Maybe some of you need to be grossed out of a burger and into having a salad. Hey, no judgment here — whatever makes our readers happy is what we’re going to put our efforts on. This time, our efforts went into making a second article about more fast food joints you want to steer clear of.
There's nothing super about anything at Souper Salad. It used to be a reasonable place for a quick meal, but its quality has gone noticeably downhill over the past few years. As their name suggests, they mainly offer all-you-can-eat soup or salad, but what you get is outrageous.
Ultimately, whichever soup you select will be a letdown. Some Souper Salads also hold a taco bar, but it's not worth risking, either. The cheese tastes synthetic, the chips are musty, and even the salsa is watered down and bland.
Back in the 1980s, TGI Fridays was a rather pleasant spot to eat at, but the times, they are a-changin'. TGI Fridays appear to have a menu that echoes the question, "Exactly how many items can we drown in Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey?"
With not much more to offer, the current sentiment seems to be that this casual dining franchise is overdue for extinction.
Hooters may have been a trailblazer back when they opened their first location in 1983, but the business isn't booming anymore for the orange and white purveyor of wings and cleavage. There's some speculation that the drop in sales is due to decreased interest in objectifying women in today's increasingly progressive climate.
Many people feel uncomfortable when going to Hooters, so imagine what it's like being a waitress there? Care for a side of uneasiness with your chicken wings? We didn't think so.
Buffalo Wild Wings
Few foods are as typically American as buffalo wings, but that's not providing much solace for this chain.
Originally founded in Ohio, Buffalo Wild Wings is an international chain that currently operates more than 1,200 locations around the world, but lately, their branches have been closing.
All has not been favorable for this American dining-chain these past few years. It's been plagued by everything from questionable business ventures to shifts in American dining habits.
What used to be a reliable spot to find American comfort food is now an inconsistent eatery where the food is often more disheartening than comforting.
California Pizza Kitchen
When is a delicious pizza not appealing? The pizzas from California Pizza Kitchen are advertised as delicious, but the thing is, their pizzas aren't anything special.
And when it came time to eliminate partially hydrogenated oils from all their products, they were dragging their feet. They even had to recall their frozen pizzas a few years ago after discovering little plastic pieces in the pizzas. Yikes!
On The Border
Nowadays, anyone can log onto any restaurant's website to get all the nutrition stats they might want to see before making an order. This is definitely a win for those healthy-minded individuals and those looking to keep an eye on their gut. But On The Border's nutrition guide doesn't provide any information on trans fat or sugar, which are quite important when considering health.
So is this a mere coincidence? Probably not. If we had to speculate, this was probably a calculated move to assure those who care about health aren't scared off. And guess what? When they're shady like that, then it's a sure sign they're stuck in the medieval ages.
We couldn't steer clear from P.F. Chang's plain indifference for the nation's collective blood pressure. There was a report published on Chang's hot and sour soup, which contained a tremendous 7,980 milligrams of sodium (that's equal to 39 packets of salt)! When checked again, their soup had been reformulated, and now it contains 9,600 milligrams of sodium!
After skimming through the rest of their menu, we found over 30 menu items that pack more than 3,000 milligrams of salt—which is already 500 milligrams above the recommended daily limit.
The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory probably wouldn't want us taking too close a look at the nutritional content of their food because they are quite aware of just how bad it is for us. They don't even publish nutritional information on their website.
It wasn't until the government intervened and state legislation demanded complete disclosure of nutritional information that the Cheesecake Factory finally released the numbers. The best strategy for survival at this eatery is to run in the complete opposite direction before you decide to enter.
The Foodservice industry is changing, and it seems that pancakes can't keep up. It wasn't too long ago that IHOP dominated the breakfast scene. There's one uniting theme among a lot of popular diets, from paleo to Whole 30 to keto, and that's that carbs are the enemy.
That's not great for a restaurant mostly known for pancakes and waffles. And given the national-debt-level calorie counts on much of its menu, it's easy to see why IHOP is struggling.
Uno Chicago Grill
It shouldn't come as a revelation that Uno Chicago Grill, home of the legendary deep-dish pizza, is also home to many more dishes that pack over 1,000 calories. Let's take their Cobb salad as an example; it totals 900 calories with more than an entire day's fat and nearly an entire day's worth of salt!
And their Mega Size Deep Dish Sundae contains a belt-busting 2,700 calories! That's the calorie match to 14 Krispy Kreme donuts! Finding something to order at Uno that won't derail your weight loss efforts is like looking for a lost ting at the beach; it's basically impossible.
If you go to Denny's for breakfast, you might with high expectations and leave quite underwhelmed. While we give Denny's due respect for moving toward serving cage-free eggs by 2026 in all of their locations, they're among one of the many fast-food chains that still serve meat that's loaded with antibiotics.
In fact, they have made no public policies regarding antibiotic use in their supply chain.
Ruby's is breaking our hearts—quite literally. They're on this list because it's so difficult for us to find any information on their dishes' nutritional value.
We'd like to think that Ruby would want her customers to be healthy enough to eat at her restaurants for the future. But if Ruby doesn't want to disclose vital information just because it isn't the picture of health, then they're doomed.
Champs Chicken can be found in gas stations and convenience stores spread across the country. The reality of Champs Chicken calling a dingy gas station home doesn't automatically make it a bad eatery; what makes Champs Chicken bad is the fact that they have terrible food.
Champs somehow manage to undercook the skin on their chickens while overdoing the meat. The result is mealy and fatty skin encased around bland slivers of chicken. Rather go a few extra miles and spend a little bit more cash to find an alternative worth trying.
TKK Fried Chicken
Just as we were getting used to Korean food, along came Taiwanese-style chicken. Yes, they may offer something else but do we really need another version of fried chicken?
Here's a tip, stay away from their chalky curly fries. With drinks that are sickeningly sweet and chicken that is terribly oily, you might be better off trying someplace else.
Casual dining can be nostalgic, but if you think Applebee's is nostalgic, then you might be mistaking nostalgia for being the most basic of basic chain restaurants.
American cuisine culture has always been fickle, but people with means don't want to eat a heap of fried foods with no nutritional value. If you want to avoid sketchy food that's not worth your while, don't eat at Applebee's!
On the surface, Olive Garden may appear to be pretty straightforward, with unlimited breadsticks as an option; eating there may seem like an easy choice, but why bother when there are so many authentic Italian restaurants available that serve good quality pasta?
While many love them, Olive Garden is seen by some as the epitome of a dining mistake. It might be a busy chain, but it's sure to be one that most foodies try their best to avoid.
Whether you love it or you loathe it, Chili's is an inevitable given in life. It's there when you crave it, and it's there when there's nowhere else to eat, and you're starving, that giant Chili in the sky leading you home. But thanks to their questionable preparation technique, liberal use of salt, and unappealing plating, you could get a stomach ache instead.
Chili's menu blew up in recent years as the chain tried to keep up with the latest food trends and offer something for all tastes, but all they've done is overwhelmed their customers.
Unless you were living under a rock, you have most likely heard of Popeye's famous chicken sandwich controversy. For some unknown reason, people were literally standing outside their restaurant chains for hours trying to grab one of these bad boys. We say 'unknown' because nothing could possibly be that good. Their chicken sandwiches would sell out by noon, leaving the people still waiting in line for them in tears.
If their sandwiches are that good, you're probably wondering why Popeyes even made our list. Well, we're sure they're putting some kind of addictive narcotics in their food to have people that hooked on them, and that's a no, no.
The Five Guys burger chain officially has the "bougie rights" of saying they're Zagat rated. Most fast-food consumers don't even know what that means, but hey, they sure seem proud of it.
All it really means is they probably change their deep-frying oil every 3 days instead of once a week like lesser quality fast-food chains, so, if you're in the mood for some "fine-dining" but don't want to break the bank, then see if they're one in your area.
If you're not from the West Coast, "Animal Style" and "Double Double" probably don't mean anything to you, but for some reason, everyone seems to know about In N Out.
Personally, we don't get the hype. You must have had to grow up with them to truly appreciate their food. The burgers are just "a'ight," and their milkshakes are decent.
With a name like "Fatburger," you basically know what you're getting yourself into it; you can only imagine how much grease and fried food they have on their menu. Fatburger practically tells us how many pounds we'll gain after our meal by naming their burgers by how much they weigh.
To be honest, their burgers are pretty good for a fast-food chain, but they're on our list for scaring the general audience with their name. Bad marketing!
Our favorite thing is combining Pizza Hut take-out with a fatty order from KFC (or Taco Bell). Hey, don't knock it 'til you try it), and then go into a food-coma. For some odd reason, the pizzas served in Pizza Hut's chain stores simply don't compare to the order-out pizzas. Can someone explain this?
But that may be the reason why they're losing business. Pizza Hut chains across the nation and the world have been closing down one after another. Someone help them get it right!
When was the last time you came across a fast food restaurant that exclusively sold chicken strips? I know, right?! Raising Cane’s has become one of the fastest-growing fast-food chains in the country thanks to their unique concept. BUT that's not to say that they don't have a couple of major problems. Visitors often complain about their slow service.
...so much for "fast food." Another major problem customers complain about is that the wings preparation isn't consistent, so the taste changes from location to location. You have to know where to go if you want the good ones.
like many of the other fast-food chains on our list, Dunkin’ Donuts has increased its prices over the years, and to be fair,it hase made a few positive improvements to its menu as far as the quality is concerned. Nonetheless, Dunkin' Donuts really needs to slow its roll.
In recent years, they've tried rebranding themselves and are now just "Dunkin'” as opposed to “Dunkin’ Donuts.” but they're still as basic as they've always been and don't stand out among any local niche donut shop.
CiCi’s Pizza is a buffet-style chain restaurant that offers pizza, pasta, AND chicken wings... usually, when a place has that many "specialties," you know at least one of them will be a bit off.
In Cici's case, none of the options are practically good. So, honestly, you can just pass on altogether and check out what there is to eat up the street.
One of the most over-hyped burger joints on our radar. Smashburger may advertise trendy burgers with avocado and truffles that make for colorful Instagram posts, but they're mediocre at best.
They try to market some of their food items as healthy, but they are usually far from it. So, don't ditch your diet and try to live off of these if you're watching your figure. You might as well be eating a MacDonald's burger with a few more topping options.
While we don’t think Shake Shake is terrible, but we do have a problem with the high reputation. It’s truly overrated and doesn't justify the 45-minute wait at its Madison Square Park location in NYC.
The burgers are fine, but that's it. fine. And don't get us started on the size of the burgers. That absolutely does not justify the long wait in line.
Charley’s Philly Steaks
This Ohio joint is famous for its Philly Steaks, crispy fries, and lemonade that is actually made from real juice lemon juice, and boy, don't the locals love them some good ol' Charley’s Philly Steaks, but that's where it ends.
Honestly, if you want to eat real Cheesesteak, then it's best you just go to Philly. Columbas, Ohio, can try all it wants to replicate the magic, but anyone that has had the real thing knows it doesn't compare. Save yourself the disappointment.
Steak 'N Shake
Steak 'N Shake milkshakes are thick and sweet in the perfect way, and people doe for their stick-thin fries if you're into those types of fries. But the name of the place is pretty misleading...
Where's the steak? And if they call that lame piece of meat they throw in-between store-bought buns a steak, we'll see they should be sued by steak lovers for defamation. Yes, it's that serious.
Oh, Baskin Robbins. There probably know other American ice cream chain that just takes you back to childhood...trying to choose which flavor you want to taste this Sunday, because your parent will only let you have one scoop, but there are 31 to choose from. If only those were our problems as adults.
Fast forward to 2020, Baskin Robbins has lost a lot of its magic. There are thousands of 'BR' chains around the world now, and perhaps this mass production is the reason why it has lost the charm it had decades ago. It's just like any mainstream ice cream parlor now. At least we still have our memories.
Blimpie has always been the weaker Subway in our opinion, so it's not surprising that other consumers think similarly. The lettuce always looks old, and the tomatoes are soggy. At least they toast their bread a bit to give the illusion that it's fresh. The best items on their menu are the cookies, but they can't even take credit for them because they're Pillsbury's.
Really, get it together, Blimpie. Don't you want customers?
Duck Donuts started as a small niche doughnut shop in Duck, North Carolina. The chain's popular for its customizable, made-to-order doughnuts, but also for their other baked goods. Duck Doughnut had expanded to over 80 locations across the U.S., and like other small restaurant chains that expanded... the product just isn't the same anymore.
Fans have complained that the dough has a different texture, and their iconic coffee tastes different as well. And get this- they're not even based in Duck anymore, but in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania! So maybe it's the State's fault.
Zaxby's is a fast-food chain that serves chicken wings, chicken fingers, sandwiches, and salads. Luckily for us, they're only located in the South.
Rumor has it that Oklahoma is already closing down several of their Zaxby's restaurants. You can keep this one southerner; the rest of the U.S. is already flooded with subpar chicken joints.
Moe's Southwest Grill
If you're from the south, you're familiar with the "Welcome to Moe's!" greeting you get as soon as you step foot in one of a Moe's chains. There's nothing like that southern hospitality... but there is something like...real Tex-Mex! And with all due respect, you won't find that at Moe's.
They probably won't be going out of business anytime soon because the locals love it. But as for the rest of us, you might as well settle for Taco Bell.
Chuck E. Cheese
Chuck E. Cheese was the closest thing to heaven to every 90's American kid. Everyone wanted to have their birthday party there so they could gain cool points from their peers. Their pizza, games...what else would you need, right?
Wrong! It's not until you get older and have to go to a Chuck E. Cheese as an adult that you question your taste as a child. The pizza is below average, and what the heck is up with that giant rat walking around? Get me out of here!
There's nothing wrong with a cheap fast-food chain pizza slice when you're really hungry unless it's Papa John's pizza, that is. It's quite baffling that it's still around. They owe it to all the indebted college students for keeping them in business.
It's basically low-quality cheese on a soggy crust...and if that isn't bad enough, they serve it with a small container of oil as if the pizza isn't greasy enough. What are they really trying to do to us?
Panera Bread has a name that makes you think there's something special about their baked goods. Well, we've checked. There's not. Their broccoli cheddar soup "bread" is probably the most successful thing on the menu. But other than that, their sandwiches and soups are just ok.
Best you stick to your smaller neighborhood bakery, or better yet, try to make your own at home; the internet is full of broccoli cheddar soup copycat recipes.
Ah, those famous golden arches. You really can’t round a corner in America without seeing one of the famed fast-food restaurants or a sign directing you to the nearest one! Whilst it’s the most popular on our list, it also rates the worst too! Sure, it does volume better than any other fast food joint, but it seems that with high quantity, the quality does indeed decrease. Customers these days are increasingly savvier with regards to the freshness and taste of their meals, and it seems McDonald’s just isn’t delivering.
Though things are Mc Changing (see what we did there?), with the company using patties made from 100% USDA certified beef. But if you’ve stepped into a McDonald’s recently, you’ll notice a push to the “healthier” grilled options. But hey, if you go past McDonald’s, you’re going to want your chicken nuggets or a Big Mac.. please, let us indulge in peace. Consumer Score: 28%
Jack in the Box
Now National Cheeseburger Day falls on September 18 each year (and if you didn’t know that, you do with that vital information what you will), and recently, Jack in the Box gave away free burgers this year! The not bad marketing team, not bad at all. But despite the free burgers, for their caloric content, we’d be thinking twice before gobbling one down. Ranking number two in our list of the worst fast-food chains in America, Jack in the Box received a low rating from consumers.
Apparently, food quality is poor, but hey, when you’re eating deep-fried tacos, isn’t it about the deep fry and less about the filling? Regardless, keyboard warriors united online, describing their tacos as “a wet envelope of cat food.” Meeeow! Consumer Score: 33%
Founded in LA back in the early 1940s, Carl’s Jr is “here to serve you. We’re known as the place to go for juicy, delicious charbroiled burgers. Because if you’re gonna eat, you should Eat Like You Mean It.” And that neat little line is trademarked, thank you very much! What began as a hotdog stand became a multimillion-dollar fast-food empire, memorable for its marketing and menu options. Sure, the servings are generous, and in America, bigger is better (right?). But whilst it looks all shiny and new on the outside, customers are complaining.
Oh, and, not to mention, the overtly sexual commercials – come on, we’re not still in the 1940s team! So with the advertisements and alarmingly high level of trans fats used in their meals, you’d be better off having a meal at home! Consumer Score: 33%
The American raised global hamburger chain was found in Jacksonville, Florida, and now boasts a whopping 17,896 stores worldwide! Incredible! You’d think that with that number of stores, they’d be onto something – you don’t keep opening stores if your product isn’t good or in demand, right? Most customers walk on through into Burger King for their Whopper burger, but often customers are disappointed!
Reviews generally complain of a lack of toppings with too much onion! Not to mention the dismally sized patty itself. Sure, people who complain are often disgruntled and have something else going on in their lives, but it seems that they’ve done something really wrong to be ranked so poorly on the list! Consumer Score: 33%
You’re in New York City; you’re wandering around Time Square and find your stomach grumbling. You look left, you look right, and ah-a! A neon sign reading “Sbarro” catches your eye. But whilst the food may look appetizing, it’s all summed up in a statement from Neil Irwin of the New York Times: “You eat Sbarro not because you want Sbarro, but because it is the food that is available; at the moment you want some food.” Sure it serves the famous New York-style pizza, but New Yorkers are even scratching their heads as to why it’s there in the first place.
Whilst the pizza is sloppy with cheese that could possibly be fake (?) it’s the cost that surprises us – at almost $4 US a slice, a whole pizza would set you back over $30! Yeah, no, thanks! If you’re still curious, Sbarro can be found at your local deserted mall. Consumer Score: 34%
Gourmet sandwiches, huh? Opening their doors in 1983, the sandwich giant claims they are “Jimmy Fresh”! But we just want to point out that in their “About Us” section, the first sentence contains an asterisk. Problematic, no? And the asterisked word in question is “all-natural,'' referring to the meats they use. Scroll down, and the disclaimer goes a little like: “all-natural means our meats are minimally processed (except for caramel color on roast beef) and contain no artificial ingredients.” And we had to squint to read short sentences. Ah… no thanks.
Aside from the questionable meats used, they were in hot water regarding an employment contract clause that forbade them from working at other delis for two years after the end of their employment at JJ’s. Oh, and there have been one or two E. Coli and Salmonella incidents. ‘Nuff said. Consumer Score: 34%
One of the “Eat Like You Mean It” gang, next up sitting inside our top (or bottom?) 10, is Hardee’s. Popular in the South and Midwest states, it's known for its charbroiled hamburgers and er… questionable commercials. Like it’s a bit 1980s to be using scantily clad supermodels to endorse your products, right? Grow up! We know for sure that your market isn’t just deprived males! Okay, we got a little feisty there, but seriously!
Sure your rivals are McDonald’s but be a little smarter and less obtuse! But we’ve got to hand it to them; Hardee’s actually admitted they weren’t exactly the best with service or with their food. But it seems that instead of changing things, things stayed the same. Disappointing, hence their position on our list! Consumer Score: 34%
Toasted subs were the… breadwinner for sub sandwich chain Quiznos. After the company filed for bankruptcy in 2014, it left the dying chain in a state where it was going to be difficult to resurrect. These days there are less than 800 locations in the United States, but we’re not sure they’re going to last all that long! Compared to its main competitor, Subway, Quiznos was struggling – especially after Subway began offering footlong subs for $5! In an attempt to compete, Quiznos offered free sandwiches, but franchise owners were already at a loss and just couldn’t give out free subs!
Anyone ever heard of communication? Yeah, great concept that. Anywho, it seems that there’s still a little life in Quiznos, and whoever is managing the Twitter account, we salute you! “Thinking about a watch party for that #Area51 Livestream? Order #QuiznosCatering”! Nice. Consumer Score: 35%
Everyone loves something deep-fried and doughy, right? We’re recalling a line from Shrek 2 when Fairy Godmother says she wants something “deep-fried and smothered in chocolate.” Right in the comfort food feels. Enter Auntie Anne’s. Selling doughy treats and particularly hot salted pretzels, the pretzel dealer first opened its doors in Pennsylvania in the late 1980s. Frequently seen in shopping malls, it seems that the death of the shopping mall has signaled the death of the fast-food retailer within the said mall. Damn online shopping!
In order to adapt to the changing retail atmosphere, Auntie Anne’s threw themselves into areas where there were just more people passing through. But it seems that despite a relatively simple, tasty menu item, guests have received stale and burnt pretzels. Seriously, if you do one thing, just do it well, people! Consumer Score: 35%
This has to be one of the oldest retailers in the fast-food game. A&W was founded all the way back in 1919, serving up burgers and draft root beer and root beer floats. One of the iconic burger chains in the United States, it seems that A&W is, in fact, more popular for its beer than for its food! Hey, at least they seem to be doing one thing right! Sure, the food isn’t amazing, so it’s received some flak for not being as high quality as expected.
Also, customer service seems to be a letdown – not just for A&W but for fast food retailers around the country (and the world, we’re sure!) Greasy fries aren’t great, but hey, at least you can wash down that cup of oil and carbs with draft beer…right? Consumer Score: 35%
Sonic Corp., or Sonic, is one of the most famous drive-in fast-food restaurant chains in the United States. Founded in Oklahoma in the early 1950s, it’s got links to Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, coming under the Inspire Brands banner. Selling cheeseburgers, onion rings, corn dogs, thick shakes, and chili dogs, all from a retro-themed diner, it’s like stepping back in time when you take a bite or a slurp! But whilst it's perfectly cool and themed and fun, it seems that customers just aren’t happy with the freshness or quality of the food being served.
Dry beef just kills a hamburger, and if it has no flavour either, it’s like eating a piece of rubber between two slices of bread. You’d think something so bland would be low in cals, but nuh-uh – 10 of their hamburgers were found to contain over 1,100 calories before the fries or drink. Sheesh! Consumer Score: 36%
Specializing in hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, and milkshakes, Checkers is a family favorite. In the business since 1986, Americans have flocked to the joint for their tasty treats. But it seems that what was once tasty and enjoyable has experienced a serious decline when it comes to quality and flavor. Oh no. Diners complain of long wait times and criticize the burgers for their lack of flavor!
But whilst there’s some negative, if we look on the bright side, customers are enamored with their fries and, specifically, banana milkshakes. We know what we’re trying for lunch! Consumer Score: 36%
Mmm.. pizza. One of the most frequently consumed fast foods in the world, pizza is almost as popular as burgers in the USA! Little Caesars, a US-grown pizza chain, is well known for its simple yet catchy slogan, “Pizza! Pizza!” It doesn’t get much simpler than that, does it, folks? Aside from the marketing, it’s also competitively priced – not many places offer a large pepperoni or cheese pizza for just $5. Compare that to Sbarro, where you’re paying almost $3 for a slice!
For those of you thinking the quality is probably poor for that price, well, you’re not wrong. It seems that at Little Caesars, you get exactly what you pay for…which isn’t much. If you’re looking to be disappointed, look no further. Consumer Score: 37%
“Pigtails don’t play when it comes to the fresh, never frozen beef game.” That’s what Wendy’s claims on its Twitter account, anyway! Despite its claims and its commitment to freshness, it seems that Wendy’s rates dismally against other fast-food restaurants. From the ‘finger in chili crisis’ to the more recent live mouse found in a bag of burger buns in 2018 (I mean, at least it wasn’t dead, right?), Wendy’s really doesn’t have a lot of positive energy going for it at the moment.
Time to get out the crystals, fam. But Consumer Reports have shown that due to its marketing approach and advertisements about its fresh patties, it seen more customers through its doors of late! Consumer Score: 38%
So like as soon as we read “Church’s Chicken,” we immediately think of Kendrick’s “Backseat Freestyle.” No? Just us? Sure, we can’t really repeat the lyric on here because we’re all family-friendly, but definitely check it out. You’ll know. Now Church’s has been around for a while – since the 1950s! Specializing in chicken biscuits and fries, diners were returning for years. Well, that is until recent years, when Church’s was struggling on the return customer KPI.
On the bright side, Church’s Chicken is juicy enough, but it slightly lacks in flavor! Oh, and the biscuits… they serve better food in prison. And it’s free! Anyway, we’ll see if they pick up their game for 2020. Consumer Score: 38%
Since 1983, Panda Express has been serving up Asian food to Americans with a taste for the food of the Orient! With over 2,000 stores nationwide, Panda Express is, in fact, the largest Asian restaurant chain in the country! Offering a slightly more gourmet experience (well, that’s what we’re led to believe) than most fast food outlets, there’s also the added “gimmick” of being able to create your own meal. We’re going to bet that’s where McDonald’s got it! Anywho, back to Panda, it appears that the food is actually not that great, and it is overpriced for what you get.
BuzzFeed had something to say, as did chef David Chang, criticizing the restaurant for not being authentic with its menu! David Chang remarked: “Do I gnaw on my own thumb, or do I get the orange chicken?” Consumer Score: 39%
Between Krystal and White Castle, there isn’t much of a difference. It also seems that there isn’t much more to love when comparing the chains. But next on our list is White Castle, famous for its petite (they are kinda small!) hamburgers. Now, if we go for a burger, we want a BURGER. Like, a decent, hand-filling, stomach-filling burger. Not one where after a few bites, we’re asking for the main event. Sums it up, eh?
Sure, they’re square, and it’s novel, we suppose, but these are supermarket-style. Don’t get us started on the bland patties. Next time, we’re making burgers at home! And after the Consumer Reports, it seems the majority of diners are too! Consumer Score: 39%
Now there’s something that Americans really love for breakfast. It’s doughy, it’s filling, and it’s usually nice and warm. It can be served sweet or with the popular choice of smoked salmon and cream cheese. Yes, it’s a bagel. And a place which does bagels, lots of bagels, and fast? Einstein Brothers! Marketing themselves as a “gourmet” bagel vendor, the chain sees 40 percent of its customers return. It’s not bad, but it’s not amazing. And that’s why it’s on our list!
Reviews have seen the chain slammed for poor bagel quality… nothing worse than a stale bagel! Some have gone as far as to say that grocery store bagels are better! Whoever is on the board really needs to take heed of these comments. Stat. Consumer Score: 40%
Specializing in American-style Mexican cuisine as well as American-style burgers, fries, and shakes, Del Taco does a heck of a lot! But hey, this may be problematic – ever heard the saying “don’t bite off more than you can chew?” From taco combos to cinnamon churros.. and their “carnitas,” Del Taco has quite a varied menu. Sure there’s a Mexican flavor to things, and sadly, it seems that it’s not enough to keep customers coming back. Guests are kept waiting to receive their food, and when said food arrives, it’s usually pretty lackluster.
In terms of flavor and also have a little too much rice in their burritos, Del Taco has been disappointing to customers. But with the rise of vegetarian and vegan options, it seems it’s breathed new life into the business. If you’re feeling vego, why not give it a go? Consumer Score: 40%
Mmm.. nothing like a fresh hot pastry from Cinnabon, eh? Unfortunately, it seems that all the good stuff stops after the smell lures you in. With its warm, sticky-sweet cinnamon buns, the look and aroma are extremely enticing. But it seems that Cinnabon, despite their offerings of sweet pastries and coffee (it seems like there isn’t much to get wrong here!), has been in a bit of a sticky situation of late. With a return customer rate of 40%, it seems they can’t get consumers to... well, stick.
Okay, enough with the sugary sweet puns! Cinnabon needs to, first of all, amp up the customer service and second of all, not serve reheated and stale cinnamon buns – and maybe then they’ll start seeing more customers and more dollars! That’s some advice fresh out the oven. Consumer Score: 40%
Ah, the good old Colonel. Delivering their famously herbed and spiced chicken since 1952, KFC now has over 22,000 locations worldwide. The fourth-largest fast-food restaurant chain (off locations alone), KFC is just quintessentially American. But despite its strong branding and reputation across the globe, KFC has experienced a bit of a slump in recent years.
From rumors they use steroids to make their chickens grow larger and faster than ever (they’ve been called “Frankenchickens” – geez, we certainly feel like PETA needs to get on this), to poor food quality (slimy chicken…eep!) and just bad customer service, KFC isn’t so finger-lickin' good! We’ll let you decide if you chance upon a KFC restaurant soon. Consumer Score: 40%
Hallo and welcome to Wienerschnitzel. As quickly as we’re saying hello, we’re just as quickly saying Auf Wiedersehen to the world’s largest hot dog chain. Sure, it was established back in 1961 and serves over 120 million hot dogs a year (yeah, that’s a real number, folks!), but the company just doesn’t quite get the return business like some other fast-food chains. And the reason? Poor quality food.
Whether it's undercooked or overcooked, or a bun that swallows the filling, Wienerschnitzel just isn’t hitting the mark. Any mark, really. Look, if you’re desperate for a snack, sure, it’s food. But if you want to feel good about it, move along. Consumer Score: 41%
Consumer Reports came back and showed that 41% of diners returned for more at Taco John’s. It seems the irresistible Potato Olés saw customers coming back, but it seems that that’s about as far as it goes. If you look at the rest of the menu, it’s really not coming up, Milhouse. Salad tacos are glorified lettuce bowls, and burritos are haphazardly wrapped – not like the beautifully tucked-in baby you might be expecting.
Presentation is certainly lackluster, but that is almost a side dish to the main event: the food is extremely salty and greasy. With oil splitting the seams of the taco and “fake cheese,”… god, our stomachs are turning. Thank u, next. Consumer Score: 41%
Long John Silver’s
Looooong John Silverrrrrrr’s! Ahoy there all, that’s the smell of the sea alright! The fish and chip restaurant chain is where you go if you want “fresh seafood.” Well, that’s what they claim anyway. We’ll let you decide. Oh wait, the Consumer Reports say you have – and it isn’t looking good for Long John Silver’s. It seems that the restaurant chain flounders helplessly with its menu options and food quality. Instead of serving up nice fresh fish with a light crispy batter, the majority of meals seem to be made of more batter instead of actual fish fillet. Pretty bad, eh?
You’re not exactly getting the Dory you paid for, are you? Add that to the long waits, poor customer service, and you’ve got a whole heap of frustrated diners. Let’s rethink visiting, and maybe spend a little more and get some real fish! Consumer Score: 41%
Nothing like a piping hot pizza delivered to your door – now that we have your attention (because when was the last time you received exactly that when having pizza delivered?), next up on our list is one of the most iconic pizza joints in the world! Pre 2009, Domino’s was in a bad way – customers complained the pizza tasted like… cardboard. Yeah, pretty bad. Others commented that the tomato sauce tasted like KETCHUP. If an Italian tried a slice, we’re sure they’d not be able to digest a bite! Crimes against pizza. It’s a thing. But the power of the people got the execs to smell the pizza and make a change!
The company had a turnaround and worked on improving the flavour and quality of their pizzas. However, things still aren’t quite there, ten years down the track. Consumer Score: 41%
“Each one of our Original Krystals features diced onions, tangy mustard, and a dill pickle, all sandwiched between our famously steamed square buns.” Now, does that make you hungry or… reaching for water at the thought of all that sodium? Most frequently, the chain is compared to its competitor White Castle – because both seem to serve up tiny burgers (by US standards anyway)! Corn Pups generally received positive feedback from diners, but it seems the burger joint still has some work to do.
Consumer Reports shared with the media that Americans think Krystal serves one of the worst burgers in the country! With a tiny patty on a big lump of bread, it seems that employees might need to be a little more generous when they’re adding toppings and sauce! Consumer Score: 41%
Subway’s slogan is “Eat Fresh” (yeah, we hummed the tune in our heads too. Damn catchy marketing!), but we’ve got to say that they’re on our list because, well, freshness has been questioned at the sub sandwich giant. Despite having over 24,000 stores across the United States alone (that’s a lot of subs!) and selling their subs for a fiver, it seems that their menu items just aren’t wooing customers anymore.
In 2018, Subway was forced to close 1,000 stores. But the question is, has the quality improved? We’ll give it a year. If they don’t lift their socks up, well, that’s on them. Subway, the people have spoken! Consumer Score: 42%
Specializing in Cajun seasoning and fried chicken (we Americans love our fried chicken, there’s no doubting that!), Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits (whoops, we left out the buttermilk biscuits that are served alongside!) is pretty big in the Southeastern United States. Founded in Charlotte, North Carolina, back in the late 70s, the chain is still going reasonably strong, with over 750 locations, 319 of which are company-owned. Sure, the food isn’t too bad, but it’s still ranking on our list because its chicken and biscuits just don’t seem to be charming enough customers through their doors.
Washington Post taste testers really popped a few nails in the coffin with their cutting comments about the Bojangles’ biscuits, saying, “so many carbs, so little flavor. It’s crying out for jam, jelly, anything to distract from the bland-yet-fluffy body. I can taste leavening in this; it tastes like baking soda.” If anyone from Bojangles’ is reading this, please, work on your biscuit recipe! Consumer Score: 42%
Taco Bell has to be one of the most consistently popular fast-food restaurants in the entire United States. Think we’re wrong? Well, tell that to the 7,000 + locations it has! Pretty amazing stuff. In 2018, Taco Bell was, in fact, voted “America’s favorite Mexican restaurant.” Brava! With the Beefy Chalupa, Nacho Fries, and CrunchWrap ticking boxes for its diners, it seems that there’s also a percentage who don’t exactly agree!
Many diners, in fact, criticize the quality of the food. As far as satiety goes, their burritos leave consumers wanting more, whilst others complain that the food leaves them feeling nauseous and well... yeah, you know what Mexican food can sometimes do! The Taco Bell jokes come in thick and fast, and we’re sure you’ve heard a few! It seems that even the best Mexican is still open to criticism! Consumer Score: 43%
El Pollo Loco
Now you’d think with a name that translates into “The Crazy Chicken,” it’d hopefully be crazy good! However, it seems this is not the case for El Pollo Loco. Founded in 1975 in Mexico by Francisco Ochoa, the fast-food restaurant spent a few years perfecting its flavoring and freshness before opening in the U.S. a mere five years later. But it seems that the chicken man isn’t doing so good these days, with customers complaining of terrible customer service. To be fair, working in fast food isn’t the most glamorous nor the most fun (a lot of the time, it’s the customers who are the rude ones, amirite?), so if they’re a little snappy, we really don’t blame them.
We’re only human! Aside from the “rude staff,” reviewers have left comments about incorrect orders and mix-ups, as well as long wait times. Oh, and the food is bland, flavorless, and just not exciting. There is no pleasing anybody, sorry El Pollo Loco! Consumer Score: 43%
Their slogan says “Fan Food, not Fast Food,” but we’re not so sure, seeing as it’s made our list! With ice cream served upside down, Dairy Queen lovers know the ice cream joint has been serving up their thick serves since 1940! But even Dairy Queen has come under fire – it seems her American subjects aren’t so loyal! Apparently, the ice-cream doesn’t even taste like well… ice-cream – it’s got a plasticky, manufactured taste, and it melts before you can take a photo for IG!
We prefer our ice-cream to be made with fresh milk and cream (or sorbet for our lactose-intolerant friends), so anything other than that just irks us. But the ice-cream isn’t the only menu item that’s sent the public to bad-mouthing the chain – their hot dog looks like “a blown-up Slim Jim in a cold, soggy bun.” Yikes. Consumer Score: 43%
Back in the 1990s (which, FYI, was almost 30 years ago) (we’re all crying) (let’s storm Area 51 and get the time machine), Boston Market gloated at the fact it had over 1100 locations in shopping malls and hubs across the great United States. However, we’re guessing business hasn’t been quite so good, with their numbers dwindling to less than 400 stores. Their main offering is rotisserie chicken, which makes for a simple, tasty dinner for those who are less inclined to put a chicken in the oven! Sure, it’s a convenient idea, but if you don’t do it the best, you won’t get the better share of the market.
Easily replicated, supermarkets started providing their own rotisserie chicken, which sent these guys packing! Maybe they need to look at some new menu items... Consumer Score: 43%
A recent consumer report found that about 44% of customers do make the return trip for their chicken wings when it comes to Wingstop’s performance. Famous for its house-made ranch sauce and hand-cut sweet fries, this is certainly a highlight for the majority of diners. But regardless – Wingstop isn’t totally free from criticism! Customers have two major complaints: saltiness and BONELESS “wings.” Yeah, go figure that one out. Sure, if they called them nuggets, we’d be kinda okay (though what’s in the nuggets is somewhat worrying), but not WINGS with no bones.
Maybe we missed the point – but at least they haven’t been criticised for poor quality or freshness, hence why it takes the #33 spot on our list! Consumer Score: 44%
Sure, Starbucks may be somewhat struggling to get people through their doors for coffee, but um, surely, you’ve seen the memes about basic white girls ordering their pumpkin spiced lattes like they’re going out of style? Yah. We’re starting to think, though, that Starbucks isn’t exactly a place you go to because you LOVE it; it’s more about the sheer convenience of it! And also the fact that some of their holiday seasonal stuff is pretty neat.
We’re not sure it’s really a competitor to the likes of McDonald's or KFC, but all the same, it technically IS fast food. Also, they tried to hush up a case of mistreating two African American customers just last year – it makes sense why they’re on our list now!
So we’re not sure if the fact Arby’s has a repeat customer rate of 44% is owing to the incident that happened back in 2005, where an Ohio man filed a lawsuit against the fast-food operator for more than $50,000. And for what? Well, he alleged that he found a slice of human SKIN on his chicken sandwich. Yeah, digest that! It turns out that an employee had sliced skin whilst shredding lettuce…and the accuser’s sandwich contained lettuce, so… ewww!
Maybe he would’ve had better luck with roast beef. Anywho, customers have also made claims that their roast beef isn’t well… roast beef. We’ll let you decide on that one – just don’t order the salad! Consumer Score: 44%
According to a recent national survey of regional burgers by USA Today, it seems that Whataburger emerged victorious against its competitor In-and-Out Burger. We’re pretty serious about our burgers, and so are Texans. Folks from Texas seem to prefer Whataburger, whilst those out West tend to prefer In-and-Out. In any case, the burger joint, whilst it may have won over the people, certainly hasn’t won over health experts and dietitians.
Sure, you can get a Whataburger Jr. with Bacon and Cheese for 400 calories, but remember, that’s for a child. And a child’s daily caloric intake is a heck of a lot less than an adult’s! So you do the math. Consumer Score: 44%
Chipotle Mexican Grill
A generous splash of creamy guac, some corn for color, and maybe some rice and beans mixed in for bulk – your Chipotle burrito bowl is looking scrumptiously...healthy? We regret to inform you that in fact, no, your lunch is not very healthy. Whilst there are certain menu options that are on the healthy side of the spectrum, a data crunch by the New York Times revealed that the majority of people’s orders at the Mexican grill are actually not too healthy!
A typical order contains in excess of 1000 calories, which is again half the total number of calories for a DAY. Not to mention the sodium – sure, sodium isn’t totally bad for you, but with meals containing 2400mg a pop, coupled with what’s equivalent to 75% of your saturated fat intake, we’re rethinking Chipotle and considering staying in for dinner. Consumer Score: 45%
With menu items like the “ButterBurger” and “Wisconsin Cheese Curds” being customer favorites, you just know that it’s not going to be exactly “healthy” for you. But we’re not here to shame anybody – eating junk is fine, just not all the time, every day! Though while we’re here, we just want to draw your attention to the fact that while browsing their website, it’s not exactly easy to get to the nutritional info!
There’s a reason for this: one pint of their vanilla Frozen Custard contains enough calories for almost half of your daily caloric intake! (990 calories for anyone wondering – packing 45g of fat and 100g of carbohydrates!) Consumer Score: 45%
Pei Wei Asian Diner
With a tagline of “Asian Done a Better Way,” we are slightly skeptical – but a quick look at the menu does indeed suggest that Pei Wei Asian Diner is trying a LOT harder than their competitors. With offerings of Cauliflower Rice and fresh poke bowls, we’re blown away at the healthy menu choices! Awesome! However, as healthy as they may be, it is hard to resist the deep-fried, stir-fried, and crispy options.
If you’re conscious of your calories, there are certainly a few things to go for here (cauliflower rice is just as good as rice (well, nearly as good) for 10% of the carbs!), but otherwise, Pei Wei is just like any other Asian food joint. Consumer Score: 46%
Now Chick-Fil-A is an Atlanta-based fast-food chain that kicks off our list of the worst fast food. We’re sure there are plenty of folks who disagree and don’t think it should be on our list BUT hear us out! Also, come on, it’s not in the top 10, so really, it isn’t all THAT bad. Anyway, Chick-fil-A is an example that it’s important to know the actual nutritional information before you go ahead and order.
It’s this high up on our list because their Grilled Chicken Sandwich is actually healthier than the majority of fast food meals (unless we get talking about the sodium content, but that’s for another article). Moral of the story: keep your eyes peeled! Consumer Score: 47%
Read on to find out what are the worst foods no one should be eating in America
These days, tempting foods and snacks can be found everywhere in America and in ever-growing portions. From fast food, processed snacks, and sugary beverages, to sickly-sweet desserts, there is no escaping this fact.
But regardless of all the negative effects, unhealthy foods are often very popular and widely consumed due to their convenience, affordability, and addictiveness. When you buy from supermarkets or order a meal from a restaurant, selecting a healthy option might not be as apparent as you think. So which foods should you beware of? Well, have we got the list for you!
Deep Fried Onions
Though comforting and delicious, the term “Bloomin' Onions” shouldn’t conjure up any lukewarm feelings. This is one of the most universally loved menu items at Outback Steakhouse. Hot? Yes. Fried? Yes. Chock-full of empty calories and unhealthy fats? Sadly, also yes.
To spell out just how unhealthy bloomin' onions are, just one order of this appetizer can contain a whole day's worth of calories. Yes it's a vegetable and veggies are usually good for you, but not when they're fried to oblivion.
McDonald's Big Breakfast
Eating at Mcdonald's is medically inadvisable, especially when it comes to their Big Breakfast meal. it contains a healthy-sounding sausage patty and scrambled eggs, but this breakfast platter includes buttery hotcakes, syrup, and crispy hashbrowns that spoil any hope of this being a good start to your day.
This giant order has more than the daily recommended amounts of fats, carbs, and sodium, so it should be avoided at all costs.
It’s hard to imagine a Starbucks menu without Frappuccinos, but they are a great example of a contemporary dessert fail. This dessert in the shape of a drink is just a collection of cheap ingredients, from supermarket-level whipped cream to excessive amounts of sugar.
Every bite is high-caloric torture, down to the extra caramel that makes it taste like diabetes in a cup.
Eating an entire order of french fries is obviously not the healthiest meal option, we didn't need to tell you that. But just how unhealthy are these bad boys?
All french fries are deep-fried, which means they are extremely high in calories while also being fast-digested carbs, and eating them on a regular basis could negatively affect your artery function. As if that wasn't bad enough, they also have minimal nutritional benefits, which basically means they're empty calories.
Pop-tarts make a good argument for conveniently packaged toast when you're short on time, but they might just be one of the worst ways you can start your day.
These toasted pastries have been around since the 60s and feature a sweet filling and frosted glaze in a variety of flavors. They are also loaded with a dangerous combination of sugars: refined white sugar, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup.
The In-N-Out Cheeseburger
From time to time, there's a void in life that only a cheeseburger can fill, right? Well, it turns out that cheeseburgers can fill much more than your stomach — they also fill up your arteries with trans-fats and sodium.
Just one cheeseburger contains over 1000 calories, with 70 grams of fat and a whole day's worth of sodium. So you either have one of these and nothing else throughout the day or have none (like, at all) and go for multiple well-balanced options.
Popeyes Chicken Tenders
As far as we know, Popeyes chicken tenders are more than just carefully battered fried chicken pieces — they are deliciously crisp harbingers of doom.
For a measly three-piece serving of these, you'll get 340 calories, most of which are hydrogenated oils, which might not seem like a lot compared to other fast-food meals, but considering you're only getting three pieces, it's a huge amount.
Burger King's Oreo Shake
From a nostalgic perspective, we love milkshakes, they remind us of our childhood when we'd have a milkshake every Friday after school. This is why we need to say this — we're not complaining only on our own behalf but on behalf of milkshakes everywhere.
BK's Oreo shake features some seriously shocking amounts of sugar, 92 grams per serving! That's more than four times the recommended daily intake and it's just in one milkshake. if you're in the mood for a delicious shake, then you're better off making your own.
Subway's Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt
At the risk of ruining Subway meals forever, we must tell you that Subway sandwiches are just not healthy. Gasp! While Subway has often been thought of as one of the healthier fast-food options out there, that certainly isn't the case when it comes to its worst menu items.
This is where the Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt comes in. At 1,150 calories this sandwich has 57 grams of fat and 87 grams of carbs.
Cinnabon Caramel Pecanbon
In and of itself, Cinnabon may be the Mack Daddy of baked treats but with that said, we strongly suggest you avoid Cinnabon's Caramel Pecanbon. Anyone who brings a box of these to a brunch or party only serves gooey sugar that's been neatly contained in baked dough.
In fact, if you see a tray of these, leave immediately. Rather go next door, where they’re serving quiches and carrot sticks. It might not be as fun, but at 880 calories per bun, you're better off eating something else.
Sports drinks may just be the fuel through which all things are possible. A burst of sugar and electrolytes can help athletes kick-start their workout, but is it really that beneficial? Sadly, no.
Sports drinks are full of sugar and artificial colors, you're better off drinking coconut water or eating a KIND bar. Or you can try the sugar-free Sports drinks, are they healthier? Or at least, healthy-ish? Undecided. But they can't be worse, right?
Frozen yogurts seem to be a wholesome, innocuous treat. You know, one that's reserved for the weekend or an outing on a warm summer's day. However, when you think about what's in this frozen dessert, you might realize just how astonishingly indulgent it really is.
Typically, frozen yogurt is lower in fat than ice cream, but somehow it's much higher in sugar. In fact, they have six times more sugar than protein.
There are good points on either side of the butter vs. margarine debate, most of them nutritional. However, when it comes to the ingredients and processes involved in the production, margarine by far has the most sordid list.
Filled with vegetable oils that convert to trans fats, you're better off sticking with butter, which is more natural and less processed. Better yet, swap either of them with olive oil whenever possible.
Known as the unofficial favorite of State Fairs across the US, corn dogs effectively are delicious and satiating, but at what cost?! Now, don't get us wrong — we're all for unique approaches to hot dogs — but battering one in cornflour and then deep-frying is just a step too far.
It’s difficult to write critically about corn dogs, but at some point, you realize these villains are just that.
Oscar Mayer Smoked Ham
There's a lot of stuff cardiologists hate about processed meats, like smoked ham. They're packed with preservatives, and saturated fat, and more often than not, they're high in trans fat, but worst of all, swimming in sodium.
Let's face it, experts are "probably" never going to approve of a category of meat that's been overly processed. "Probably" is doing a lot of work here so we'd recommend opting for meats that don't have a long list of harmful ingredients.
An ideal party snack, chips, be they Lays or Doritos, have enjoyed a terrible reputation among health experts pretty much since the dawn of time. Still, the oil and the frying make them kind of irresistible. Well, we're going to need to become better at resisting.
And that's not for nothing — this category of snack foods is packed with carbs, and sodium which has been proven to increase your risk of overconsumption, as it's nearly impossible to stick to just one serving.
KFC Famous Bowl
KFC is everywhere nowadays and sadly, there's nothing you can do about it. What can we say, people just love deep-fried food.
With so many unhealthy options, the famous bowl takes first prize, containing deep-fried chicken, (one of the most unhealthy ways we can prepare food) mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, and cheese. This all comes to a whopping total of 710 calories, 82 grams of carbs, and 31 grams of fat.
Baked Ziti and Sausage Pasta
From the land of deep-dish pizza comes a delicacy that has remained a localized Midwestern gem out of the reach of the rest of the country.
Despite what people might think, this creation called Baked Ziti and Sausage pasta is not pasta. It is disrespectful to the Italian culture, and it completely ruins what pasta is meant to be. While pasta can be deceptively unhealthy, this dish is by far the guiltier option.
You probably picked up on the fact that sugar = bad in our discussion. But while most people know that candy and Cinnabon are full of sugar, they overlook another huge source: soda.
Just one can of soda contains 50 or 60 grams of sugar! We're usually tricked by these sugar sneak attacks because only 10% of our sugar intake comes from the sugar bowl. The other 90% is hidden in the sodas we consume.
Bread bears the distinct honor of being one of the few items on our list to genuinely surprise us. We all grew up eating wonder bread, and indeed it was not one of the worst foods in America.
They may have shown some semblance of nutrition back in the day but when we look at the ingredients today, this loaf is nothing but added sugars and empty carbs.
Cheesecake Factory's Apple Crisp
Sometimes you feel like having an apple. Sometimes you feel like having a piece of pie. But hopefully, you never feel like having Cheesecake Factory's Apple Crisp Pie.
At 1,740 calories, Cheesecake Factory's version of Apple Crisp really packs a punch when it comes to dessert items. Just one slice is equivalent to two pieces of their Original Cheesecake. So unless you want to max out a week's-worth of your dessert quota in a single meal, we'd suggest you opt for something else.
Kellogg's Honey Smacks
Only in the land of tater tots and apple pie, has cereal gained such a bad rap due to its absurdly high content of sugar and refined grains. Cereal really isn't what it used to be and these "Honey Smacks" are here to prove that.
This variety of Kellogg's contains one of the most sugar-loaded boxes in the cereal aisle. What's more, it barely has any fiber to stabilize your blood sugar.
Panera's Mac & Cheese
When you eat at chain restaurants, like Panera, selecting a healthy meal might not be as obvious as avoiding the deep-fried options.
Even though this might seem better than most menu items, it still contains 1,050 calories, 31 grams of fat, 2,290 milligrams of sodium, and over half a day’s amount of carbs at 155 grams. This equates to about an entire day’s worth of sodium in just one meal.
Dairy Queen Blizzards
Dairy Queen's frozen desserts are said to be legen-DAIRY! However, all of their menu items are high in calories, and their Blizzards are particularly bad for you.
One large order of DQ's Brownie Blizzard comes with chewy brownie pieces blanketed in cocoa fudge, (who could resist?) but this all creeps up to a scary amount of 1,510 calories, with 45 grams of sugar, and over 70 grams of fat! Yikes!
Chipotle's Grilled Chicken Salad
So, you've been thinking of having Chipotle for lunch, but you're trying to be healthy, so you decide to order a chicken salad. Well, it looks like you're going to have to think again.
This salad sneaks up to 870 calories and 43g of fat. That's a lot for cut-up veggies. Tiptoeing suspiciously close to the same amount as that Chipotle burrito, it will make you wish you had ordered the actual burrito instead of that measly salad.
When it comes to frozen pizza, the ingredients list is the downfall of far too many sold in America, and the blame rests entirely on its egregious load of fat and preservatives. Apparently, we're all just suckers for fat and preservatives.
They also contain an abundance of other ingredients, like BHT, that are banned in Europe! As if that wasn't enough, there are also over 7o0 milligrams of sodium per serving!
Burger King Triple Whopper
For all the Burger King fans out there, don't be disheartened; there is still something that Burger King reigns supreme in — and that's saturated fats!
The triple whopper with cheese comes with three beef patties sandwiched between cheese and bacon that all add up to 1,216 calories, with more than half of those calories coming from fat! We won't recommend anyone indulge in too many of these. not if they want to keep their arteries in check, at least.
When you need an extra bit of pep in your step, you might be tempted to reach for an energy drink as it can be great for staving off sleep to study for a test or pushing through a tough day at work, but (perhaps quite predictably) they aren't great for your health.
A study recently proved that energy drinks can raise your blood pressure, potentially causing cardiovascular problems down the line.
A cup of coffee may be a beloved way to start the day, but that spoonful of coffee creamer isn't doing you any favors. In place of dairy, flavored coffee creamers are full of corn syrup, sugar, soybean oil, and artificial flavors.
Just one tablespoon amounts to 35 calories per drink, which can really add up since we all like to add a bit more than we should. Do yourself a favor and swap it for almond milk. Or any kind of milk, for that matter.
KFC Donut Sandwich
If you enjoy eating something sweet, soft, and savory at the same time, KFC might just have the treat for you. This KFC sandwich is pretty self-explanatory: extra crispy fried chicken sandwiched between two glazed donuts with pickles and mayo.
To be honest, we're a little shocked that a brain came up with this idea and put it on the actual menu, and that people out there are eating this willingly! Is it really finger-licking good or just a terrible trend that needs to stop?
Chick-Fil-A Cobb Salad
Chick-Fil-A is very divisive. But you're on the fence about them. So you decide to take advice from your doctor and instead of ordering a chicken sandwich with fries at Chick-Fil-A, you opt for a salad rather.
Good for you, but before you pat yourself on the back you should know that this salad rakes in twice as many calories as one chicken sandwich. After all, tossing things in a bowl doesn't automatically mean the dish is healthier.
Sonic Oreo Peanut Butter Shake
Sonic may be a summer oasis for many of their die-hard fans. Between their burgers, onion rings, milkshakes, and frozen slushies, there are so many delicious orders at this fast-food chain.
But as with any fast food joint, there are so many unhealthy options, it can be hard to narrow it down to just one. Fortunately, in terms of sweet treats the Oreo Peanut Butter shake really stacks up the calories. As one of the unhealthiest fast food items in America, a large serving contains a triple-digit serving of fat at 104 grams!
Popeye's Cajun Fries
Clearly, if there's one thing that Popeyes does well, it's fried foods! From their battered chicken to their fries, what makes Popeyes special is the spicy kick they add.
A large order of Popeyes Cajun Fries reaches a startling 804 calories, 42 grams of fat, and over 1,7oo milligrams of sodium. A typical meal shouldn't exceed 700 calories, so you're better off ordering a more nutritious side dish such as green beans.
White Castle Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
Across the United States, there's certainly no shortage of fast food chains today. From burgers to pizza and of course, tacos, we have so many choices that it's sometimes hard to keep up with them all. With so many competitors, White Castle wanted to do something a little different which is probably why they began offering Mozzarella Cheese Sticks.
But one single pack of 10, yes that's right, just 10 Mozzarella sticks total 1,490 calories with 109 grams of fat. Just in this one serving you can almost eat your entire day's worth of calories!
Taco Bell's Grilled Cheese Burrito
We won't lie, Taco Bell has quite an impressive list of menu items. And while most of us would probably agree that their burritos are delicious, it's quite a stretch to call them healthy.
This massive burrito is packed with beef, cheese sauce, seasoned rice, sour cream, a three-cheese blend, tortilla chips, and chipotle sauce. While cheese fiends might be tempted to try this meal, it certainly isn't advisable.
Little Caesars' Italian Sausage Pizza
For too long, the humble margarita pizza has been overlooked when it comes to the myriad of options in America’s pizza joints. What really makes this pizza pie unhealthy is the heaping helping of Italian sausage.
One large order of Little Caesars' Italian sausage pizza has 5,620 milligrams of sodium. Not only does it have an excessive amount of sodium, but it also contains more than the daily recommended intake of calories at 2,660 calories per pizza!
KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl
There's more to KFC than just its fried chicken and coleslaw, aside from its limited items, its menu also includes a whole range of sandwiches, sides, sodas, and sweet treats.
This is where its dubious Cheesy Bacon Bowl comes in, which was inspired by bringing together a variety of ingredients into one convenient and hopefully healthy-ish meal. But here's the kicker — it's one of KFC's least healthy menu items.
Condiments and dressings can be sneaky and many people don't realize they can ruin what would otherwise be a healthy meal. Enjoying your favorite meal with some BBQ might be an actual sport in some parts of America.
However, making BBQ sauce as unhealthy as can be is surprisingly easy. Just one serving can rake in 15 grams of sugar per serving. Why not just pour sugar and high fructose corn syrup straight onto your meal?
Del Taco's Queso Loaded Nachos
Just reading the name of this dish, we know it will be piled high with cheese and Queso sauce! This order of Queso-loaded Nachos is not for the faint of heart.
With a generous helping of beef, refried beans, sour cream, tortilla chips, and of course creamy Queso Blanco sauce which will all definitely fill you up. If you want to make this dish even remotely healthy, we suggest you share it with a few friends and only enjoy a few nachos.
Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Pub Triple Cheeseburger
Why should Wendy’s cheeseburgers be relegated to standards of health when they can be layered with a beefy patty, gooey cheese, bacon, and crispy fried onions, which are all piled into a soft pretzel bun, just as nature intended?
By any means necessary, stay away from this hefty cheeseburger which happens to contain the most amount of calories of any of the menu items at Wendy’s. Literally, anything else on the menu is better.
Cold Stone Creamery Mud Pie Mojo
The definition of ice cream is slowly being redefined in America and Cold Stone Creamery is largely to thank for that. Whether you prefer your ice cream chocolatey, nutty, or packed with a cookie dough punch, there's a good chance that Cold Stone Creamery has you covered.
With so many desserts to choose from, it was difficult to find the unhealthiest of the bunch, but the Mud Pie Mojo was bold and chaotic enough to beat them all. This ice cream has Oreos, peanut butter, almonds, and fudge, bringing this dessert together in a sugar-loaded nightmare.
Dunkin’ Donuts Glazed Jelly Stick
While donuts aren't known for being healthy as they're deep-fried and covered in a glaze of sugar, some are definitely more harmful to your health than others.
But thanks to Dunkin' Donuts, our treasured fried pastries sometimes take on less savory forms. One of the worst offenders is the Glazed Jelly Stick at Dunkin' Donuts, which contains 480 calories, 59 grams of carbs, and 25 grams of fat. That's a whole lot of calories and a whole lot of grams.
Hillshire Farm Kielbasa
Kielbasa is a spicy sausage that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Just throw them on the grill and enjoy them as the everyday Polish delicacy that they are. You don't even have to be Polish!
But not so fast, Hillshire's Farm Kielbasa is packed with unnecessary fat, fillers, and a heavy dose of heart-harming sodium. With this in mind, it would be better if explore healthier alternatives, like Al Fresco's sausages.
As with any food, Spam started with good intentions. With only six ingredients, you'd think Spam is pretty wholesome as canned meat, right? Well, it might not be brimming with a long list of hard-to-pronounce ingredients, but it isn't exactly healthy, either.
Just one portion contains 16 grams of fat and over 700 grams of sodium! But let's face it, you're not just going to have one portion and would probably be tempted to have the whole can.
Cocoa Pebbles Cereal
We'll be the first to admit that cereal is delicious and nostalgic, but it's not always the best pick for your health. The problem with most types of cereal is that they are loaded with sugar, devoid of fiber, and soaked with hydrogenated oils.
Bottom line? Cocoa Pebbles are delicious and chocolatey but having them every day is probably not the best idea. The Flinstones must not have used this modern-day recipe anyway.
Golden Grahams Cereal
Touted as a healthy cereal option, we'd suggest otherwise. Apparently, just a single bowl of these has been loaded with sugar and canola oil. Sure, they might be whole grains, which would sound healthy enough, but that's about the only thing about this cereal.
As with any overly processed and sugary-laden cereal, General Mills Golden Grahams are better left in the cereal aisle during your next grocery run. There are loads of other options to choose from instead. Just make sure to read the labels.
The OG of the fruity cereal game, but don't let the word 'fruity' fool you! There's nothing fruity about a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, this brand of cereal has zero fruit in it and gets any semblance of flavor from natural and artificial additives.
If you take a look at the ingredients list, you'll see it contains Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1, and Blue 2. And if that wasn't enough, there's a considerable amount of sugar with 12 grams in one serving.
Johnsonville Smoked Sausages
It's been said there's no such thing as a badly made sausage, but that hasn't stopped the processed-food industry from waging a decades-long project to disprove that old saying. And with every year, they keep getting better at it. Sneaky villains.
With a potent dose of kidney-harming phosphates and most of the calories coming from fat, we'd suggest you give this one a skip on your next shopping trip.
Cookie Crisp Cereal
That's right, eating a bowl of cookies for breakfast is not healthy! All this sugar puts you at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and causes cavities.
Besides all that, Cookie Crisp Cereal contains a lot of processed grains, which can be difficult to digest and can lead to bloating and gas. Remember, it's always a good idea to read the labels carefully and choose cereal varieties with less sugar.
France has croissants, Switzerland has muesli, and America has... bagels. Well, bagels aren't necessarily a breakfast food but they are some of the worst carbs you can eat in the morning, and frankly, we didn't expect much else.
Don't get us wrong, we love a good bagel as much as the next person, but it's definitely not the best choice if you want to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.
Buddig Deli Meat
Cold cuts are the protein champion of sandwiches and snacks. But because they're highly processed, they may actually not be the best for your health. Delicatessen meats like Buddig's Original Beef routinely fail in two ways: too much sodium and too much fat.
If you're looking for a healthier cold cut of meat, we might suggest limiting the amount you eat and getting deli meat with reduced sodium and nitrate-free. Just getting your cold cuts at an actual deli where they slice it for you might be the best option.
Another one bites the dust, and this time it's Turkey bacon. You might think you're bacon is better cause it's made of turkey meat, but that's certainly not the case when we look at its contents. Just one slice has over 2 grams of fat in it and 140 mg of sodium.
Take Oscar Mayer's Turkey Bacon for example, it has more sodium than regular pork bacon and its ingredient list is way longer.
Quaker Natural Granola Oats
Quaker Oats must have a pretty good PR firm. After all, they managed to convince an entire nation of eaters that clumps of oats and nuts glued together with honey, raisins & almonds are somehow healthy. Props to their marketing team.
If your watching your sugar intake, then this granola is not the breakfast cereal for you, as one serving has 17 grams of sugar. That's more than Cocoa Pebbles!
Not even the cheese places higher than partially hydrogenated palm oil on the ingredients list of this box of Rice-A-Roni Cheddar Broccoli. You'll only get a barrage of empty calories and about a third of your day's fat intake from a serving of this.
If you're going to make a cheesy macaroni dish, the least you can do is start with a more nourishing box than this one. It's temptingly easy but you must resist.
American Chinese cuisine has gotten quite a bad rap for being devoid of nutritious content and Chow Mein is no exception. This version of Chow Mein compounds half your day's saturated fat and sodium, plus a pool of inflammatory vegetable oils.
Each bowl of this dish has 540 calories, which is more than a meal's worth. Save yourself by preparing your own noodles and tossing them with stir-fried vegetables and soy sauce.
Bisquick Pancake Mixes
Who doesn't like pancakes? Whether your preference is blueberry or chocolate chip, pancakes represent an indulgent treat at best, or at worst, a part of your regular diet.
When it comes to pancake mixes in America, there’s a veritable platter of options to pick from, with Bisquick Pancake mix being the classic choice. But how well does it stack up to other mixes? Not very well. It's basically a box full of carbs with nothing but empty calories.
Peter Pan Peanut Butter
With an ingredients list that contains no less than four different types of oil, we're surprised they found space for peanuts. What's even more unbelievable, one serving contains more sodium and fat than a McDonald's small order of fries!
As peanut butter evangelists, we know how important it is to get the good stuff and we should all look forward to a genuine peanut butter experience, not this oiled-down version!
Kraft Cheez Whiz
There are too many great dips out there to count on Kraft Cheez Whiz. Kraft has somehow extracted the worst ingredients and tried to sell it as a cheesy dip when it's actually just a mixture of artificial flavors and syrups — a crafty move that could potentially have serious repercussions for casual dippers.
Stick to hummus or guacamole to sink your chips into, Store-bought ones usually have fewer ingredients and they can easily be made at home for much cheaper.
Beef jerky might be marketing their food as a healthy snack, but it’s far, far from it. Each serving contains 700 milligrams of blood-pressure-raising sodium, which is the same you would find in four servings of chips!
Bursting with sodium, sugar, and MSG is not a good look, this kind of shameless excess is not what you should be seeing on the ingredients list of any food, especially not jerky.
Deep Dish Pizza
Deep dish is no stranger to heated debate, whether it's who does it better or how doughy it should be. But this time, we're talking about how incredibly overindulgent it is!
Apart from the extra thick dough to support the buckets of cheese and salty toppings, the deep dish serves more than just your entire day's worth of calories, but a high dose of sodium and saturated fat. Not recommended if you care about your heart.
Snyder's Pretzel Pieces
Packaged pretzels offer a crunchy snack that doesn't seem as bad for you, but the high palm oil and sodium content in these crisply-baked biscuits prove quite the opposite!
It gets worse than that, though, as we often mindlessly devour these by the handful, without registering how much we're actually guzzled down. If you're one of those who really like crispy pretzels, then be sure to enjoy them only on rare occasions.
With a soft, chewy start and an incredibly sweet taste, gummy snacks are a favorite sugary treat that we all loved as kids. Unfortunately, these sickly treats are just high-fructose-laced gummies mixed with a bunch of artificial flavors and colorants.
But as it turns out, copious amounts of processed sugary sweets can rot your teeth, make you portly, and will probably make you diabetic by the time your turn 25.
They might be a favorite sweet snack for many of us, but as luck would have it, they are very high in sugar, as most processed snacks are. So if you're watching your weight, candy bars might just be your worst enemy.
Candy bars typically contain a ludicrous amount of highly-processed sugar syrups and are laced with hidden oils and fats which together, really pack in a lot of calories.
The main components of a basic quesadilla are cheese, oil, tortilla, and sometimes beef. Seems simple enough that it might actually be good to eat, right? Wrong. All the fat from the oil and cheese can really hamper your health when it comes to these cheese-filled foods.
Just one portion of quesadilla can contain more than 40 grams of fat and over 600 calories! If you have to eat these, try making them at home where you can fill them with healthier ingredients while limiting the cheese.
Rock Sugar Candy
Rock candy is essentially just crystallized sugar served on a stick, with some containing additives and colorings. Why would anyone eat these, we're not sure, but if you thought snacking on these wasn't as bad as a candy bar maybe limit your intake to one rock candy per week.
Perhaps serve up fruit, which can aptly be described as nature's candy. But whatever you do, don't eat these like you would if you thought they were actually good for you.
Scoffing down a Twinkie or two was really fun as a kid and seeing as it's full of sugar, it delivered a fast source of energy during recess.
But at the end of the day, these vanilla cream-filled sponge cakes are full of preservatives, fat, and sugar and about 32 ingredients that we don't even recognize. Whether kids or grownups, it's quite amazing that anyone let us eat these at all!
We have to give kudos to whoever decided chicken wings weren't satiating enough and came up with something that will really trouble your ticker. How did these chickens get so big and why do buffalo wings have to be fried and covered in a buttery sauce?
We obviously have a lot of questions, but at least we know that sitting down to a serving of four standard buffalo wings will eat up 350 calories of your day.
Jell-O has been in many places, from being a staple in hospital trays to being served up in prison cafeterias, and now it's part of this very unsettling list ranking the worst foods in America.
You could probably have guessed by now, what makes Jell-O so bad is the artificial additives on the ingredients label. But if you enjoy a serving of jiggly sugar that's saturated with artificial dye, this is great. Otherwise, we'd suggest you ditch this dessert for something else.
Fancy cakes have been decorated with fondant for forever and a day, but there's nothing fancy about this food if we could even call it that.
Basically, fondant is just pure sugar that's been added to hydrogenated fats and stabilizers to help it keep its shape and smooth texture. So with that out the way, we think it's safe to say that your cake is just fine without this non-food item.
In a world where can you find aisles upon aisles of candied snacks and sweet confectionary, there's absolutely no reason to be eating candy corn, the worst of all candy.
Candy corn isn't even tasty, it somehow manages to be too sweet, while having the texture of grainy wax and you simply can't escape that it tastes like a mouthful of chewy high-fructose corn syrup. Candy corn basically has no redeeming nutritional value and is certainly not worth the calories.
If you were to scan through the ingredients label on a regular Granola bar, you'll realize these so-called "healthy" snacks aren't nearly as innocent as advertising campaigns have led you to believe. When it comes to granola bars, “healthy” usually translates to “high content of sugar and fats.”
Will they be worth the calories? Probably not, but they will give you a quick rush of energy before leaving you with a sugar crash. If you're hungry for a granola bar, better inspect the packaging before you make a purchase.
Everyone deserves to eat a handful of nuts in all their delicious glory. There really is nothing better than digging into a packet of nuts knowing they're good for your health. But the unfortunate truth is, many packaged nuts nowadays come with all sorts of additives.
From honey-roasted or caramel sugar, there are so many options to choose from that are processed with all kinds of unnecessary ingredients that culminate in a terrible trio of sugar, fats, and sodium.
These slices of garlicky buttered bread do taste delicious, but these high-carb butter bombs are better left in the bread basket. All that butter is doing you no favors when it comes to your daily caloric intake — just one slice can add up to 150 calories!
A large portion of those calories come from the butter, so making your own and limiting the amount might make these somewhat decent. If not, try spreading your bread with a garlicky pesto instead.
Only in America would deep-frying a perfectly good cookie seems like a reasonable idea. Just on their own, Oreos can be quite tricky, but dipping them in batter, and deep-frying it mean they're now way worse! Should you eat these, even as a rare snack?
Definitely not. They are inflated with trans fats and sugar and just three of these can add up to 600 of your daily calories. That's more than a whole meal! With numbers like these, you definitely don't want to indulge.
Frosted donuts really offer the worst of both worlds (assuming the two worlds are carbs and oil) — deep-fried dough that's teamed with sugary frosting — all in one bite. But just in one bite, you could be getting 17 grams of sugar. And we haven't even gotten to the fat content!
With most people buying boxed donuts, like the ones from Entemman's, they're eating more artificial ingredients and processed fats that really aren't fit for consumption.
Little Debbie's Honey Buns
These days, plenty of food manufacturers openly brag about their products and how they've been made with straight lard and sugar. Of course, they're shamelessly vying for your hard-earned cash, but don't give in!
Take these honey buns for instance, they might look appetizing but there are over 35 ingredients in these — and none of them are worthy as a snack. Little Debbie is going to have to look for someone else to sell these to.
If you like cookies, you’re probably hurt and maybe even personally offended by our inclusion of cookies in this list! To be fair, we're all guilty of grabbing a box of cookies from the store every now and then.
But just reading the nutritional label, we now realize that most boxes of cookies are jam-packed with preservatives and sugar, making them less than stellar when it comes to nutritional value.
To be abundantly clear, we don't mean the iced tea you make at home, where you know exactly what goes in and how much you put in. We're talking about the stuff you buy from the store that's brewed with coloring, preservatives, and loads of sugar.
Yes, it might be refreshing on a hot summer's day, but it's certainly not better than what you can make at home. Put it in a thermal bottle to keep it chilly throughout the day and save yourself the additives.
Back in the day, these were made with actual fruit but nowadays, most processed and packaged fruit roll-ups remarkably have absolutely no fruit in them, so why are they still called "fruit" roll-ups? Guess "gelatinous sugar roll-ups" doesn't have the same ring to it.
These have been made with corn syrup, sugar, and palm oil. Artificial colors like red dye 40 and blue dye 1 are used to get those bright, almost fruit-like colors.
When we took a look at the ingredients label for these crackers, our alarm bells went off, not snack bells. We're especially concerned about the amount of fat and the sodium content.
Each portion of crackers has 5 grams of fat that comes from processed oils, like soybean, or hydrogenated oils, plus an added dose of high fructose corn syrup. Add that to the fact you always have more of these than you originally planned and you might just want to toss the box out of your shopping cart ASAP.