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Chain Restaurants

Break Free of the Chains.

Break Free of the Chains.

Whether you want to get healthier or trying to lose weight, one of your first goals should include avoiding chain restaurants.

It’s probably no surprise that fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s or Burger King sell little -- if anything -- that’s healthy. But what about chain restaurants such as Applebee’s or the Cheesecake Factory? The surprising truth is that these places don’t fare much better.

So what makes chain restaurants so popular?  It’s their comfort foods. These preprocessed  / prepackaged meals are often loaded with excess calories and saturated fat. Here are just a few examples: Applebee’s sells a provolone-stuffed meatballs dish, which comes with garlic bread and a side of fettuccine pasta. The calorie count? 1,520 per dish. That’s the entire recommended daily intake of calories for women, according to the USDA. On top of that, the dish also contains 43 grams of saturated fat. The recommended daily amount? Only about 15 grams per day on a 1,500-calorie diet.  Additionally, the Cheesecake Factory sells a “Bistro Shrimp Pasta, made with a butter and cream sauce and topped with battered, fried shrimp.”  The damage? 89 grams of saturated fat and 1,090 milligrams of sodium.