Just as you were figuring out how to budget your holiday party calories, Consumer Reports comes out with a scale-scaring report that suggests, perhaps, you should be more worried about the fast food you’re hoarking down while doing your holiday shopping. Here are six belt-bulging restaurant menu orders that make a heaving holiday plate look healthy.
Southern Smokehouse Burger with Ancho Chile BBQ Sauce
At a whopping 2,090 calories, this hefty burger also boasts high fat and sodium. Forget about making a pre-holiday appointment to see your manicurist, you’d be better off stopping in to see your cardiologist after this heavy artery-clogging load.
Total fat: 127 grams
Saturated fat: 42 grams
Sodium: 6,310 milligrams
Tuna Melt, large, with cheese and dressing
Tuna is so inherently healthy but when laden with cheese, dressing, super-sized bun, and eaten in giant quantities, it becomes a meal that provides nearly all of your recommended daily calories. If you want to fit into that sexy little black holiday dress, make your own tuna sandwich with light mayo, chopped veggies, and nestle it between two slices of standard-sized whole grain bread.
Total fat: 135 grams
Saturated fat: 27 grams
Sodium: 1,940 milligrams
Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo
Noodle lovers beware – according to Consumer Reports, P.F. Chang’s online nutritional info – but not the menu – states that this dish serves more than one person. And we’re quite certain that no health-conscious waiter is going to let a patron know that they are about to eat a noodle plate that alone can feed a small family.
Total fat: 84 grams
Saturated fat: 8 grams
Sodium: 7,692 milligrams
Ultimate Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt
Burgers with cheese are an iconic American favorite, and Friendly’s has supersized it into a button-popping plate. If you absolutely must have this, bring a friend and split it.
Total fat: 97 grams
Saturated fat: 38 grams
Sodium: 2,090 milligrams
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Shake, large
Ah, cool, refreshing, and an ideal sip after a long, hard day of holiday shopping, right? Sure, as long as you realize you are sucking down more calories than the Friendly’s BurgerMelt and more saturated fat than Chili’s Southern Smokehouse Burger. Instead, order a small or go home and eat a bowl of low-fat chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
Total fat: 72 grams
Saturated fat: 46 grams
Sodium: 710 milligrams
Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake
Rivaling Quizno’s Tuna Melt and P.F. Chang’s Pan-Fried Noodles, the Cheesecake Factory’s to-die-for chocolate cake may just put you one step closer to death. Based on Consumer Reports’ research, total fat values are not available but this dessert has plenty of belt-straining calories and saturated fat.
Total fat: Not available
Saturated fat: 48 grams
Sodium: 879 milligrams
Now that you know that some of your favorite oft-eaten restaurant menu options are far unhealthier than the once-a-year holiday feast, you can start worrying less about holiday weight gain and worry more about finding healthier menu options when you eat out all year round.
For more information on these unhealthy restaurant meals and other timely research, check out the December 2010 issue of Consumer Reports.
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