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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

5 of the Worst Foods to Eat at Restaurants

{Image Credit: iStock}

We are always looking for healthy options to feast our appetites on, but we can’t always splurge on the greater choices either at boutique restaurants. From our favorites among the likes of McDonald’s to Olive Garden, large portion dishes, tempting names and comfort food is often found most deliciously outside your home’s kitchen.

Looking for healthy options in a chain restaurant can be a challenge. But while we are so focused on what we should be eating when we are out at our favorite fast food joint, what about what we shouldn’t be eating when visiting chains? With research and studies helping show the way, we look at five of the worst foods to choose at a fast food restaurant.


You can’t go wrong with salad, right? Well, actually you can. Prevention reports that ordering salads from fast food restaurants is not a good option, considering how high their caloric intake is with fried chicken, refined carbs, sugar, tons of cheese and nuts. Between Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad with its 51 grams of fat and 780 calories, to the Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion Salad with 1,430 calories, 96 grams fat, and more than a day’s worth of sodium, be wise when choosing and look for meals that contain all-natural ingredients and a light dressing.


It’s no secret that when you order pastas at restaurants, they come in big portions — and there’s a reason for that. Pasta is inexpensive and easy for restaurants to make a profit, but a lot of that comes at the cost of your waist. When it comes to sit-down chains like Applebee’s, the plates are huge and inherently filled with carbs. But while carbs aren’t that bad and contain fiber, the rest is empty and not doing much good for your diet. Since portions are usually the size of baseballs, aim to take half the dish home and enjoy it the next day.

Drinks with free refills

Eating out isn’t the same without free refills. But while some of them are fine, like tea and coffee, it’s good to limit yourself to pop and juice. Pop at the popular restaurant chains pack about 120 calories, which isn’t too bad when you compare it to the salads, but it still holds roughly 30 to 50 grams of sugar, depending on the flavor. If you get refills, you’ve suddenly drunk more than 24 teaspoons of sugar a day — an amount that is four times the recommendation as per the American Heart Association’s daily intake.

Breakfast specials

Waking up bright and early for a classic diner style breakfast is the embodiment of American dining, but that order of eggs, bacon, toast, potatoes, and a side of pancakes might look Instagram-worthy, but it’s not beneficial to your diet for one reason: carbs. As a significantly beige plate, it’s a sign that you’re also missing out on some vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals usually accompanied by colorful produce. Instead, try substituting the potatoes and pancakes for veggies, like sliced tomatoes, spinach salad, or a fruit cup.

Medium-rare burger

Ordering a burger medium rare isn’t always ideal. If ground beef isn’t cooked to the proper temperature of 160 degrees F, some of the most nastiest bacteria restaurant kitchens see may remain in your meal. If that doesn’t scare you, think: “fecal contamination.” Consumer Reports state that an undercooked burger is riskier than an undercooked steak due to harmful microbes mixing throughout ground beef. On the contrary, whole cuts of meat have microbes that are more likely to stay on the surface and die off when exposed to heat.

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