These Restaurant Chains Are Destroying for Your Health
Thanks to the big push for healthier eating, it’s possible to find a menu item that’s full of fresh, nutritious ingredients at most restaurants. You know what to look for — some type of veggie, a lean protein, and a healthy carb to round it off. Even fast food chains like McDonald’s are feeling the pressure for better options. But what about those restaurant chains that haven’t quite gotten the memo? Yes, they do still exist.
These are the worst of the worst restaurant chains that are seriously hurting your health.
1. Famous Dave’s
There’s a reason barbecue’s popular. With sauced-up cuts of meat over an open flame with accompaniments like cornbread and potatoes, what’s not to love? Unfortunately, there’s really no hope for your health if you’re a regular at Famous Dave’s.
Unhealthiest entree: Founder’s Feast
For your cholesterol’s sake, skip this meal. The Founder’s Feast comes complete with everything you’d want out of an awesome barbecue: chopped pork, chicken, spareribs, sweet corn, baked beans, coleslaw, fries, and a cornbread muffin. Sound like enough? Well if you manage to eat the whole thing, you’re in for about 2,300 calories in just one meal. Yikes.
2. Cracker Barrel
We know and love Cracker Barrel for its southern charm and down-home eats. But it’s no secret this chain isn’t helping anyone’s health.
Unhealthiest dinner: Sunday Homestyle Chicken
Sunday night dinner sure sounds comforting, and Cracker Barrel offers up a delicious Sunday Homestyle Chicken so you can end your week on a high note. But that won’t happen if you eat this meal. It comes with two fried boneless chicken breasts, your choice of two sides, and of course, those buttery biscuits. That comes to about 1,350 calories and 92 grams of fat, not to mention the 3,200 milligrams of sodium you’ll also be consuming.
3. The Cheesecake Factory
This restaurant chain is known for its huge portions and decadent slices of cheesecake. Despite whether you get the dessert or not, most of these entrees contain a day’s worth of calories and way more than a day’s worth of saturated fat.
Unhealthiest entree: Pasta Napoletana
This creamy carb-loaded dish comes with meatballs, sausage, pepperoni, and bacon. It almost sounds like a meat-lovers pizza, but in pasta form. And it contains about 2,310 calories, 4,370 milligrams of sodium, and 79 grams of saturated fat.
4. Dave & Buster’s
You know this place well for its overpriced bar and gigantic game room. And chances are if you’ve stepped foot in a Dave & Buster’s, you’ve been there long enough to build up an appetite and eat at their restaurant.
Unhealthiest entree: The Caveman Combo
This one sounds gut-busting without even knowing what’s in it. If you’re curious, it contains a side of pork ribs tossed in a sweet Sriracha sauce, four mini cheeseburgers, and fries. We don’t really understand how all of these foods connect to make one cohesive meal. But we do know The Caveman Combo has a whopping 3,871 calories, which should be enough of a reason to say no.
5. Buffalo Wild Wings
For a wing or sports fan, this is truly the place to be. But if you’re at all health conscious, you’ll have a hard time finding anything to eat.
Unhealthiest wings: Thai Curry Boneless Wings
Boneless wings are like the grown-up version of the chicken nugget. They’re deep fried to crispy perfection and then doused in a sauce of your choice. But do yourself a favor and stay far away from the Thai Curry option. A large order contains 2,040 calories, 40 grams of saturated fat, and 4 grams of trans fats. The bad news is most of the wings contain some amount of trans fat, but these are by far the worst.
Alright, so not everything on IHOP’s gigantic menu is horrible for you. If you go for the Simple & Fit 2-Egg Breakfast, you’re in for a pretty healthy meal. If you stray toward the chain’s famous pancakes, gut-busting omelets, or french toast options, however, you could consume thousands of calories.
Unhealthiest breakfast: Cheeseburger Omelette
The Cheeseburger Omelette comes complete with ground beef, hash browns, and American cheese, and on top you get a healthy pour of ketchup and mustard. Sound like a lot? If you scarf down this meal, you’ll be eating nearly 1,500 calories and 38 grams of saturated fat. And that’s not all — you get 2.5 grams of horrible trans fat as well. Stick with a healthier option — or skip IHOP altogether.
7. Olive Garden
This Italian eatery gets a lot of flack for its overcooked and inauthentic pasta dishes. In all honesty, that’s the least of Olive Garden’s problems.
Unhealthiest pasta: Tour of Italy
The Tour of Italy is one of Olive Garden’s most famous (or perhaps infamous) dishes. You get three samples of entrees in one, including Chicken Parmigiana, Lasagna Classico, and Fettuccine Alfredo. But for 1,520 calories and 48 grams of saturated fat, this one really just isn’t worth it. We recommend sticking with one pasta dish and taking half home with you over this total disaster.