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The 10 Unhealthiest Red Lobster Orders, According to Dietitians

Some of these Red Lobster dishes have twice as much sodium as you should have in an entire day!
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

When you're in the mood for indulgent seafood dishes at decently affordable prices, Red Lobster is the place to be. Famous for its lobster, fried seafood, pastas, and of course their Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Red Lobster is a seafood chain that people can rely on. Even though their food is tasty and reliable, it's not the most nutritious. In fact, many of their menu items have calories, fat, and sodium levels that far exceed the recommended daily limits.

Red Lobster dishes like the Admiral's Feast, Lobster Linguini, and Crabby Cheese Fries are just a few examples of menu items whose nutritional information will shock you. This isn't to say that you have to avoid dishes like these forever, but if you want to stick to some of your health goals while dining out, it's important to enjoy certain items in moderation.

We wanted to learn more about the unhealthiest Red Lobster items on the menu, so we talked with registered dietitians Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD, and Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements to get their take.

Read on to learn about the 10 unhealthiest Red Lobster menu items, then check out the 10 Seafood Chains That Serve the Highest Quality Fish.

Admiral's Feast

Admiral's Feast
Red Lobster
Per serving: 1,640 calories, 96 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 4,750 mg sodium, 134 g carbs (7 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 58 g protein

A feast full of fried seafood sounds delicious, but Sabat warns that the Red Lobster Admiral's Feast is one of the worst items to order on the menu.

"It has a staggering 1,640 calories and 96 grams of fat, including 10 grams of saturated fat, and the sodium content is sky-high at 4,750 milligrams, which is well above the recommended daily allowance and can contribute to high blood pressure and other health issues," says Sabat.

Sabat suggests "Opting for healthier, grilled seafood options or sharing this indulgent dish with others."

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Lobster Linguine

Lobster Linguini
Red Lobster
Per serving: 1,230 calories, 69 g fat (33 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 3,140 mg sodium, 86 g carbs (7 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 70 g protein

According to Sabat, "The Lobster Linguine at Red Lobster may sound delectable with its promise of tender Maine and langostino lobster meat in a creamy lobster sauce, but it ranks among the worst choices at the restaurant due to its alarming nutritional profile."

For starters, she notes that it has "a calorie count of 1,230 and a whopping 69 grams of fat, including 23 grams of saturated fat and 2 grams of trans fat." This is greater than the recommended daily maximum of saturated fat and exactly the amount of trans fat that the World Health Organization (WHO) says you should have in a day (although the WHO recommends no trans fats if possible).

On top of that, the sodium count is extremely high at 3,140 milligrams, especially when you compare that to the FDA-suggested daily limit of 2,300 milligrams.

Sesame Soy Salmon Bowl

Soy Salmon Bowl
Red Lobster
Per serving: 1,220 calories, 62 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 2,770 mg sodium, 101 g carbs (9 g fiber, 38 g sugar), 61 g protein

Seeing the Sesame-Soy Salmon Bowl on this list is disappointing because, at first glance, a bowl of greens, rice, and salmon seems like it would be one of the healthier alternatives at Red Lobster. Unfortunately, this isn't the case.

"First," says Sabat, "its calorie content of 1,220 calories is quite high for a single meal, potentially contributing to weight gain if not balanced with lower-calorie options throughout the day. Additionally, the bowl contains 62 grams of fat, including 13 grams of saturated fat."

She also notes the exceptionally high sodium count of 2,770 milligrams, "which can contribute to high blood pressure and other health issues" if you consume high-sodium foods regularly.

"While it does contain some nutritious components like salmon and edamame," says Sabat, "the overall nutritional profile of this dish suggests that it may not be the healthiest option on the menu at Red Lobster, and it's important to exercise moderation when choosing it."

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Crabby Cheese Fries

Crabby Cheese Fries
Red Lobster
Per serving: 1,450 calories, 76 g fat (24 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 3,760 mg sodium, 158 g carbs (13 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 35 g protein

We get it, it's hard to pass up something as indulgent as the Crabby Cheese Fries from Red Lobster. While you don't have to give them up forever, you may want to eat this dish in moderation.

"With a staggering 1,450 calories and a whopping 76 grams of fat, including 24 grams of saturated fat and 1 gram of trans fat," says Sabat, "These fries undoubtedly rank among the worst menu items for your health and weight."

Not only that, but this dish serves up almost 4,000 milligrams of sodium—a number that far exceeds your recommended daily limit.

"While they may be tempting, it's advisable to consume the Crabby Cheese Fries sparingly or consider sharing them with others to minimize their impact on your overall health and well-being when dining at Red Lobster," says Sabat.

The Brownie Overboard

Brownie Overboard
Red Lobster
Per serving: 1,020 calories, 57 g fat (29 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 360 mg sodium, 121 g carbs (5 g fiber, 84 g sugar), 13 g protein

You never have to say no to dessert, but both of our dietitians recommend going for something a bit lighter than the Brownie Overboard when you visit Red Lobster.

"Red Lobster's Brownie Overboard is one of the more unhealthy items on the menu based primarily on calorie density and added sugar," says Best. "The combination of its indulgent ingredients contributes to the 1,020 calories it contains, potentially leading to excess calorie intake."

Sabat adds that "the immense sugar content of 84 grams is well above recommended daily limits and can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, as well as increased cravings for sweets. While indulging occasionally is fine, the Brownie Overload should be consumed sparingly or shared with others to mitigate its impact on your overall health."

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Bacon Mac and Cheese

Bacon Mac and Cheese
Red Lobster
Per serving: 600 calories, 34 g fat (20 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 1,590 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 24 g protein

When your side dish has more saturated fat than is recommended in an entire day and more than half of your recommended daily sodium, you may want to find another option.

"At 600 calories, the Bacon Mac and Cheese packs a significant calorie punch for a side dish, potentially contributing to overconsumption of calories throughout the meal," says Sabat. She also notes that the total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium levels are all far too high for just a side item.

If you can, opt for something like rice, Brussels sprouts, or mashed potatoes for your side item instead.

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Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Red Lobster
Per serving: 160 calories, 10 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 380 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (0 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 3 g protein

No one is telling you that you need to give up the famous Cheddar Bay Biscuits. They are some of the tastiest items on the menu, and a trip to Red Lobster without them would almost seem incomplete. At the same time, it may be helpful to be aware of the nutritional value of these yummy biscuits so you can determine how many you want to eat.

Best says that a calorie count of 160 and 4.5 grams of saturated fat is quite high when you consider that people often enjoy more than one before they've started the rest of their meal. So, to still enjoy these while sticking to your health goals, you may want to consider having only one.

Dueling Southern Tails

Dueling Southern Tails
Red Lobster
Per serving: 1,490 calories, 94 g fat (44 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 4,510 mg sodium, 95 g carbs (4 g fiber, 29 g sugar), 65 g protein

The Dueling Southern Tails is a meal for those who can't make up their mind. With shrimp-topped Maine lobster and a bowl of Mac-and-cheese topped with lobster tail and bacon bourbon glaze, it's no surprise to anyone that this dish would be loaded with calories, fat, and sodium.

The sodium content is almost twice as much as is recommended to consume in an entire day, and there is more than three times the recommended saturated fat. Plus, this meal's 2 grams of trans fat is how much the WHO says you should limit yourself to in one day.

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips
Red Lobster
Per serving: 1,230 calories, 65 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 2,910 mg sodium, 117 g carbs (11 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 46 g protein

Fish and chips is a classic pub dish, but you can enjoy this pick at Red Lobster too. Unfortunately, their Fish and Chips are less than desirable when it comes to nutritional value, with almost 3,000 milligrams of sodium and 1,230 calories. The one benefit of this meal is that it's lower in saturated fat than many dishes on the menu, but the levels of everything else are just way too high in this one.

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Lobster Lover's Dream

Lobster Lover's Dream
Red Lobster
Per serving: 1,570 calories, 110 g fat (56 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 4,460 mg sodium, 62 g carbs (6 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 84 g protein

The name isn't wrong—the Lobster Lover's Dream is exactly that, with two lobster tails and a bowl of lobster-and-shrimp linguini. However, the nutritional value is what nightmares are made of. The 4,460 milligrams of sodium is almost twice the maximum amount that is recommended in an entire day, and the saturated fat is over four times the daily limit.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha
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