Given that for the past 80 years, heart disease has been the number one killer of Americans, you would think we would do more to stop it. Among the roads to better heart health are more exercise, getting the right amount of sleep and, yes, eating well.
One of the easiest ways to disrupt this vital organ’s strength is to fuel it with junk. Think of your heart like a finely tuned sports car. You wouldn’t fill it with the cheapest gas. No, you’d join the cue at the premium pump. So it’s time we do that to our bodies.
Because we know we often tend to our body by giving it a night off from cooking, we found the menu items at the country’s most popular chains that sabotage our hearts with too much salt, too much fat, and too much sugar. And while we’re on this health kick take a peek at the 50 Unhealthiest Foods On The Planet.
Because They Have Too Much Salt
To steer away from high blood pressure, people know to avoid foods high in salt. But what not everyone is aware of is that high blood pressure, (rising to out-of-control levels in the US), can cause damage to the heart as well. High blood pressure can cause arteries to harden and narrow which makes the likelihood of being diagnosed with heart disease even higher.
We know you wouldn’t dare grab a soft pretzel from the mall, but you have likely fallen into these restaurants salt traps. Take a look at these 15 meals.
Chipotle Chorizo Burrito
Per Chorizo Burrito with White Rice, Black Beans, Fajita Veggies, Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa, Romaine, Sour Cream, Cheese, Guac
1,515 calories, 73 g fat (25.5 saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 3,040 mg sodium, 147 g carbs (23 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 66 g protein
If you’re ready to feast on Chipotle’s jam-packed Chorizo Burrito prepare yourself for a day and a half’s worth of sodium. (P.S. the USDA's lenient Dietary Guidelines put that daily limit at 2,300 milligrams of the stuff, whereas the American Heart Association suggests a cap of 1,500 milligrams.) Not too mention, this burrito fulfills your day daily intake of fat and nearly half of your carbohydrates.
Olive Garden Tour of Italy
1,520 calories, 96 g fat (48 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 3,250 mg sodium, 92 g carbs (6 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 75 g protein
A meal crafted to have you begging for a true Italian experience, you’ll be begging for the closest glass of H2O! This dish slaps you with a whopping 3,250 milligrams of sodium. No idea what that means? It's estimated that those tiny packets of salt at fast food chains serve you 189 mg of sodium. So with this meal alone, you’re nearly consuming 17 of those!
Outback Steakhouse Hand Breaded Shrimp with Fries and Cocktail Sauce
920 calories, 38 g fat (16 saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 3,800 mg sodium, 108 carbs (9 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 37 g protein
If fish is your friend, this dish is your frenemy. This lean protein with heart-healthy fats is destroyed due to its fish-to-fat ratio. It’s not only loaded with torturous trans-fat, this beige themed dish is as salty as the sea. Your parents always told you to not drink that water, so why eat it?
Sonic Asian Sweet Chili Boneless Wings 12 Pieces
1,060 calories, 49 g fat (19 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 3,930 mg sodium, 92 carbs (5 g fiber, 51 g sugar), 62 g protein
The dynamic duo of salty and sweet certainly shows its true colors in this dish. This menu item has the sodium equivalent to 27 servings of Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion Chips! And that's before you order sides.
Quiznos 12 Inch Classic Italian
1,410 calories, 78 g fat (25 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 4,150 sodium, 117 g carbs (6 fiber, 17 g sugar) 60 g protein
The 4,150 milligrams of sodium in this sandwich are more of a submarine bomb than a submarine sandwich. You’d have to not consume any salt for two days after eating this lunch.
Friendly’s Chicken Quesadilla with French Fries
1,265 calories, 64 g fat (31 g saturated fat, n/a trans fat), 4,166 mg sodium, 105 carbs (14 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 71 g protein
This ooey gooey quesadilla is definitely not so friendly. Leaving you with one gram of fat left for the day and 735 calories (that is if you haven’t eaten breakfast, and you’re happy with the way you look.) This dish leaves you in diet detention.
Uno Pizzeria & Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Individual Pizza
2,229 calories, 157 g fat (49 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 4,410 mg sodium, 112 g carbs ( 5 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 92 g protein
We named this pizza the Worst Pizza in America, and that label is well deserved. This pizza is designed for one and gives you as much sodium as 6 servings of movie theater nachos with cheese! Not too mention the dish designed for one also tanks your day's worth of calories, fat, and protein.
Steak N’ Shake 7×7 Steakburger
Per serving: 1,330 calories, 98 g fat (45g fat, 3.5 g trans fat), 4,490 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 74 g protein
Seriously, seven burgers! Two is an exception, but seven! This meal could fill an entire family.
Cheesecake Factory Pasta with Shrimp and Sausage
1 dish: 1,650 calories, 88 g fat (28 g saturated fat, 0 trans fat), 4,650 mg sodium, 147 g carbs (11 g fiber, 18g sugar), 66 g protein
Shrimp + sausage = salt! By indulging in the spicy pasta dish you’re giving yourself nearly two days worth of sodium.
Denny's Slow-Cooked Pot Roast
21 oz: 1,390 calories, 37g fat (19 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 4,710 mg sodium, 166 g carbs (13 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 65 g protein
If you didn’t want to eat your Grandma’s Pot Roast back then why start now? This mystery meat delight is better off with your dog like the good old days.
P.F Chang’s Pad Thai Shrimp
1,080 calories, 20 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 5,250 mg sodium, 166 g carbs (9 g fiber, 50 g sugar), 45 g protein
Like most trying to keep that belly flat, we often choose shrimp over chicken. But this innocent swap adds 280 milligrams of sodium to this heart-breaking dish. Actually, this meal gives you 2 days worth of sodium, and more to get you started on day three. And if you weren’t thinking about getting dessert, too late! This dish also happens to carry your entire day’s worth of added sugars.
Buffalo Wild Wings Medium Size Blazin’ With Ghost
1,200 calories, 64 g fat (23 g saturated, 2.5 g trans fat), 5,630 mg sodium, 100 g carbs (10 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 58 g protein
There’s another reason you won’t be able to stop sipping on water after eating these spicy bites. Salt! Too much salt.
Chilli’s Crispy Fiery Pepper
1,800 calories, 91 g fat (15 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 6,240 mg sodium, 189 carbs (12 g fiber, 63 g sugar)
91 grams of fat! That’s like eating 7 Hebrew National Hot dogs! Leave pepper’s the best way. Raw, filled with crunch, flavor, and vitamins. Don’t fool yourself into thinking a vegetable coated in fat and flour is the way to do it.
Buffalo Wild Wings Large Spicy Garlic Boneless Wings
1 serving: 1,620 calories, 89 g fat ( 31 g saturated fat, 3 g trans fat), 7,620 mg sodium, 130 g carb (12 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 77 g protein
You may be thinking “Come on it’s Buffalo Wild Wings! Who would ever order the large??” So, fine. Even if you went with the medium, with 5,841 grams of sodium, you’d still be consuming nearly 3 days worth of sodium, and that’s 12 wings for you only!
…. And the Worst Salty Meal Is: P.F. Chang’s Hot and Sour Soup Bowl
460 calories, 13 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 9,590 mg sodium, 58 carbs (5 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 27 g protein
Soup may be good for your soul, stomach, or the common cold. But this bowl has nothing good going for it. If you choose this as your meal, you’d be guzzling down 39 packets of salt. That's like eating 44 individual bags of Doritos Cool Ranch Tortilla Chips.
Because They Have Too Much Fat
When you’re struggling to lower your cholesterol, a diet high in fats can really steer your heart’s health in the wrong direction. That’s because the plaque in your arteries can clog up and increase your risk of heart disease. A diet high in saturated and trans fats (yes, they are still there!) can really push you over the edge.
Did you know: Trans fats are known to be the worst types of fat. In fact, the FDA is so concerned about trans fats, they banned the food industry from using them in their products. This change will take effect in just a few short months when the calendar flips to 2018.
Many restaurants have taken the hint and eliminated this heart-wrenching element out of their recipes. But, some have not. Curious to which ones?
Check out which restaurants have been serving you some of the more dangerous fat- and- cholesterol filled dishes.
Steak N Shake Full Order Sausage Gravy and Biscuits
1,070 calories, 74 g fat (43 saturated fat, 8 g trans fat), 3,140 g sodium, 86 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar) 13 g protein
This dish serves you a whopping 8 grams of trans fat. That’s over 8 days worth! But wait, not only is this dish loaded with trans fat, Steak N Shake’s meal serves you up 43 grams of saturated fat! You’d have to eat 12 orders of McDonald’s Fries (size large!) to intake the same amount of saturated fat.
Applebee’s Salsa Verde Beef Nachos
1,750 calories, 117 g fat ( 50 g saturated fat, 5 g trans fat), 6,050 mg sodium 107 carbs (8g fiber, 12 g sugar) 70 g protein
Sodium was one terrible aspect of this dish, but with 5 grams of trans fat and 50 grams of saturated fat we had to place this snack here. This cheese covered, saturated fat filled dish is definitely nacho friend.
Outback Steakhouse Slow Roasted Prime, 12 Oz
1,050 calories, 86 g fat (39 g saturated fat, 5 g trans fat), 1,300 mg sodium, 0 carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 69 g protein
Don’t be fooled by this mouth-watering name. By exceeding your day's worth of saturated fat, trans fat and fat overall, this cut of beef just doesn’t cut it for us.
Bonefish Grill Bone-In Ribeye Steak, 18 Oz
1,150 calories, 93 g fat (43 g saturated fat, 4.5 g trans fat), 1020 mg sodium, < 1 g carbs ( 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 78 g protein
You may really be craving a juicy, iron filled steak. But go for a leaner cut that's well worth it. Even better, make this at home so that way you can control the amount of oil and seasoning used! We have all tips you need when it comes to grilling the best steak.
Wendy’s Dave’s Triple
1,090 calories 72 g fat ( 30 g saturated fat, 4 g trans fat), 2,000 mg sodium, 40 g carbs ( 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 71 g protein
Just the thought of eating three burger patties gives us a stomach ache. Split into three, this burger would be a way better — portion size, calories and all.
Sonic SuperSonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger with Mayo
1,240 calories, 87 g fat (35 g saturated fat, 3.5 trans fat), 1,690 sodium, 44 g carbs (2 g fiber, 8 g sugar) 67 g protein
Two may be better than three — but not good enough! With its enormous 85 grams of fat, this dish just doesn’t seem worth it. And we can’t help but ask, is that Mayo really necessary? A burger (sorry, two burgers) loaded with cheese and bacon (greasy, oily textures) means there’s no reason to pour on additional oil and fat in the form of condiments.
Red Lobster Wood-Grilled Cheeseburger
1,280 calories, 86 g fat (29 g saturated fat, 2.5 g trans fat) 2,620 mg sodium, 99 g carbs (7 g fiber, 20 g sugar), 47 g protein
If you’re going out to the seafood-based chain opt for something rich in protein and nutrients, don’t choose this sodium packed shipwreck of a burger. The chain offers plenty of lighter fare options — so don’t be afraid to venture out and leave your cheeseburger comfort zone!
Chillis Bacon Ranch Beef Quesadilla
1,850 calories, 140 g fat ( 48 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 3,990 mg sodium, 69 carbs (4 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 82 g protein
With nearly a day’s worth calories and more fat than 10 hot dogs, this dish isn’t do you any favors. And if you thought you could get a pass by splitting this with a friend, think again! You’re consuming 2.8 times the recommended daily intake of saturated fat from the American Heart Association. In fact, if you’re trying to keep that belly flat, you’ll want to avoid all options with the word quesadilla at Chili’s.Every one of them has over 1,000 calories per serving!
Olive Garden Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara
1,590 calories, 114 g fat (61 g saturated fat, 2 grams trans fat), 2,410 mg sodium, 78 g carbs (n/a fiber, n/a sugar) 66 g protein
There’s a reason this dish didn’t make it to the list of what a nutritionist orders at Olive Garden. This seafood is swimming in sodium and fat. Not only does it beat the FDA’s recommended intake of sodium, but the dish serves you a day’s worth of trans fat. Would you let your family eat the artery-clogging fat, after the overdose breadsticks? Neither would we.
IHOP Bacon Temptation Omelette
1,080 calories, 85 g fat (35 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 2,310 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 64 g protein
Yes, bacon may be tempting in the morning. But not when it’s the master behind a dish serving you half of your calories and more than 100% of your daily fat intake. In fact, one of the worst breakfast habits for your waistline is to never turn down bacon.
Denny’s Philly Cheesesteak Omelette with Hashbrowns
per 15 oz: 1,170 calories, 92 g fat (33 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 2,290 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (3 g fiber, 6 g sugar) 56 g protein
By combining breakfast and lunch concepts into one dish, Denny’s also manages to load your daily values of sodium, carbs, protein, and of course, fat all in one artery clogging meal. Choose one, the other, or — better yet — neither one. Pick a healthy omelet with veggies and add in some protein instead.
Panera Bread Kitchen Sink Cookie
800 calories, 43 g fat (27 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 760 mg sodium, 98 g carbs( 5 g fiber, 56 g sugar), 8 g protein
This cookie should go exactly back to where it came from — into the kitchen sink and right down the drain! Containing more calories than a meal, this cookie knows how to overdo it — like no other. Instead, choose a dessert that won’t derail your diet.
P.F Chang’s Coconut Curry Vegetables
1,270 calories, 90 g fat (36 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 2,800 mg sodium, 73 g carbs (19 g fiber, 31 g sugar), 47 g protein
Made purely from vegetables, you might not even think it possible that this dish would be coated in fat. Wrong. And coconut oil is the culprit. Coconut oil has been said to be the golden child when it comes to choosing an oil. But ditching the saturated fat soaked oil and choosing polyunsaturated vegetable oil may be the smarter move. Just last week the American Heart Association released new research claiming that coconut oil’s good rep is pretty much over. The study found that coconut oil increases bad cholesterol, a major cause of heart disease. The report wrapped up with a solid “we advise against the use of coconut oil.”
KFC’s Chicken Pot Pie
790 calories, 46 g fat (37 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 2,120 mg sodium, 66 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 29 g protein
The dish that brings back major memories deserves way more than to be served in seconds. This dish comes far from the homemade variety you used to wait all day for. Astonishingly, this is one of KFC’s only dish that doesn’t touch the deep fryer — and yet it’s their worst item on their menu. From its buttery, refined flour based shell to the creamy sauce that glues all the vegetables together this dish beats your day's worth of saturated fat and fulfills 70% of your recommended intake of fat itself!
On The Border Grilled California Burrito
1,450 calories, 113 g fat (36 g saturated fat, n/a trans fat), 2,930 mg sodium, 132 g carbs (n/a fiber, n/a sugar), 54 g protein
Don’t let words like “grilled” fool you into thinking this fast-food style burrito is better than the others on the market, it's not even close. Out worst rated burrito from Taco-Bell has 30% fewer calories and 50% less sodium and carbs! And while those numbers are outrageously disgusting, it’s keen to mention that OTB’s burrito has 98 more grams of fat! Yes, this burrito has almost 2 days worth of fat!
Because They Have Too Much Sugar
Sugar: known to destroy your teeth and fix any heartbreak. Turns out the second cure may not be too true. In fact in a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association explained that consuming large quantities of sugar damaged human heart tissue. We’re not talking about a Hershey Bar or a few scoops of Ben & Jerrys. No, we’re talking about the meals that somehow manage to give to you more sugar than dessert.
Jack In The Box Chicken Teriyaki Bowl
690 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,470 mg sodium, 133 g carbs (5 g fiber, 36 g sugar), 27 protein
Who would’ve known that a protein packed bowl would be ruined with sauce. Overly process Teriyaki sauce packed with preservatives plants this dish on our worst because of its nauseating numbers of sugar.
Bonefish Grill Shrimp Pad Thai
970 calories, 18 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 4,780 mg sodium, 161 g carbs ( 6 fiber, 64 g sugar), 40 g protein
These Asian-style noodles dish certainly know how to overdo it. Too much saturated fat, too much sodium, and definitely too much sugar. By joining the clean plate club after this meal you’re intaking as much sugar as 16 chocolate glazed munchkins.
Buffalo Wild Wings Hickory Pulled Pork Sandwich
1 serving: 1,040 calories, 43 g fat (12 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 3,500 mg sodium, 122 g carbs (6 g fiber, 69 g sugar), 38 g protein
We know summertime calls for your BBQ fix, but please spare your body and choose a different dish. With 69 grams of sugar, you’re better off eating some BBQ chicken and dessert!
P.F Chang’s Chang’s Spicy Chicken
960 calories, 35 g fat (6 g saturated, 0 g trans fat), 1,500 mg sodium, 102 g carbs ( 0 g fiber, 90 g sugar), 61 g protein
Compared to the others on this list, this dish isn’t as bad when it comes to sodium and fat. But before you hand it any sort of awards remember, there’s no excuse for a dish with 90 grams of sugar.
Friendly’s Cinnamon Bun Pancakes with Pancake Syrup
1,690 calories, 50 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 840 mg sodium, 230 g carbs (0 g fiber, 150 g sugar), 10 g protein
Obviously, pancakes and syrup are doomed for a high sugar count. But 140 grams? No way? Even fast food chains like McDonalds, Burger King, and IHOP serve their renditions of pancakes with 60 percent less sugar!