Nine meals from American restaurant chains have made this year’s list of dishes that are among the highest in calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar, as ranked by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Among those cited by the CSPI’s 2014 Xtreme Eating Awards are three meals served up by the Cheesecake Factory, including the restaurant's Bruléed French Toast, which consists of custard-soaked bread, powdered sugar, maple-butter syrup and bacon, and contains more than 2,700 calories and 93 grams of saturated fat — nearly five days' worth, CSPI says. It would take seven hours of swimming laps to burn off the calories in this meal, the advocacy group says.
Most meals on the list have at least 2,000 calories, and a few top 3,000 calories.
- The Red Robin peppercorn burger (with bacon) meal, which comes with a “Monster” Salted Caramel Milkshake and an order of steak fries, and adds up to 3,540 calories, 69 grams of saturated fat, and 6,280 milligrams of sodium. You would need to take a 12-hour walk to burn off all those calories.
- The Big “Hook” Up platter from Joe’s Crab Shack, which comes with seafood and crab balls with cream cheese, jalapeños and breadcrumbs, beer-battered fish and chips, two kinds of shrimp, and hush puppies. It contains 3,280 calories, 50 grams of saturated fat, and 7,610 milligrams of sodium, and would take 11 hours of golf to burn off, CSPI says.
- The Signature Deep Dish Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza from BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, which is loaded with 2,160 calories (equal to three Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizzas), CSPI says. You would need to bike for 5.5 hours to burn this meal off, the group says.
- The Cheesecake Factory's Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake, which peanut butter candies with fudge cake and caramel, and has 1,500 calories, CSPI says. It would take a 4.5-hour aerobic session to burn it off, the group says.
- The Prime New York Steak, Contadina style from Maggiano’s Little Italy, which comes with a steak and two Italian sausage links, and contains 2,420 calories. It would take 7.5 hours on a rowing machine to burn it off, CSPI says.
To avoid overeating, CSPI recommends ordering from a lower-calorie menu, taking home half of a regular meal, ordering alternative sides (such as steamed broccoli) in place of fries, and choosing a burger with lettuce in place of the bun. It’s also wise to order a thin-crust pizza instead of a deep-dish pizza, choose items à la carte instead of as a combo meal, and asking for no chips.
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