1. WORST SEAFOOD STARTER
Red Lobster Crispy Calamari and Vegetables1,520 calories97 g fat (11 g saturated)3,050 mg sodium
Shocking calorie equivalent: 17 Rice Krispies treatsThis squid has been plucked from the ocean and dropped straight into the deep fryer. Actually, everything on this plate—aside from the oily ranch and zesty marinara—has received the deep-fryer treatment. The lobster tail is a far better option. Almost all its calories come from protein, and it’s loaded with the mineral selenium, which helps prevent joint and muscle pain and can help keep your body’s hormones in balance.
And at 100 calories, the combination of lobster and cocktail sauce is a perfectly portioned appetizer. A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that by eating a 100-calorie appetizer before your meal, you could reduce your total calorie intake by 12 percent. (The 100 calories in the study came from a salad). But don’t make the mistake of dipping your lobster in melted butter. One ramekin has 350 calories. 38 grams of fat, and 23 grams of saturated fat. Eat This Instead!
Main Lobster Tail60 calories.5 g fat (0 g saturated)490 mg sodium+Cocktail Sauce (butter has 350 calories—not a smart move)40 calories0 g fat480 mg sodiumTOTAL100 calories.5 g fat (0 g saturated)970 mg sodium
2. WORST PIZZA SKINS
Uno Chicago Grill Pizza Skins2,050 calories140 g fat (45 g saturated)3,000 mg sodium
Calorie equivalent: 43 Cheese and Pepperoni Bagel Bites (That’s more than 5 boxes!)You can’t expect much from the restaurant that promotes itself as the inventor of the deep-dish pizza. Even still, these skins deliver more than twice your recommended daily intake of saturated fat. You’d have to run about 15 miles to burn off all the calories on this plate. Unfortunately the options are limited—Uno only sells 1 appetizer with fewer than 500 calories (and only 3 with fewer than 700).Eat This Instead!
Housemade Guacamole with Chips480 calories26 g fat (3 g saturated)460 mg sodium
3. WORST FRIES
Outback Aussie Cheese Fries2,134 calories151 g fat (72 g saturated)2,342 mg sodium
Calorie equivalent: 11 Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnuts! Somebody should take these fries Out Back and bury them. There’s as much fat on this plate as you’d find in 14 tablespoons of butter. A whole stick only has 8 tablespoons and 88 grams fat. There’s also more saturated fat on this plate than on any other plate on this table—that’s 3.5 times as much as a healthy person should consume on any given day. But shrimp is among the best sides you can order. It’s loaded with protein and tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes serotonin to improve mood. Eat This Instead!
Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie315 calories21 g fat (8 g saturated)657 mg sodium4. WORST ASIAN APPETIZER
P.F. Chang’s Spare Ribs1,376 calories96 g fat (28 g saturated)1,344 mg sodiumCalorie equivalent: 5.5 McDonald’s Cheeseburgers!If your goal is to inflate the spare tire around your belly, then these spare ribs are the way to go. This is a full pound of ribs—hardly a great way to kickoff a meal. And the Asian BBQ Sauce contributes more carbohydrates than you’d find in a Kit Kat (the ribs have 28 g carbs, Kit Kat has 27). Go with the pork-filled wontons and you’ll save more than 1,000 calories, and you’ll cut your saturated fat intake by 85 percent.Eat This Instead!
Crispy Wontons (8 wontons made with pork)360 calories24 g fat (4 g saturated)480 mg sodium
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