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The Worst Foods You Should Never Have for Dessert

If you're going to indulge, you'll want to do it the right way. That starts with staying away from these options.
dessert assortment on blue table

After feasting on savory meal, it's quite common for your sweet tooth to suddenly start calling. Soon enough, you might just find yourself order that slice of cake that caught your eye on the restaurant menu, or walking over to your freezer, ready to dig into that pint of ice cream you've been saving. And there's nothing wrong with enjoying some dessert. In fact, one study even found that those who selected and ate their dessert option first before dinner ended up choosing a healthier, lower-calorie meal as their main course.

So, go ahead and eat that dessert, whether you want it before or after your dinner!

But like everything else, there are some dessert options that are far worse for your overall health than others. Even if you do choose a healthy dinner, you still want to make a smart dessert choice to indulge in, too.

To help you out, we rounded up some dessert options that are truly the worst, and even included which specific restaurant and store-bought treats you should avoid. Looking to really add some healthy food to your diet? Check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

1

Decadent Cheesecake

oreo cheesecake
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One to avoid: Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory

Per slice: 1,600 calories, 98 g fat (56 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 790 mg sodium, 178 g carbs (7 g fiber, 133 g sugar), 16 g protein

Cheesecake is already a dessert you need to wary of, and if you choose one from a restaurant, you're in for a sugary slice is packing with fat. A standard cheesecake typically is made of cream, cream cheese, butter, sour cream, sugar, eggs, and graham crackers. That's already a high-calorie base, and at restaurants, there are often so many different flavors mixed in to this base.

Take for example the Oreo Dream Extreme from The Cheesecake Factory. Just one slice is coming in at 1,600 calories, and most people often consume around 2,000 calories in an entire day. Then you take a look at the sugar and it's just shocking at 133 grams. Plus, this Oreo cheesecake is packing triple the amount of saturated fat you should consumed each day, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Big yikes.

2

Chocolate Cake

slice of moist chocolate cake
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One to avoid: P.F. Chang's Great Wall of Chocolate

1,700 calories, 71 g fat (30 g saturated fat), 1,410 mg sodium, 259 g carbs (14 g fiber, 190 g sugar), 17 g protein

Chocolate cake is forever a quintessential dessert option. But it's also one of the most sugar-filled, over-the-top restaurant desserts. Prime example? None other than P.F. Chang's Great Wall of Chocolate. The cake is made up six layers of frosted chocolate cake with semi-sweet chocolate chips. One slice has 190 grams of sugar, which is more sugar than you'll get in an entire pint of Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream. Keep in mind it's recommended the average adult man consume no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day, and average adult women shouldn't have more than 25 grams daily.

Looking to cut back on your sugar intake? The easy guide to cutting back on sugar is finally here.

3

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon buns
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One to avoid: Entenmann's Cinnamon Swirl Buns

Per bun: 330 calories, 15 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 44 g carbs (2 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 5 g protein

Oh, the cinnamon bun. When served warm, you're treated to a gooey, sticky, sweet treat that is rather messy, but seemingly worth it. Well, not so fast. These rolls aren't going to help you in the long-run! Not only are they high in calories, fat, and sugar, but there isn't much fiber here. Soon enough, you'll be hungry again, possibly reaching for another one.

4

Brownie Sundae

brownie and ice cream
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One to avoid: Applebee's Blue Ribbon Brownie 

1,410 calories, 68 g fat (36 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 760 mg sodium, 188 g carbs (6 g fiber, 126 g sugar), 18 g protein

A chocolate brownie and ice cream makes a tasty combination. But it should come as no shock that together, it's a complete sugar bomb. The brownie sundae from Applebee's has more calories than the chain's chicken tender plate and has as much sugar as you would get from 27 Oreo cookies. If you consume too much added sugar often, you're likely to suffer from some unpleasant side effects such as weight gain, acne breakouts, and even brain fog.

Another scary aspect of this dessert? It's high in sodium too, with one brownie treat packing 760 milligrams, or as much sodium as you would get from eight pretzel rods.

5

Banana Split

Banana split
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One to avoid: Baskin Robbins Classic Banana Split

Per sundae: 960 calories, 39 g fat (20 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 210 mg sodium, 148 g carbs (8 g fiber, 105 g sugar), 14 g protein

The banana split is a classic ice cream sundae, but it's an example of just because there is fruit present doesn't mean something is healthy. At Baskin Robbins, you're treated to three scoops of ice cream and two banana slices, in addition to your favorite toppings such as almonds, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries. Coming in at nearly 1,000 calories and as much sugar as you would get from 10 and a half Original Glazed Krispy Kreme donuts, this is one dessert option you should always share with a few friends if you're really in the mood for a few bites.

6

Frozen Pies

lemon meringue pie
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One to avoid: Sara Lee Lemon Meringue Crème Pie 

Per serving: 380 calories, 12 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 320 mg sodium, 63 g carbs (1 g fiber, 51 g sugar), 5 g protein

A pie you don't actually have to bake yourself sounds ideal, doesn't it? There are plenty of pie options lining the freezer aisles, ones that you just let thaw a bit before you eat, or premade ones you pop in the oven and minutes later, it's ready to eat. These desserts, though, are proof you're better off baking from scratch, as you're in control of the ingredients that way. The lemon meringue pie from Sara Lee has sugar followed by high fructose corn syrup listed as the second and third ingredients. So it's not a surprise that one slice is serving up 51 grams of sugar, with 48 of those being added sugars. That's as much as you would get from 17 Oreo Thin Cookies. No thanks!

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more