The 2015 Xtreme Eating Awards by CSPI have just named the ‘9 worst chain restaurant meals of the year’, and the 2,780-calorie “Create Your Own Combination” from Red Lobster took honors as the worst meal for you served by a chain restaurant in the United States. How do you get to the 2,780-calories from Red Lobster’s “Create Your Own Combination”? In order to meet surpass your daily recommended caloric intake (and four days worth of sodium at 6,530 milligrams) you would choose the following items: Shrimp Linguine Alfredo (630 calories, 1450mg sodium), Walt’s Favorite Shrimp (580 calories, 2150mg sodium), and the Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp (510 calories, 950mg sodium) to go with a Classic Caesar Salad (540 calories, 570mg sodium), french fries (360 calories), and one Cheddar Bay biscuit (160 calories, 380mg sodium).
As the Orlando Sentinel notes, if you then order a ‘Lobsterita’ to go with the meal above, Red Lobster’s flagship margarita (890 calories, 860mg sodium) that meal reaches an astounding 3,670 calories in once sitting, which is like 1.75 your daily recommended caloric intake. Most sites are reporting that the Red Lobster “Create Your Own Combination” is 2,710 calories, but pulling from the nutritional information provided by Red Lobster (in this PDF) the calories in the meal listed above add up to 2,780-calories and NOT the 2,710 calories many are claiming…so it’s even worse than we though.
In the June issue of CSPI’s flagship publication ‘Nutrition Action Healthletter’ published today, CSPI listed the ‘9 Worst Chain Restaurant Meals of the Year’. As you saw above, Red Lobster took the top spot with their “Create Your Own Combination”, but here are all 9 of the worst meals in America:
2015 Xtreme Eating Awards: The 9 Worst Chain Restaurant Meals of the Year
IHOP‘s Chorizo Festival Omelette (1,300-calories, 1,990-calories after adding syrup).
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit ‘Pit Belly 3 Meat Plate’ (2,500 calories)
The Herb Roasted Prime Rib from Outback Steakhouse (2,400 calories, 71g saturated fat)
Louisiana Chicken Pasta from The Cheesecake Factory (2,370 calories)
Pineapple Upside Down Master Blast from Sonic (2,020 calories)
‘Create Your Own Combination’ from Red Lobster (2,780 calories)
2 For $12 Pick & Choose (Baked Ziti & Sausage Pasta and Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza) from Uno Pizzeria & Grill (2,190 calories)
Warm Apple Crisp from The Cheesecake Factory (1,740 calories, 32 teaspoons of sugar)
The ‘7X7 Steakburger ‘n Fries’ from Steak ‘n Shake (7 Steakburgers and 7 slices of American cheese coming out to a 1,330-calorie burger).
So there you have it, these are the ‘9 worst chain restaurant meals in America’ for 2015. I’m proud to say that I’ve only ever eaten one of them, the burger from Steak n’ Shake, and it was after a long camping trip when I was famished and looking for as much meat and cheese as possible.
UPDATE: A spokesman for Red Lobster has contacted me with a response to CSPI’s 2015 Xtreme Eating Awards
“On the Record Red Lobster Comment and Response to CSPI’s Xtreme Eating Awards
The Create Your Own Combination lets guests choose two or three preparations from a list of nine to create a dish that meets their individual tastes and dietary preferences. In fact, there are more than 500 possible combinations guests can create as part of Create Your Own.
CSPI’s Xtreme Eating Awards hone in on just one atypical combination and as a result inaccurately portrays the nature of this menu item. They neglected to reference other possible combinations, guest choice and the lighter options available.
Guests can create a combination that has significantly lower nutritionals. For example:
Option 1 – Create Your Own Combination with Steamed Snow Crab Legs, Seafood Stuffed Flounder, and 7 oz. Peppercorn Grilled Sirloin with a Garden Salad and a side of steamed broccoli
This meal has 620 calories, 6 g saturated fat and 2370 mg sodium
Option 2 – Create Your Own Combination with Wood-Grilled Fresh Salmon, Steamed Snow Crab Legs and Garlic-Grilled Shrimp with a Garden Salad and side of steamed broccoli
This meal has 720 calories, 4.5 g saturated fat and 2390 mg sodium
Option 3 – Create Your Own Combination with Wood-Grilled Fresh Salmon, 7 oz. Peppercorn Grilled Sirloin and Steamed Snow Crab Legs with a Garden Salad and a side of steamed broccoli
This meal has 730 calories, 8 g saturated fat and 2220 mg sodium.”
For descriptions of the meals above and more information regarding the calories making up the meals you can click on over to CSPI’s ‘Xtreme Eating 2015’ Awards announcement.
Tip of the hat to the Orlando Sentinel for sharing these awards!