Health & Wellness

2,370-calorie pasta? 5 dishes disastrous for your waistline

Gearing up for a fitter 2011? Dave Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health and author of the “Eat This, Not That!” series, shares which calorie-, fat- and sodium-loaded restaurant dishes to avoid.

Top Chinese entrée offender

PF Chang's Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo (served with beef, pork, chicken and shrimp)

  • 1,820 calories
  • 84 g fat (8 g saturated)
  • 7,692 mg sodium

The human body needs about 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day to function properly. Anything beyond that could be unnecessary, and possibly put your health at risk. And sure, Chinese food is notorious for its high salt content, but few dishes we've seen come anywhere close to this number. It packs enough of the white stuff to meet your body's needs for an entire week! And the rest of PF Chang's menu isn't much better. Stick with the Hong Kong Beef and plan to avoid the saltshaker for the next couple meals.

Sodium equivalent: 22 large orders of fries from McDonald's

Eat this instead!

Hong Kong Beef with Snow Peas

  • 670 calories
  • 28 g fat (6 g saturated)
  • 2,960 mg sodium

Top Mexican entrée offender

Baja Fresh Charbroiled Steak Nachos

  • 2,120 calories
  • 118 g fat (44 g saturated, 4.5 g trans)
  • 2,990 mg sodium

If the full day of calories in this entree doesn't ruin any of your weight-loss goals, then the 2 days of saturated fat almost certainly will. But if all that saturated fat doesn't wipe out your waistline, then the 2 days of trans fat surely will. If the trans fat doesn't wreak total havoc ... you get the point. Fact is, you could eat eight steak tacos and still take in fewer calories than what's found in this plate of cheesy chips. Stick to two tacos and save nearly half a pound of body fat in one sitting.

Calorie equivalent: 45 Chicken McNuggets

Eat this instead!

2 Original Baja Steak Tacos

  • 460 calories
  • 16 g fat (4 g saturated, 0 g trans)
  • 520 mg sodium

Top pizza offender

Uno Chicago Grill's Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza (individual size)

  • 2,310 calories
  • 165 g fat (54 g saturated)
  • 4,650 mg sodium

Congratulations, Uno! You lose! Again! In all the years we've been putting this annual list of worst foods together, this caloric calamity has never budged — it's the worst pizza, year after year. There's simply no competition for this crusty, cheesy nightmare. With a day's worth of calories, more than 2 days' worth of sodium, and nearly 3 days' worth of fat, they should call it the Classic Deep Doo-Doo pizza. Because that's where your diet will be if you eat it.

Sodium equivalent: 23 1.125-oz bags of Baked Lay’s Original Potato Crisps

Eat this instead!

Cheese & Tomato Thin Crust Pizza (1/2 pizza)

  • 420 calories
  • 16.5 g fat (7.5 g saturated)
  • 885 mg sodium

Top breakfast offender

IHOP Big Country Breakfast with Chicken Fried Steak & Country Gravy

2,490 calories149 g fat (57 g saturated)213 g carbohydrates5,690 mg sodium

Here's the anatomy of a breakfast disaster: Take a 12-ounce steak, bread it, fry it, and then cover it with gravy. Then, on the side, drop three eggs and three buttermilk pancakes. Does it not occur to IHOP that this is actually three full meals that would weigh in at more than 800 calories apiece???

Saturated fat equivalent: 7 Chipotle Chicken Sandwiches from Dunkin Donuts

Eat this instead!

Simple & Fit Turkey Bacon Omelet w/Fresh Fruit

  • 420 calories
  • 21 g fat (10 g saturated)
  • 24 g carbohydrates
  • 730 mg sodium

Top food offender in America in 2010

Cheesecake Factory's Bistro Shrimp Pasta

  • 2,730 calories
  • 78 g saturated fat
  • 141 g carbohydrates
  • 919 mg sodium

No restaurant chain exemplifies America's portion problem more than Cheesecake Factory, where the average sandwich contains nearly 1,400 calories — more than three full meals. But the Factory doesn't stop at elephantine portion sizes; it combines that with heavy-handed application of cheap cooking fats and the results are disastrous! However, it's this relatively healthy-sounding plate of shrimp pasta that earns this year's “Worst Food in America” crown from Eat This, Not That!, delivering to your system more saturated fat than you'd find in three packages of Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon or as many calories as in seven bean burritos from Taco Bell.

Calorie equivalent: 7 bean burritos from Taco Bell

Eat this instead!

Fresh Grilled Mahi Mahi

  • 240 calories
  • 1 g saturated fat
  • 2 g carbohydrates
  • 364 mg sodium

More from Men's Health:Cook This, Not That: 350-Calorie MealsThe 10 Worst Fast Food MealsThe 20 Worst Foods 2010The 15 Best Recipes for Weight Loss

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