Sure, McDonald’s has the Big Mac — and with jumbo fries and a large gulp of carbonated sugar it certainly isn’t “healthy.” But McDonald’s doesn’t even come close to earning the title of one of the unhealthiest restaurant chains in the US, compiled by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as a part of their 2013 Xtreme Eating Awards. Nor does Friendly’s, KFC, Burger King, Taco Bell, or any of the usual suspects. The winners?
Yes, a favorite food stop of hip and hungry teens, the Cheesecake Factory offers the dish with the one of the highest calories and fat contents in the country. At a whopping 3,120 calories and 89 grams of saturated fat, their Bistro Shrimp Pasta is the absolute worst of the worst. Yet, Bistro Shrimp Pasta actually sounds, well, no so bad. It is described as shrimp, fresh mushrooms, tomato, and arugula, tossed with pasta in a basil-garlic-lemon cream sauce. With that description, given the choice between a steak and fries and the Bistro Shrimp Pasta, which do you think sounds like the more responsible choice to most people? Ironically, you could have a steak, fries, AND a big hunk of dense cheesecake and still be well below the calorie and fat intake of a plate of Bistro Shrimp Pasta.In case this isn’t hitting home, the recommended amount of saturated fat intake per day is 20 grams. The Bistro Shrimp Pasta has over 4 days‘ worth of saturated fat, so you may need to break out the ol’ pipe cleaner for your poor arteries. Actually, in the past 4 years, the Cheesecake Factory has shockingly made it to the winner’s circle 8 times, so they certainly do take the cake. Their dishes across the board are consistently irresponsibly high in calories and fats. You’re better off going somewhere else.
If you have a craving for pasta, why not try a healthy alternative like the Raw Zucchini Pomodoro Recipe. It's fresh and delicious and definitely won't have your arteries crying with pain.
If you are one of the people who falsely believes that veal is a healthy beef alternative, check this out. Maggiano’s 18 oz. Veal Porterhouse has 1,900 calories, 40 grams of saturated fat, and 2,860 mg of sodium. Golly! Eat the included potatoes to bring the total upwards of 2,700 calories, 45 grams of saturated fat, and 3,700 mg sodium (enough for over 2 days). I guess they’ve never heard of portion control. If you are looking for a leaner protein, go for some local meat like venison, or even better, poultry or fish. Unless you are trying to fill your body with more harmful fat, stay away from this plate.
If you're wanting to provide your body with rich protein that is healthy and nutritious, check out these top 6 plant based proteins.
A smoothie seems innocuous enough, right? Think again. Filled with peanut butter, banana, white sugar, milk, and strawberries or grape juice, their Peanut Power Plus Smoothie is not as healthy as it sounds. This 40 oz. beverage offering has an incredible 1,460 calories and 22 teaspoons of added sugar! That’s in addition to the 29 teaspoons of sugars naturally present in the grape juice, banana, and milk. Take up the option to “make it skinny” by leaving out the added sugar, and it still will cost you over 1,000 calories. Why waste all of those calories on something you can’t chew? Skip the smoothie and opt for a handful of nuts or some chocolate milk (dairy or non dairy) to refuel after a workout.
There are endless smoothie recipes out there that you can make yourself that taste amazing and will have your cells jumping for joy. One of our favorite smoothie recipes that has a nutty flavor is the Nut Butter Lover Protein Shake.
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