Here is a list of the worst restaurant appetizers in America according to MSN Health & Fitness:
Worst Seafood Appetizer
Long John Silver’s Breaded Clam Strips
* 320 calories
* 19 g fat (4.5 g saturated, 7 g trans fat)
* 1,190 mg sodium
The restaurant industry began to shift away from frying in partially hydrogenated oil 10 years ago. Now, Long John Silver’s is one of the few places left clinging to their trans-fatty fare. The word that should have set you off was “breaded”—it implies that the dish has been fried in oils, and in this case, those oils are packed with potentially heart-harming trans fats. Who wants to order fried seafood through a squawk box anyway? Luckily, Long John also serves up a number of dishes that boost good cholesterol, none better than the simple grilled fillet of salmon.
Worst Drive-Thru Side
Arby’s Large Mozzarella Sticks
* 650 calories
* 35 g fat (13 g saturated)
* 2,220 mg sodium
Fried cheese is never a good idea, but as a sandwich sidekick, it spells certain disaster. Anything with as much saturated fat as a Double Whopper should not be called an appetizer or a side. Arby’s menu presents a side dish conundrum, given that their entire roster of “Sides and Sidekickers” receives the deep-fried treatment. Best to skip over this section entirely. If it’s cheese you crave, order the French Dip ’N Swiss or Ham and Swiss Melt instead to save more than 300 calories.
Worst Chicken Appetizer
Denny’s Buffalo Chicken Strips (5)
* 730 calories
* 32 g fat (0 g saturated)
* 2,940 mg sodium
Another example of how two seemingly similar items can be worlds apart in terms of nutrition. We’ve seen worse strips, to be sure, but when you can have a basket of wings for less than half the calories, why would you choose these? We’ve never seen a leaner wing than the ones from Denny’s. But like any good wings, they should be shared (especially with that sodium count).
Worst “Healthy” Starter
P.F. Chang’s Chicken Noodle Soup
* 600 calories
* 20 g fat (5 g saturated)
* 2,550 mg sodium
* 75 g carbohydrates
Researchers from Penn State found that starting dinner with a bowl of soup can cut calorie intake over the course of the meal by up to 20 percent. But when you start dinner with over 100 percent of your daily sodium allotment, why bother going on? It’s the best part about getting sick: the promise of chicken noodle soup yet to come. Studies have shown it works, too, but no study could have planned on the torrent of sodium that swirls among Chang’s noodles. Experts recommend capping your daily sodium intake at 2,400 milligrams. Any more than that can put you at an increased risk for heart disease over time, not to mention swell you up with retained water. Unfortunately, all Chang’s soups suffer a similar fate. Your only choice is to swap out your bowl for a smaller cup.
Worst Dip Appetizer
Chili’s Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip with Chips
* 1,130 calories
* 90 g fat (39 g saturated)
* 2,460 mg sodium
Sure, there are artichokes and spinach in this dip, but they are drowned in cheese and mayo. These nutrition numbers are just for one serving—the plate, which you may easily plow through, surely has more than one serving. Opt for an app that doesn’t test your self-control, like the eggrolls. With about half the fat and sodium
Worst Potato Side
Dairy Queen Chili Cheese Fries
* 1,240 calories
* 71 g fat (28 g saturated, 0.5 g trans fat)
* 2,550 mg sodium
This is DQ’s real Blizzard. You can almost feel your blood pressure rise just looking at this catastrophe. Too bad it’s listed as a side, gobbling up an entire day’s worth of sodium and half a day’s calories before you move on to your burger. This one’s a no-brainer: chili, cheese, fried potatoes. But even a savvy eater couldn’t possibly anticipate how bad these three ingredients could be when combined by one heavy-handed fast-food company. Stick with classic ketchup and recapture 930 calories.
Worst Appetizer in America
On the Border Firecracker Stuffed Jalapenos with Chili Con Queso
* 1,950 calories
* 134 g fat (36 g saturated)
* 6,540 mg sodium
Tex-Mex cooks are never shy with the salt, but this dish breaks even their reckless boundaries. Each little cheese-stuffed popper contains more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium. Appetizers are the most problematic of most chain-restaurant menus. That’s because they’re disproportionately reliant on the type of cheesy, greasy ingredients that catch hungry diners’ eyes when they’re most vulnerable—right when they sit down. Seek out lean protein options like grilled shrimp skewers or ahi tuna when available; if not, simple is best—like chips and salsa.