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The One Item You Should Never Order on Olive Garden's New Menu

Unless you want to ruin your diet...

Olive Garden recently released an Amazing Alfredos menu, which features a few cheesy pasta dishes for customers to indulge in. While diners may be tempted by Olive Garden's new shiny menu, this heart-stopping assembly of pasta packs together a selection of the most unhealthy alfredo sauces you can possibly imagine in one glance of a menu.

Even though Olive Garden attempts to tackle the mindset that you can dine out at a restaurant and try to eat healthily, their alfredo is literally to die for. Each pasta dish crams so many calories and grams of fat into the entree, that even the healthiest version of the alfredo (the Steak Alfredo) serves up half a recommended days calorie count.

But what's the unhealthiest item on the new Amazing Alfredos menu? Surprisingly, it's their classic Chicken Alfredo that you're going to want to steer clear from on your next trip to Olive Garden.

olive garden alfredo
Courtesy of Olive Garden

How unhealthy is it?

The Amazing Alfredos menu expands the current selection of alfredo pasta to include versions with chicken, seafood, steak, shrimp, and a meatless variant. On the surface, these choices seem innocuous, but once you realize each order mostly consists of butter, cream, and cheese sauce, you might change your attitude.

The Chicken Alfredo clocks in as the worst contender of the group, maxing out at 1,620 calories, 100 grams of fat, and 1,680 milligrams of sodium. To put that number in perspective, the FDA recommends an average of 2,000 calories per day for a moderately active woman between the ages of 26 and 55. This meal easily pushes this group to the daily caloric limit and destroys the progress of anyone trying to lose some weight.

This caloric number doesn't even take into account the sodium of the meal. The average diner should eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, meaning that this meal's 1,680 milligrams of sodium count equally pushes you to the extreme limits of balanced eating.

Even on the healthiest end of Olive Garden's alfredo spectrum, the numbers still won't do you any favors. The Steak Alfredo clocks in at 930 calories, 56 grams of fat, and 1,680 milligrams of sodium. Even with about half the calories of the Chicken Alfredo, the steak version packs in an equal amount of salt, wrecking your eating plan for the day.

If the craving for creamy pasta strikes, resist the temptation and stick to the soup and salad if you want to guarantee a healthier meal when you eat out at Olive Garden. And if you just can't shake that desire for a plate of alfredo, opt to make it at home, where you can easily control the calorie count and portion size.

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Erich Barganier
Erich Barganier is a health and food writer. Read more