Fat, Sodium, Calories: Ten Dense Dishes

Categories: Food News

Does your favorite food want you to die?
You see them on TV, you drive past them on the way home -- chain restaurants that offer food, fun, and convenience.

We know it's difficult to ignore their siren songs of cheap food and menus that weigh more than a toddler.

To make your food more appealing and tasty, many chain restaurants pump your food with high levels of sodium and fat. Most meals at these restaurants contain the daily limits of an adult's intake of sodium and fat, and some meals contain several days' allowance. The result is that many adults are eating their way to obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

U.S. dietary guidelines vary based on age, sex, body type, etc., but the suggested average caloric intake is 2,500 for men and 2,200 for women. Fat intake should amount to 20 to 35 percent of those calories, so that's between 65 and 91 grams of fat daily. According to the CDC, 2,400 mg (about a teaspoon) of sodium is the maximum daily intake for people under 40. If you're over 40, you should have only 1,500 mg of sodium daily.

Here's how we put together this list. First, the restaurant has to be a national chain with locations in South Florida that's not considered "fast food." Then, we looked only at their official websites, not second-party sources, for the nutritional guidelines.

We then chose the most offensive product on their menu based on calories, fat, sodium, and carbohydrate count that they were most "famous" for (example -- we chose a cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory, steak at Outback, and breakfast at IHOP and Denny's). We then counted down to the most decadent meal we could find.

We know that every restaurant on this list has healthier options, but many people don't realize that a dish as innocent-looking as Teriyaki steak or fajitas loaded with veggies might be laden with sodium. Here's what we found:

10. P.F. Chang's VIP Duck - 650 calories, 29 grams fat, 1,580 milligrams sodium, 55 grams carbs.

9. Denny's Heartland Scramble - 1,160 calories, 63 grams fat, 2,930 milligrams sodium, 110 grams carbs.

8. Outback Steakhouse Teriyaki Filet Medallions - 689 calories, 30 grams fat, 3,863 milligrams sodium, 65 grams carbs.

7. Cheesecake Factory Adam's Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Cheesecake - 1,330 calories, 40 grams saturated fat, 700 milligrams sodium, 136 grams carbs.

6. Red Lobster Crispy Calamari -  1,520 calories, 97 grams fat, 3,050 milligrams sodium, 115 grams carbs.

5. IHop Country Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs -  1,680 calories, 95 grams fat, 4,050 milligrams sodium, 145 grams carbs.

4. Olive Garden Tour of Italy - 1,450 calories, 74 grams fat, 3,830 milligrams sodium, 97 grams carbs.

3. Applebee's Sizzling Skillet Fajitas - 1,410 calories, 55 grams fat, 5,630 milligrams sodium, 152 grams carbs.

2. T.G.I. Friday's Ale-House Baby Back Ribs - 1,350 calories, 23 grams saturated fat, 6,060 milligrams sodium, 77 grams carbs.

1. Chili's Shiner Bock BBQ Ribs - 2,310 calories, 123 grams fat, 6,340 milligrams sodium, 134 grams carbs.

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Most people don't eat at those restaurants on a daily basis anyways, and if these restaurants "kill you" with their food then most people commit suicide right at their homes, with their own home cooking.NOTE: It's always the big chain restaurants they're going after. I dare you to create a similar list with Mom & Pop's restaurants! C'mon why don't you do it with independent operators? many of them make greasy "unhealthy" food too! after all, you're just trying to protect the general public, right?


Its actually very simple. We, as a whole, are a lazy and impulsive nation of people. Our primary interest is instant gratification be it cigarettes, over consumption of alcohol or eating fast food. The liberal use of the salt shaker is rampant in the home as well. I actually could care less if it wasn't for the high cost of healthcare as a result of this behavior.


What an irresponsible and sensationalistic title for an article. Trust me, these restaurants need customers, no one is trying to kill anyone! New reguiations have certainly put a spotlight on nutrition and the restaurants are stepping up to the plate, pun intended. Many are doing nutritional analysis for the first time and are adjusting recipes. However, keep in mind the years of historical data that indicate when people dine out, they choose to indulge (unless they eat out every night, then they are more conscious of sodium, fat, calories, etc.) I recall back in  the 80's when there was a oat bran craze...people bought it at grocery stores, but do you think they cared about ordering it at restaurants? uh...no. Please do your reserach before splashing such a title across your paper, if you truly care about accuracy. Thank you.

Laine Doss
Laine Doss

Choa, Restaurants that serve menu items with four times the recommended sodium intake for an adult over 40 are behaving irresponsibly, in my opinion. Ribs can be rubbed with fresh spices and marinades using less than 200 mg. of sodium and items can be oven fried instead of deep fried. And we're not talking fad diets, we're talking about large corporations taking action to stop widespread obesity that can in many instances lead to stroke, heart attack and death. 


Could you be a bigger hypocrite?  First you post a blog on KFC Popcorn Chicken coupons and your next blog entry, two hours later, is to slam chain restaurants for offering unhealthy menu items.  Did you bother to review the nutritional guide for KFC?  I totally agree with Choa - nothing but sensationalism on your part.

Laine Doss
Laine Doss

Dday, actually on the post for KFC coupon, you'll note that I did state how much fat and sodium was in an order of the popcorn chicken.

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