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13 chain restaurant meals with more sugar than 4 donuts

One of the downsides of eating out at a restaurant is that it feels almost impossible to know exactly what you’re getting when you order a dish. You may order a meal thinking it sounds healthy, but what you don’t know is that it can be loaded with thousands of milligrams of sodium to increase the flavor. Another common ingredient tucked into your favorite meals is sugar, and you might be surprised to learn how much is in some of the sugariest restaurant meals in popular restaurant chains.

The tricky part about added sugar in chain restaurant dishes is that it often appears in meals where you least expect it. Of course, you wouldn’t be surprised to know that Cupcake pancakes from IHOP have 67 grams of sugar, but what about the fact that the Whiskey-Glaze Burger Does TGI Fridays have even more?

To help put these high-sugar restaurant meals into perspective, we compared them to a Krispy Kreme Donut. In fact, every meal on this list has more sugar than four Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donuts—which add up to 40 grams of added sugar. Not only that, but some of the meals in our roundup have more than seven donuts combined!

Read on to learn about restaurant meals with more sugar than four donuts, and then be sure to check out The 20 healthy fast food orders, according to dietitians.


1,350 calories, 54 g fat (19 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 3,210 mg sodium, 160 g carbs (7 g fiber, 44 g of sugar), 55 g of protein

Mac & Cheese at a chain restaurant is almost always guaranteed to be loaded with calories and fat, but when you finish this creamy dish with chicken tenders mixed with honey pepper sauce, you’ve got a meal loaded with calories, fat, and sodium . , and sugar.

This is what you get when you ask Four Cheese Mac and Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders from Applebees. Sure, this dish is cozy and satisfying to the palate, but if you’re looking for a low-sugar option, this isn’t the best option.

RELATED: The #1 healthiest order at 10 popular restaurant chains

Cheesecake Factory BBQ Salad
Cheesecake Factory

1,210 calories, 75 g fat (14 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 1,930 mg sodium, 98 g carbs (16 g fiber, 45 g of sugar), 35 g of protein

Most often, meals made with barbecue sauce will be higher in sugar because this condiment often contains added sugars to create that beloved tangy sweetness. Even with that awareness, it’s still amazing to see Cheesecake Factory BBQ Chicken Salad with such high levels of sugar, at 45 grams per meal.

Buffalo Wild Wings

1,400 calories, 57 g fat (22 g saturated fat, 3.5 g trans fat), 4,020 mg sodium, 196 g carbs (11 g fiber, 72 g of sugar), 16 g of protein

If you want a classic wing dish on game day, Buffalo Wild Wings has a delicious selection of sauces to pair with their popular chicken wings, as well as their plant-based cauliflower wings.

If you follow a plant-based diet and opt for cauliflower wings, just know when you add their tasty Jammin’ Jalapeño salsa, you’ll get a whopping 72 grams of sugar per meal.

RELATED: America’s Top 10 Chicken Chains

BJ's wings

1,000 calories, 49 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 3,999 mg sodium, 91 g carbs (2 g fiber, 66 g of sugar), 52 g of protein

Speaking of game day wings, BJ’s is another chain restaurant with plenty of chicken options and boneless chicken wings. Theirs Bone-in wings with pepper barbecue sauce they’re one of their most popular items, but downing 10 of these wings will bring your sugar count up to 66 grams, more than five Krispy Kreme donuts!

Not only that, but 10 wings yield nearly 4,000 milligrams of sodium, which is nearly twice as much as the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams. If you really feel like it, share them with a friend (or two!).

Famous meatloaf factory
The Cheesecake Factory

1,400 calories, 84 g fat (41 g saturated fat, 3 g trans fat), 3,660 mg sodium, 105 g carbs (7 g fiber, 43 g of sugar), 52 g of protein

You may not be surprised to find that the Famous meatloaf factory from the Cheesecake Factory is high in calories, fat, and sodium, but you might be surprised to learn that this meal also has more sugar than four donuts! If that wasn’t enough to think about, this dish is also packed with three grams of trans fat, which is more than the recommended maximum of 2.2 grams per day.

Sheila's Chicken Avocado Salad
The Cheesecake Factory

1,810 calories, 123 g fat (16 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 1,910 mg sodium, 134 g carbs (22 g fiber, 57 g of sugar), 26 g of protein

You wouldn’t think a salad topped with grilled chicken, avocado, carrots, cilantro, and tortilla strips would have nearly 60 grams of sugar, but it’s the citrus, honey, and peanut vinaigrette that sends this up. Sheila’s Chicken Avocado Salad above all.

RELATED: The 12 Unhealthiest McDonald’s Burgers of All Time: Ranked from Bad to Worst

Longhorn Steakhouse

530 calories, 19 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,310 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (7 g fiber, 41 g of sugar), 53 g of protein

Another salad to make this list of high-sugar restaurant meals is this one Grilled chicken and strawberry salad from Longhorn Steakhouse. Unlike most of the other items in our roundup, this salad is a decently healthy choice in terms of calories and fat. So, if you don’t mind the higher sugar levels, this salad can be a nice and refreshing option.

PF Changs Sesame Chicken
PF Changs

1,090 calories, 44 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 2,120 mg sodium, 120 g carbs (7 g fiber, 43 g of sugar), 39 g of protein

When you’re craving classic sesame chicken, rice and veggies, PF Changs has got you covered. However, you only know that theirs Sesame Chicken The dish is one of their sugariest dishes, so if you’re watching your sugar intake, this meal might not be for you. It also has almost a full day’s worth of sodium, so keep that in mind and check out the menu.

RELATED: 10 restaurant chains with the best combined dishes

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad

1,430 calories, 89 g fat (14 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 2,020 mg sodium, 104 g carbs (11 g fiber, 52 g of sugar), 56 g of protein

You can already see that a common denominator among these high-sugar restaurant meals is that many of them are salads with dressings loaded with added sugars. take the Oriental grilled chicken salad from Applebee’s. Not only does this meal have more than 1,400 calories, more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium and almost 90 grams of fat, but it also has 52 grams of sugar.

On top of all that, there are also 14 grams of saturated fat in this salad, which is more than American Heart Association suggests that you limit yourself to a full day.

Chili Chicken Chips

1,060 calories, 51 fat (9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 3,660 mg sodium, 108 g carbs (3 g fiber, 52 g of sugar), 45 g of protein

Chili’s version of chicken fingers (their Chicken Crispers) are already heavily battered and fried, but when you top them with a honey chipotle sauce, these Crispers it will come out to more than 50 grams of sugar. Not to mention the fact that this meal serves up 3,660 milligrams of sodium, which is well above the recommended daily limit.

TGI Friday Whiskey Burger
TGI Friday

1,140 calories, 56 g fat (22 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 3,150 mg sodium, 117 g carbs (2 g fiber, 85 g of sugar), 40 g of protein

The Glazed whiskey burger is one of TGI Fridays’ best-loved and longest-running menu items, but what many customers won’t realize when they order this dish is that not only will it be loaded with calories, fat, and sodium, but it will. it will consume more than 85 grams of sugar, something you wouldn’t expect with a burger and fries.

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orange chicken and white rice cheesecake factory
Courtesy of The Cheesecake Factory

1,690 calories, 78 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 3,000 mg sodium, 239 g carbs (6 g fiber, 77 g of sugar), 57 g of protein

Orange chicken is a naturally sweet and spicy dish, so you won’t be surprised that Cheesecake Factory Orange Chicken it would have a decent amount of sugar. However, what may surprise you is the fact that this high-sugar restaurant meal has almost as much sugar as eight Krispy Kreme doughnuts!

bjs bbq three prong slider
Courtesy of BJs

980 calories, 32 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 2,996 mg sodium, 117 g carbs (1 g fiber, 54 g of sugar), 52 g of protein

Maybe you don’t think about sugar when you order it Three-prong sliders from BJ’s, but when you think about how many small buns and how much barbecue sauce you’ll be consuming, it makes sense that this dish would bring your sugar count up to nearly 55 grams.


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