Worst restaurant foods

Jan 18, 2010 at 12:28 p.m. ET

Going out to a restaurant for dinner can seem like a well-deserved treat after a bad week at work, but indulging in some of the foods that are on the menu can wreak havoc on your health. From entrees that are high in fat to calorie-laden "health foods," SheKnows.com has tracked down the worst restaurant foods you can bring to the table.

Ribs and Fries


The problem: A full rack of ribs may seem like a great dinner option, but it isn't great for your weight. Just like humans, animals have fat stores that can pile up around their ribs. This fat content is rarely removed from the ribs before they're cooked. Add some thick sauce and you end up with a protein-dense, yet incredibly calorie-rich meal (over 900 calories!).

The solution: If you're hoping to dig into a dense piece of meat like ribs, opt for a half rack instead of a full one. Or better yet, order a small sirloin or tenderloin steak. Also, be sure to skip hefty sides (like potatoes or French fries). Instead, reach for a salad with a light dressing on the side.

Submarine sandwich

The problem: Sure, opting for a sub, even a vegetarian one, may sound healthy, but once you start adding on items like cheese, mayonnaise and even sub sauce, you're looking at a calorie bomb (up to 1,000 calories). That's especially true if you opt for the foot-long version instead of a six-inch half.

The solution: If you're craving a sandwich, opt for ones made with a wrap or flatbread. Also, choose low-calorie sauces, like mustard, which are high in flavor, but low in fat. Always avoid extra items like bacon and cheese; if you can't resist them, ask the person making your dish to put on half the amount they normally would.

Cobb salad

The problem: Digging into a salad can seem like a diet-friendly move (look at all of those vegetables!), but often times, portion sizes are ginormous, so you end up consuming excess calories. Add toppings like cheese, bacon and egg, and opting for a Cobb salad can actually be worse for you than indulging in a small plate of fries (the average Cobb comes in at about 600 calories).

The solution: Ask your server to cut the restaurant's portion size in half or ask the chef to add less cheese and bacon to the salad. Ask for dressing on the side and you could cut up to 200 calories from the dish.


The problem: While it's true digging into a pizza now and then can be good for your health (it offers a well-rounded mix of veggies, dairy and carbs), indulging in some of the pizza choices restaurants offer is a big diet no-no. Even a basic marguerita deep-dish pie can come in at over 600 calories per slice. Eat more than three pieces and you're looking at almost an entire day's worth of calories in one sitting.

The solution: Opt for a thin crust pizza and top it with less cheese and more vegetables. This will not only reduce the calories you consume, it will also get you closer to reaching your daily dose of fruits and vegetables.

More diet tips for dining out