High Calorie Restaurant-Menu Shockers

by in Dining Out, January 31, 2012
restaurant menu
This has HOW many calories?

You probably already know that many restaurant foods are higher in calories than their homemade counterparts but some establishments take the calorie counts to new heights. We’re not saying you should never eat at these places, just don’t order these belly-busting menu items.

Diet Danger Zone
We’ve sifted through countless restaurant menus and come across some pretty scary stuff. While 1800 to 2000 calories are enough to feed most folks for the entire day, some of these popular eateries top that in just one dish.

Olive Garden
Think you’ll keep it light and order chicken or fish? Beware of Chicken Alfredo and Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara, each has more than 1400 calories per serving.

Cheesecake Factory
Forget about cheesecake (at 700 calories and up) — this chain’s menu features 1500 calorie salads, 1100 calorie sandwiches and a Morning Quesadilla weighing in at 2020 – definitely not the way to start your day.

IHOP
Check out our tips for ordering smart at this breakfast hot-spot; many of the dishes you’ll find on the menu will send you into calorie overload. A Classic Skillet meal with the optional add-on of chicken fried steak and sausage gravy will stack up to 2260 calories and 142 grams of fat. The seemingly less-harmful French Toast Combo with bacon still comes out to 1300 calories per serving.

Chili’s
Two-thousand-calorie chili-cheese fries and 1600-calorie spinach and artichoke dip are just scratching the surface at this bar and grill. Burgers, ribs, and sandwiches (with fries) start at 1200 calories each and go up from there!

Dunkin Donuts
Only 100 calories separate a 390-calorie multigrain bagel and 290-calorie oatmeal raisin cookie. A 690 calorie sausage egg and cheese croissant tops the list of  button-popping breakfast items. Tempted by the new Big N’ Toasty? Forget about it and save 580 calories and 35 grams of fat. Think twice before washing these foods down with a large Coffee Coolata (with cream) or you’ll be slurping down 800 calories and 46 grams of fat.

Tell Us: We’re not done digging through menus for the worst offenders. Next on our list Pizza Hut, P.F. Chang’s and Subway. What other restaurants would you like us to investigate?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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