The Healthiest (and Unhealthiest) Things You Can Order at Applebee’s

Applebee’s might be a neighborhood favorite, but some of its menu items should probably be avoided. If you’re looking to enjoy a night out at your local restaurant, here are the healthiest items you should order, plus the ones you definitely shouldn’t. (Check out the absurd calorie count of the salad on page 8.)

For reference, a typical diet yields about 2,000 calories per day, 56 to 78 grams of fat per day, and 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Nutrition facts are based on Applebee’s nutrition information.

Healthiest appetizer: Chicken wonton tacos

Applebee's And Weight Watchers To Offer Healthier Menus

Applebee’s offers some healthy options.  | Scott Olson/Getty Images

  • Calories: 500
  • Fat: 20 grams
  • Sodium: 1,540

The chicken wonton tacos might not be as filling as some of the other Applebee’s options, but it’s for good reason: They’re the healthiest. These Asian-style tacos are your best bet for ordering a healthy appetizer. But they’re still packed with calories, fat, and sodium. Think of it as choosing the lesser of evils.

Next: This option is the restaurant’s healthiest entree. 

Healthiest entrée: 6-ounce sirloin

grilled beef steak

A plain sirloin steak is one of Applebee’s healthiest options. | iStock.com/VankaD

  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Sodium: 1,580 milligrams

It should be noted that this steak’s nutrition facts are listed without any additional side options. But if you’re really looking to cut calories and fat, go with a plain sirloin steak. Although the sodium count is high, you’ll at least stay healthy in the other two areas. And at a place like Applebee’s, you can expect that to be as good as it gets.

Next: If you’re looking for a healthy dessert, go with this. 

Healthiest dessert: Hot fudge sundae shooter

Not everything on the dessert menu is heavy in calories. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

  • Calories: 410
  • Fat: 20 grams
  • Sodium: 160 milligrams

If you’re looking for a sweet treat and don’t mind the extra fat, go with a small dessert shooter. It’s basically a shot glass-style container that will give you your dessert fix without the added calories. And it’s just enough to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.

Next: Here’s the best salad you can choose. 

Healthiest salad: House salad, fat-free Italian dressing

Caesar salad with homemade bacon.

A plain salad is a healthy bet. | iStock.com/SQUAMISH

  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Sodium: 500 milligrams

Unfortunately, the best salad option is a bit plain, but at least you can afford to add some dressing. And if you order a house salad for dinner, you should still have enough in your nutrition piggy bank to splurge a bit and get dessert.

Next: These are the unhealthiest options at Applebee’s. 

Unhealthiest appetizer: Salsa Verde beef nachos

In some parts of the country, you’ll see this warning on items on the Applebee’s menu. | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

  • Calories: 1,770
  • Fat: 117 grams
  • Sodium: 6,790 milligrams

Unless you’re splitting this between 10 people, it’s best to steer clear of these nachos. It has close to an entire day’s worth of calories and more than double the fat you should be eating. Plus, it’s approaching three times the daily recommended amount of sodium. Too much sodium can lead to health problems, such as hypertension, high blood pressure, and more.

Next: This entree has an absurd amount of calories, fat, and sodium. 

Unhealthiest entrée: Fish & chips

Beer Battered Crispy Fish and Chips with Golden French Fries

Fish and chips is high in calories and sodium. | KatieSik/iStock/Getty Images

  • Calories: 2,000
  • Fat: 140 grams
  • Sodium: 4,520

You’re right to assume most fried food is unhealthy. This order of fish and chips is no exception. This single-person entrée has about 2.5 times the daily recommended amount of fat. And if you only eat one of these all day, you’ll still meet the 2,000-calorie mark. Plus, you’ll get two days’ worth of sodium out of it.

Next: Avoid this dessert at all costs. 

Unhealthiest dessert: Butter pecan blondie

This dessert has almost as many calories as your recommended daily intake. | iStock.com

  • Calories: 1,250
  • Fat: 71 grams
  • Sodium: 780 milligrams

If you’re going out to dinner and want to treat yourself to dessert, order anything but this blondie. You’re better off consuming an entire Applebee’s lava cake. It’s hard to believe there can be so much salt in one dessert. And this treat also has 76 grams of sugar, so you’ll definitely want to pass on it.

Next: Not all salads are healthy. 

Unhealthiest salad: Oriental grilled chicken salad

chicken pieces on a grill

Grilled chicken and salad are usually good for you, but not in this salad. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Calories: 1,280
  • Fat: 74 grams
  • Sodium: 2,020 milligrams

Yes, salads can be unhealthy. If you want to avoid a ridiculous amount of calories, fat, and sodium, opt for anything but the oriental grilled chicken salad. If a house salad is too bland for you, try a Caesar salad or one of the wedge salad options — they’re much healthier than this.

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