(NEW YORK) — Big calories await consumers at the some of the biggest restaurant chains across the country.
The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released its annual “Xtreme Eating Awards” on Monday, a list of the menu items that it says dish out more than a day’s worth of recommended calories and fat in a single meal.
Applebee’s Build Your Sampler, which lets diners select two to five appetizers and bar snacks from those that Applebee’s has “handpicked,” makes the list because of its potentially mind-blowingly high calorie count. While the restaurant says the portions are smaller in the sampler dish so diners can experience “even more bold flavors”, the CSPI says diners could consume a whopping 3,390 calories, 65 grams of saturated fat and 11,650 milligrams of sodium with some combinations.
If one table split Cheeseburger Egg Rolls, Brew Pub Pretzels and Beer Cheese Dip, Chicken Quesadilla, Boneless Wings with Buffalo Sauce and Spinach and Artichoke dip between four people, each person would still take in around 800 calories.
Another calorie-laden option that topped CSPI’s list is the Whole Hog Burger from Uno Pizzeria and Grill. With over one pound of meat, the burger includes hamburger, sausage, bacon, prosciutto and pepperoni, plus four types of cheese, garlic mayonnaise and pickles along with French fries and onion rings. This one meal adds up to a total of 2,850 calories, which is more than a 24-hour recommended amount, according to the CSPI.
The Cheesecake Factory’s Fried Chicken and Waffles Benedict came close to that burger in calorie count. The Belgian waffle topped with fried chicken strips, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce served with maple-butter syrup and a side of breakfast potatoes chalks up 2,580 calories and a four-day recommended amount of saturated fat, 86 grams.
Other calorie- and carb-infused meals that made the list include Marco’s Meal for Two at Maggiano’s Little Italy, Cremini Pork Shank at Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Sonic’s Grape Slushy with Rainbow Candy, the Giant Chipotle Cheese Steak at Jersey Mike’s Subs and Buffalo Wild Wings’ Dessert Nachos. Click here for the full list.
“These restaurants are in the business of selling food and they wouldn’t have these things on the menu if customers didn’t buy them,” ABC News Senior Medical Contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton explained Tuesday on Good Morning America.
ABC News contacted all of the chain restaurants and those that replied told us that these dishes are meant to be shared and they also have healthier options on their menus.
While it can be hard to maneuver around high-calorie choices, there are ways to remain health conscious at these restaurants.
Some tips outlined by the CSPI: Order from the “light” menu, bypass the appetizer, skip beef burgers, lose the bun, fill half your plate with fruit or vegetables and doggy bag half your entree.
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