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10 Meals That Should Have Warning Labels

Warning: The meal you're about to enjoy may be hazardous to your health.

That's the general message New Yorkers will soon get when they tuck into some of their favorite foods at places like Applebee's, UNO Chicago Grill, or TGI Friday's, thanks to a decision by the city's board of health to require warning labels on chain restaurant foods that contain more than a day's worth of sodium, or 2,300 mg.
The American Heart Association applauds the new ruling since sodium is linked with elevated blood pressure, heart disease risk and sabotoging weight loss. It also causes bloating, so cutting down on sodium is one of the fastest ways to flatten your belly.

If 2,300 mg sounds like a lot for one meal, it is. There's an estimated 189 mg of sodium in one of those little salt packages you get at McDonald's. So if you downed a dozen of them, you'd still be within your daily sodium intake—assuming you didn't eat anything else all day, which you probably wouldn't, because you'd be too busy trying to drain your swimming pool with a flexi-straw.

But a dozen little sodium packages is nothing when you're eating at some of our most popular chains. The editors of Eat This, Not That! magazine have uncovered 10 popular restaurant meals that should definitely come with warning labels, no matter where you live. And while you're blasting bloat, click to discover how to shed fat quickly with these essential 14 Ways to Lose Your Belly in 14 Days!


TGI Friday's Jack Daniel's Ribs & Shrimp (w/o sides)

1,590 calories, 71 g fat (24 g saturated fat), 4,000 mg sodium
That's the sodium equivalent of 4 huge soft pretzels from the mall!
Shocker: A meal made with body shots usually leads to regret. But in fact, much of T.G.I. Friday's "Jack Daniel's Grill" menu is halfway decent—with the Rib-Eye, Flat Iron and Sirloin coming in at under 610 calories each…with one exception. As with mixing alcohols, combining the Ribs and Shrimp leads to one big dehydrated hangover. And if you dare to have fries with that, you'll be tacking on another 980 mg of sodium, another mall pretzel's worth.

Eat This Instead!

TGI Friday's Jack Daniel's Rib-Eye
690 calories, 22 g fat (7g saturated fat), 1,320 mg sodium. And pair it with a glass of unsweetened iced tea to amp up the fat-blasting potential. Studies show it contains a compound that can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger. That's why we created the best-selling 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 4 inches from their waist! Available now for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Google Play, and Kobo.


Bob Evans Cornmeal Mush Breakfast with egg "lites" and bacon

950 calories, 42 g fat, (11 g saturated fat, 0.5 trans fat), 4,030 mg sodium
That's the sodium equivalent of 42 handfuls of Planter's Salted Peanuts!
The breakfast may be mushy, but regular doses of that much sodium can turn your arteries crispy. This meal is made of uncooked cornbread fried on a skillet and served with fatty meat and a no-cholesterol egg blend. What a way to start your day.

Eat This Instead!

Bob Evans Blueberry Crepes
630 calories, 28 g fat (11 g saturated), 690 mg sodium


Chili's Buffalo Chicken Ranch Sandwich

1,240 calories, 67 g fat, (14 g saturated fat), 4,170 mg sodium
That's the sodium equivalent of 19 medium servings of McDonald's fries!
We could have just thrown a dart: Everything on the Chili's "handhelds" sandwich menu has more than a day's worth of sodium (including the innocent-sounding Bacon Avocado Turkey Sandwich, which we recently named the Worst Sandwich in America), but this one has nearly two days worth! Go for a high-protein salad instead, and avoid the words "buffalo" and "ranch."

Eat This Instead!

Chili's Grilled Chicken Salad
430 calories, 23 g fat, (2.5 g saturated fat), 1,090 mg sodium. Speaking of delicious high-protein foods, make your intake more exciting with these 15 Surprising Foods With More Protein Than an Egg!


Denny's Lumberjack Slam with a Biscuit

1,430 calories, 85 g fat (25 g saturated, 1 g trans), 4,190 sodium
That's the sodium equivalent of 26 servings of Lay's Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips! For breakfast!
You're gonna get slammed no matter what: The Lumberjack comes with two pancakes, a slice of ham, two pieces of bacon, two sausage links and two eggs—plus hash browns. But order the biscuit as the bread and you add nearly 1,000 mg more sodium. The smart swap: Order two slices of toast, and you're down to 3,720 mg. Or better yet, order the Fit Slam—fluffy egg whites scrambled with spinach and grape tomatoes, with turkey bacon and an English muffin.

Eat This Instead!

Denny's Fit Slam
390 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated, 0 g trans), 890 mg sodium


Applebee's 4-Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders

1,830 calories, 92 g fat (42 g saturated fat), 4,290 mg sodium
That's the sodium equivalent of 20 pieces of thick-cut bacon!
We're not sure how Applebee's managed to turn a classic kids combo—albeit one meant for adults—into one of the saltiest meals in America, but it's the saltiest thing on their menu. Reward the chain for its healthy options—like the salmon—and maybe they'll add more.

Eat This Instead!

Applebee's Savory Cedar Salmon
540 calories, 32 g fat, (8 g saturated fat), 1,790 mg sodium. And for 150+ more delicious belly-filling ideas—and to lose up to 16 pounds in 14 days—check out the delicious, quick and easy recipes in the all-new Zero Belly Cookbook !


Steak 'n Shake's 7×7 Steakburger

1,330 calories, 98 g fat (45 g saturated fat, 3.5 g trans), 4,490 sodium
That's the sodium equivalent of 12 servings of Pop Secret Homestyle popcorn!
Available only from midnight through 6am on the chain's "Up All Night" menu—because eating this monstrosity in daylight would be too shameful—the 7×7 isn't even described as food; they call it a "challenge." The real challenge will be waking up the next morning.

Eat This Instead!

Steak 'n Shake's Double Steakburger with Cheese
440 calories, 25 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 1 g trans), 590 g sodium.


Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Individual Pizza

2,300 calories, 164 g fat (53 g saturated, 1 g trans fat), 4,910 mg sodium
That's the sodium equivalent of 6 servings of movie theater nachos with cheese!

Eat This, Not That! magazine named this the Worst Pizza in America just this year, and for good reason: Besides the shocking sodium count, this pie has nearly three days' worth of saturated fat and more calories than many Domino's pizzas. The key to (relative) success at Uno's lies in their flatbread pies—and share them!

Eat This Instead!

Uno Chicago Grill Cheese and Tomato Flatbread Pizza (1⁄2 pizza)
490 calories, 23.5 g fat (11 g saturated), 1,290 mg sodium. Speaking of losing weight thanks to smart portions, discover the ingenious 75/25 rule that was key in How Maria Menounos Dropped 40 Pounds!


Friendly's Loaded Waffle Fries

1,700 calories, 74 g fat (28 g saturated fat) 4,990 mg sodium
That's the sodium equivalent of 5 Big Macs!
Fries are always going to add fat and sodium to your meal, so you're already eating them with a grain of salt. But Friendly's has created a side dish with so much sodium that it's not just unfriendly, it's downright hostile. They're topped with Cheddar cheese sauce, bacon and sour cream. Otherwise known as salt, salt and salt.

Eat This Instead!

Friendly's Cheeseburger Sliders
700 calories, 47 g fat (7 g saturated), 1,310 mg sodium


On the Border Firecracker Stuffed Jalapeños w/ Salsa Ranch

1,900 calories, 138 g fat (35 g saturated fat), 5,760 mg sodium
That's the sodium equivalent of 1,265 Cheddar Goldfish crackers!
Jalapeños can boost your metabolism, but they'll be fighting an uphill battle against all those calories, fat, and sodium. Ditch the rest of the order and add jalapeños to another option, like a fajita taco.

Eat This Instead!

On the Border Grilled Chicken Fajita Taco with Cilantro Lime Rice
340 calories, 6.5 g fat, (5 g saturated fat), 990 mg sodium. And don't pair that with a Coke—click here to see 5 Amazing Things That Happen to Your Body When You Give Up Soda!


PF Chang's Hot & Sour Soup Bowl

380 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 7,980 mg sodium
That's the sodium equivalent of more than 39 packets of salt, guzzled down!
Yes, congratulations. If you eat this, you'll have slurped down the sodium equivalent of 44 individual bags of Doritos Cool Ranch Tortilla Chips. New York's going to need 20 salt shaker icons to warn you away from this Saltiest Meal in America!

Eat This Instead!

PF Chang's Wonton Soup Cup
60 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 730 mg sodium


WITH OUR BEST-SELLING NEW DIET PLAN, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 4 inches from their waist! Available now for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Google Play, and Kobo.

Eat This, Not That!
Inspired by The New York Times best-selling book series, Eat This, Not That! is a brand that's comprised of an award-winning team of journalists and board-certified experts, doctors, nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers, and dietitians who work together to bring you accurate, timely, informative, and actionable content on food, nutrition, dieting, weight loss, health, wellness, and more. Read more about Eat This