Crazy 'Xtreme Eating 2013' List Exposes Popular Restaurants for Making You Fat

Horrifying 6

fried chickenEating healthy on the go can be tough, especially when chain restaurants specializing in double-decker, twice-baked, deep-fried deliciousness with a heaping helping of corn syrup, sugar and some more sugar on top for dessert are your only option. At least most people these days are nutritionally savvy enough to find the healthiest items on those mostly unhealthy menus, right? Um ... no.

When it comes to dining out, tremendous amounts of saturated fat, calories, sodium and sugar tend to be hidden in the places you least expect to find them: Chicken. Smoothies. Veggie pasta dishes. Here are a few of the scariest examples:

Hope you didn't get any gift cards to The Cheesecake Factory for Xmas, because it's one of the worst offenders out there. A single serving of the Crispy Chicken Costoletta has almost as many calories as a 12-piece bucket of KFC -- and more than twice the saturated fat! But the most deadly dish one can order at TCF? The Bistro Shrimp Pasta (pasta with shrimp, mushrooms, tomato and arugula) contains 3,120 calories and 89 grams of saturated fat.

But ... but I ordered something with arugula and tomato in it!! And I really wanted a burger!

Then there are those liquid calories to worry about. If you think you're being virtuous by grabbing a smoothie instead of a soda, check this out: Smoothie King’s Peanut Power Plus Grape Smoothie (containing peanut butter, banana, sugar and "grape juice drink")  has 1,460 calories and 22 teaspoons of sugar!

How sneaky is that sh*t?! Just goes to show you can't take anything at face value, especially if it's on the menu at The Cheesecake Factory.

What are your tricks for eating healthy while dining out?



Image via Mike DelGaudio/Flickr

eating healthy, eating habits, nutrition, obesity


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jhslove jhslove

Okay, I looked up the Crispy Chicken Costoletta's basically fried chicken and mashed potatoes. And most people should realize, when looking at a Cheesecake Factory menu, that fried chicken and mashed potatoes is NOT what you should be ordering if you want to stay healthy. The basil shrimp pasta is (again, fried) shrimp in a cream sauce. I would venture to guess that most sane people wouldn't order something with white pasta, fried shrimp and cream sauce and expect it to be healthy.

This might sound snarky, and I'm not trying to be, but when I eat out my "tricks" are basically--don't be an idiot and if it sounds unhealthy, it probably is. I try to stick to grilled, broiled or steamed entrees that are heavy on the veggies and lean protein and light on the refined carbs. Cheesecake Factory also has a lot of healthy options if you look for them. The heavy stuff is fine every once in a while as a treat, but anyone who eats like that on a regular basis and then claims to be shocked when they get fat is just being ridiculous, IMO. Yes, restaurants have some responsibility (like being honest about what's in their food) but there is a role for common sense and personal responsibility here, too.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

It's just common sense. If it's deep fried carcass or a bucket of ice cream you can barely lift then it's going to be bad for you.

I tend to order off the appetizer menu or small plates menu and even then it's often too much. I almost always take food home with me too. The other day we went to Romanos and I had the build your own pasta dish. It was reasonably healthy, tomato based sauce with veggies and beans, but still an obscene amount so I ate a reasonable portion and had enough for two more meals.

jagam... jagamama0710

That peanut butter grape smoothie sounds disgusting. lol Then again, I don't like pb&j's. That's probably why. 

butte... butterflyfreak

To be honest, if I'm eating out, I'm not too worried about the helthier option. We eat out so rarely that it's a TREAT and I'm not one to waste a treat on healthy options. That's not to say that I'm going to find the greasiest, most unhealthy option on the menu but by God, I'll eat what sounds good to me and to hell with the consequences. I dedicate several hours a week to making sure that my family and I have healthy, yummy options at home. Why should I stress about it when we eat out, when eating out is so rare anyway?


amber... amberdotsmom

Restaurants don't make you fat - the choices you make from the menu do.  Granted some descriptions are tricky and you either have to ask or skip the item if you're not sure.  That Bistro Shrimp you claim sounds healthy because it has tomato, mushroom and arugula in it?  On the actual menu it also states it's CRISPY BATTERED shrimp served in a lemon basil CREAM sauce.  There's the red flags.


nonmember avatar Austin

Just wanted to comment that the Peanut Power Plus Grape nutritional information listed here is for the largest size (44oz) and is twice the size of what most people order. Anyone who can drink 44 ounces of peanut butter smoothie is not at all worried about 1500 calories. Wanna talk about sneaky, I'd say the misleading information regarding Smoothie King's smoothies posted in this article would be a good place to start !

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