese.
Your Best Option: The 390-calorie Grilled Chicken and Broccoli.

Quizno's Classic Italian

1370 calories
86 g fat
4490 mg sodium

A large homemade sandwich would more likely provide about 500 calories.
Cut the Calories: Isn't it obvious? Order a small — or save half for later.
(KO: Best commercial jingle ever, sing along 'we got a pepper bar')

On the Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef

1,450 calories
102 g fat
78 g carbs
2,410 mg sodium

This isn't an anomaly: Five different On the Border salads on the menu contain more than 1,100 calories each.
The Salad for You: The Sizzling Chicken Fajita Salad supplies an acceptable 760 calories. But remember to choose a non caloric beverage, such as water or unsweetened iced tea.
(KO: they should pick a new name for the taco salad, it's always on the 'bad' food list - it brings other salads down.)

Carl's Jr. Double Six Dollar Burger
1,520 calories
111 g fat

Carl's brags about this, but also provides convenient nutrition info on its Web site —so ignorance is no excuse for eating it.
A Simple Solution: The Low Carb Six Dollar Burger has just 490 calories.

Lonestar 20 oz T-bone

1,540 calories
124 g fat

Add a baked potato and Lonestar's Signature Lettuce Wedge, and this is a 2,700-calorie blowout. Choose with Your Head: The golden rule of steak restaurants is this: Limit yourself to a 9-ouncer or smaller. After all, that's more than half a pound of meat. You won't walk away hungry.

Bob Evans Caramel Banana Pecan Cream Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes

1,540 calories
77 g fat (9 g trans fat)
198 g carbs (109 g sugar)

Five Egg McMuffins yield the same caloric cost as these sugar-stuffed flapjacks.Order This Instead: The Western Omelet has 654 calories and 44 grams of protein.
(KO: These pancakes just sound like a big stomach ache.)

Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

1,600 calories
78 g fat
215 g carbs

Would you eat a Big Mac for dessert? How about three? That's the calorie equivalent of this decadent dish. Clearly, Chili's customers get their money's worth.
Don't Overdo It: If you want dessert at Chili's, order one single-serving Sweet Shot; you'll cap your after-dinner intake at 310 calories.

P.F. Chang's Pork Lo Mein

1,820 calories
127 g fat
95 g carbs

The fat content in this dish alone provides more than 1,100 calories. And you'd have to eat almost five servings of pasta to match the number of carbohydrates it contains.
Now, do you really need five servings of pasta? Pick Another Noodle: P.F. Chang's Singapore Street Noodles will satisfy your craving with only 570 calories. Or try the Moo Goo Gai Pan or the Ginger Chicken & Broccoli, which have 660 calories each.

Chili's Honey Chipotle Crispers with Chipotle Sauce

2,040 calories
99 g fat
240 g carbs

"Crispers" refers to an extra-thick layer of bread crumbs that soaks up oil and adds unnecessary calories and carbs to these glorified chicken strips.
Switch Your Selection: Order the Chicken Fajita Pita: At 450 calories and 43 grams of protein, it's one of the healthiest entrees you'll find in a chain restaurant.
(KO: As an added bonus 'fajita pita' is way more fun to say.)

On the Border Dos XX Fish Tacos with Rice and Beans

2,100 calories
130 g fat
169 g carbs
4,750 mg sodium

Perhaps the most misleadingly named dish in America. A dozen crunchy tacos from Taco Bell will saddle you with fewer calories.
Lighten the Load: Ask for grilled fish, choose the corn tortillas instead of flour (they're lower in calories and higher in fiber), and swap out the carbohydrate-loaded rice for grilled vegetables.

Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza

2,310 calories
162 g fat
123 g carbs
4,470 mg sodium

Downing this "personal" pizza is equivalent to eating 18 slices of Domino's Crunchy Thin Crust cheese pizza.
Swap Your Slices: Switch to the Sausage Flatbread Pie and avert deep-dish disaster by nearly 1,500 calories.

Macaroni Grill Spaghetti and Meatballs with Meat Sauce

2,430 calories
128 g fat
207 g carbs
5,290 mg sodium

This meal satisfies your calorie requirements for an entire day.
Downsize the Devastation: Ask for a lunch portion of this dinner dish (or any pasta on the menu, for that matter), and request regular tomato sauce instead of meat sauce. You'll cut the calories in half.

On the Border Stacked Border Nachos

2,740 calories
166 g fat
191 g carbs
5,280 mg sodium

The only way you should ever consider eating these is if you're rolling with a crew of eight.

Turn away: You won't find a decent option on the appetizer menu. Instead, turn to the Chicken Tacos on the entee portion of the menu; at 250 calories a pop, they make as good a start to your meal as you can hope for.
(KO: You mean nachos are bad for me? But they are so cheesy and crunchy delicious.)

Chili's Awesome Blossom

2,710 calories
203 g fat
194 g carbs
6,360 mg sodium

Hard to believe that a single onion can wreak so much nutritional havoc, but batter and fry anything and serve it with a rich dipping sauce and you are bound to do some damage.
Start properly: At Chili's, take a detour to the "Sides" menu and try the Garlic & Lime Grilled Shrimp. 4 shrimp will only cost you 160 calories.

Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing

2,900 calories
182 g fat
240 g carbs

Even if you split this "starter" with three friends, you'll have downed a dinner's worth of calories before your entree arrives. Follow this up with a steak, sides, and a dessert and you could easily break the 3,500 calorie barrier.
Front-load: Start your meal with a protein-based dish that's not deep-fried. A high-protein starter helps diminish hunger without putting you into calorie overload. At Outback, that translates to either the Seared Ahi or the Shrimp on the Barbie.

KO: Now if this reading through this list doesn't make you want to eat some lean protein and hit the gym I don't know what will. Go out there and be healthy!