8 of the Most Fattening Restaurant Meals

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Man about to eat a giant hamburger
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A night on the town at a great restaurant is one of life’s true pleasures. But a look under the hood of some our favorite meals shows that we sometimes pay a high price for that indulgence.

Many beloved meals, beverages and treats at famous chain restaurants are loaded with breathtaking amounts of saturated fat, calories, added sugar and salt. Eat too many of these foods too often and your health — not to mention your waistline — will suffer.

For many years now, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has unveiled its annual Xtreme Eating Awards, a type of “hall of shame” that singles out some of the worst entrees and desserts in America in terms of how these meals can impact your health.

As the CSPI says in a press release:

“Despite the Xtreme Eating Awards’ two-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that America’s chain restaurant meals are as over-the-top as ever.”

Following are the meals the CSPI singled out as being among the most fattening restaurant meals.

Understanding Daily Values

Doctor measuring waistline
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For perspective as you read, keep in mind the following Daily Values (DV):

  • Calories: 2,000
  • Saturated fat: 20 grams
  • Sodium: 2,300 milligrams
  • Added sugar: 50 grams

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines these Daily Values as “the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day.” This means, for example, that the typical person should not consume more than 20 grams of saturated fat in one day (at least according to the federal government).

Note that for each of the following meals, the Center for Science in the Public Interest only included Daily Values when they amounted to at least one day’s worth.

Additionally, the amounts of added sugar are the center’s estimates because the FDA does not require restaurants to disclose this information.

Chili’s Big Bacon BBQ Burger

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This burger features two beef patties, six slices of bacon, BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese, as Chili’s describes it.

  • Calories: 2,140
  • Saturated fat: 54 grams
  • Sodium: 3,360 milligrams
  • Added sugar: 20 grams (estimated)
  • It’s like eating: 3 Burger King Whoppers With Cheese

Applebee’s Shark Bowl cocktail

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This drink is one of the restaurant chain’s “Mucho” cocktails that is served in a giant goblet. The blue-colored frozen beverage, made with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, gets its name from the two gummy sharks that serve as a garnish.

  • Calories: 630
  • Added sugar: 110 grams (estimated)
  • It’s like drinking: 1 liter of Sprite and 2 ounces of rum

The Cheesecake Factory’s Classic Italian Trio

Cheesecake Factory
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This meal was introduced in 2021 and included The Cheesecake Factory’s Fettuccini Alfredo, Chicken Parmesan and Baked Rigatoni. It has since disappeared from the restaurant’s online menu, but the pounds you may have packed on from eating it could serve as a lingering reminder.

  • Calories: 2,800
  • Saturated fat: 88 grams
  • Sodium: 4,480 milligrams
  • It’s like eating: 3 Pizza Hut Supreme Personal Pan Pizzas and 1 stick of butter.

The Cheesecake Factory’s French Dip Cheeseburger

Cheesecake Factory
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This entree features a charbroiled cheeseburger served on a toasted brioche roll with grilled onions, sriracha mayo and au jus for dipping. A choice of sides is included too.

  • Calories: 1,670 for just the burger; 2,200 if you get a side of fries
  • Saturated fat: 54 grams
  • Sodium: 4,940 milligrams
  • It’s like eating: 2 footlong Subway Steak & Cheese sandwiches with ½ cup of lard for dipping

Bob Evans’ The Whole Hog

Bob Evans restaurant
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This meal features two strips of bacon, two sausage patties, two sausage links, one slice of hickory-smoked ham, two eggs cooked to order, one hotcake and one slice of brioche French toast. Plus, you get a choice of home fries or hash browns.

  • Calories: 2,000 if you get your eggs fried and choose home fries as the side
  • Saturated fat: 35 grams
  • Sodium: 4,750 milligrams
  • Added sugar: 20 grams (estimated)
  • It’s like eating: 2 Sausage McMuffins, 2 Egg McMuffins and 6 Hotcakes at McDonald’s

On the Border’s Smokehouse Fajitas

On the Border Mexican Grill
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This meal features a “Texas sized” fajita platter with ribs, jalapeno sausage, braised carnitas, shredded beef brisket with honey chipotle and jalapeno-BBQ sauces on the side, topped with a grilled jalapeno.

  • Calories: 2,530
  • Saturated fat: 48 grams
  • Sodium: 7,390 milligrams
  • Added sugar: 25 grams (estimated)
  • It’s like eating: 13 Taco Bell Beef Soft Tacos

Cold Stone Creamery’s Cake Batter ‘n Shake

Cold Stone Creamery
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This treat features a mix of cake batter ice cream, yellow cake and whipped topping, which shakes out to 2½ days worth of saturated fat and 24 teaspoons of added sugar. The following numbers are for what Cold Stone calls its “Love It” size:

  • Calories: 1,440
  • Saturated fat: 49 grams
  • Added sugar: 100 grams (estimated)
  • It’s like eating: 1 pint of Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Ice Cream and 3 Twinkies

Olive Garden’s Asiago Tortelloni Alfredo with Grilled Chicken

Olive Garden
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This meal features asiago cheese-filled tortelloni baked in alfredo sauce (butter, cream and cheese) with a blend of Italian cheeses and toasted breadcrumbs, topped with sliced grilled chicken.

  • Calories: 1,980
  • Saturated fat: 76 grams
  • Sodium: 3,720 milligrams
  • It’s like eating: 1 each of Olive Garden’s Fettuccine Alfredo entree and the chain’s Cheese Ravioli entree

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