If you're currently craving a country fried steak or loaded french fries, think again. Satisfying the craving may ruin your 2013 diet for the year.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, major chain restaurants across the nation are piling on the carbs and calories, despite the national obesity rate leveling off.
"It's as if IHOP, The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's Little Italy, and other major restaurant chains are scientifically engineering these extreme meals with the express purpose of promoting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson in a news release. "You'd think that the size of their profits depended on their increasing the size of your pants."
Wondering what to avoid near Holmdel and Hazlet? Here's what CSPI found:
- IHOP Country Fried Steak and Eggs: deep-fried steak with gravy, two fried eggs, deep-fried potatoes, and two buttermilk pancakes. The math: 1,760 calories, 23 grams of saturated fat, 3,720 mg of sodium, and 11 teaspoons of added sugar.
CSPI officials said, "That's like having five McDonald's Egg McMuffins sprinkled with 10 packets of sugar."
- Chili's Full Rack of Baby Back Ribs with Shiner Bock BBQ Sauce: The math: 1,660 calories, 39 grams of saturated fat, and 5,025 milligrams of sodium. Add the fries at 400 calories and the cinnamon apples and you get 2,330 calories, 45 grams of sat fat, and 6,490 mg of sodium.
- Johnny Rocket's Bacon Cheddar Double: The math: 1,770 calories, 50 grams of saturated fat, and 2,380 milligrams of sodium. Eat the sweet potato fries and you're adding 590 calories.
- Cheesecake Factory's Bistro Shrimp Pasta: You might think it's healthy because it has shrimp, tomatoes, arugla, and mushrooms, but according to CSPI it actually has more calories than any other entrée on the menu at 3,120. The dish also contains 89 grams of saturated fat, which is enough to keep your arteries busy from Monday morning to noon on Friday, according to CSPI.
"Not only do Americans deserve to know what they're eating, but, as our Xtreme Eating 'winners' clearly indicate, lives are at stake," Jacobson said. "And perhaps when calories become mandatory on menus, chains will begin innovating in a healthier direction, instead of competing with each other to make Americans heavier and sicker."