Applebee’s recently unveiled its newest limited-time menu, dubbed the Topped & Loaded—a caloric epitome of the recent food-on-top-of-food trend. The new entree menu allows diners to pick a protein, a topping, and pair the combo with two sides. Of the proteins, you can choose from chicken breast, a bone-in pork chop, a 6-ounce USDA choice top sirloin, or an 8-ounce USDA choice top sirloin. Pile on either the Marinara Mozzarella Stick Topper (made of crispy mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce, and parmesan cream sauce), Bacon Beer Cheese Topper (made of Blue Moon white cheddar beer cheese, bacon, crispy onions, and fresh green onions) or the Cajun Shrimp Topper (made of blackened shrimp, sautéed onions, and lemon butter). Then, finish your meal off with a choice of two sides: Garlicky Green Beans with Bacon, Steamed Broccoli, Classic Fries, or Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
While these customizable picks sound overwhelmingly tasty, many of the options pack in a staggering amount of blood pressure-raising sodium, artery-clogging fats, and enough calories to wreck any progress. To get an idea of how to build your next Topped & Loaded entree, we’ve outlined the nutritionals of the best and worst combos at the neighborhood bar and grill. Get the lowdown with our guide and peek at this enlightening intel in our report on 15 Things to Know About Applebee’s Nutrition.
Grilled Chicken Breast with the Cajun Shrimp Topper and side of double Broccoli
Nutrition: 540 calories, 32 g fat (15 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 2,960 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (9 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 53 g protein
This protein-packed combo packs in an impressive 53 grams of the muscle-sustaining stuff as well as nine grams of fiber and only eight grams of sugar for under 550 calories. While this sounds dandy, 32 grams of fat (let alone, 15 grams being saturated fat!) is a heart health no-no, and the fact that this meal contains as much salt as almost 52 large Snyder’s Homestyle Pretzels is pretty absurd. Next time you’re out to dinner, make sure to call the waiter over for routine water fills or ask the chef to hold the salt on your topper, side, or protein choice.
Grilled Bone-In Pork Chop with the Marinara Mozzarella Stick Topper and side of double Classic Fries
Nutrition: 1,780 calories, 96 g fat (34 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 4,500 mg sodium, 151 g carbs (12 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 79 g protein
Besides for being a ticking calorie bomb, this Italian-inspired meal consists of about three times of the American Heart Association’s daily recommended amount of saturated fat and even manages to pack in a gram of FDA-banned trans fat! Not to mention, the amount of sodium in this combo trumps more than a handful of the saltiest restaurant meals on the planet!