8 Chain Restaurants You Should Never Eat At

Sure, grabbing take-out at a chain restaurant is easy and convenient, especially when you’re on the go. But have you ever stopped to realize what you’re doing to your body by eating at The Cheesecake Factory, Denny’s, or Chili’s?

Why Is It Important To Avoid Most Food Chains?

1. Antibiotics

Factory-farmed animals aren’t being raised out in sunny, open fields. They live in awful, disgusting conditions. Animals who are raised this way are much more likely to become sick, which doesn’t bode well for those who are making money off of them. Here’s where the antibiotics come in. The animals are pumped with them in order to keep them semi-healthy for production.

2. GMO’s

Unless there’s a GMO-free label on that burger and fries you’re eating, you can bet your meal is full of genetically modified ingredients. Eating GMO’s has been linked to allergies, reproductive system disorders and more. The most common GMO foods include corn, soy, and canola. Corn and canola oils are regularly used in restaurant cooking. Corn is also used as a filler in foods that are low-quality.

3. Farmed Fish

Many people consider fish to be a healthier alternative to other meats, but if you’re getting it at a chain restaurant, that’s far from true. Farmed fish is much cheaper and much more convenient than fish that is caught in the wild. The farmed fish you’re eating at chain restaurants is full of toxins and pesticides.

4. Excessive Calories

Just one meal at a chain restaurant can equal an entire day’s worth of calories. These meals are often full of sugar, low-quality meats and cheeses, starch, and refined carbohydrates. That one meal can ruin your day in terms of health and wellness. You’ll most likely feel lethargic after indulging, then hungry and thirsty a short time later, thanks to the sodium overload and lack of nutritional content.

The next time you have a date night or family night out, skip the chain restaurants. Instead, try a restaurant that’s locally-owned and operated. The majority of the time, locally-owned restaurants are more careful about their ingredients, as well as their food preparation. Look for a spot that serves locally-grown food. There’s no reason to skip date night or a family fun night out, but there are ways to make sure you aren’t sacrificing your health while you’re at it!

Take a closer look at the menus of these eight chain restaurants you should never eat at.

1. The Cheesecake Factory

If you’ve ever been to The Cheesecake Factory, you probably know how overwhelming their gigantic menu is. So many choices! Unfortunately, most of those choices are full of refined carbs, heavy meats, cheeses, and sugar.

2. Chilli’s

Chilli’s’ menu is full of options, such as grilled chicken and fajitas with veggies, but the foods are a little sneaky. The smoked chicken burrito contains 866 calories. A chipotle chicken bowl, which sounds like a decently healthy option, contains 870 calories. And forget ordering a classic turkey sandwich. It weighs in at 930 calories!

3. Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel might be the sneakiest company when it comes to calorie content and ingredients, as they don’t offer nutrition or allergen information for their food! Feel free to load up on chicken, biscuits, and gravy, just don’t ask what’s in them.

4. Denny’s

Denny’s is open late, making it a convenient stop when your day runs long. The problem is, Denny’s menu is full of processed ingredients, sugar, and packed with calories. The Slam Burger is topped with hash browns, eggs, and bacon, and it will set you back 1,010 calories!

5. TGI Friday’s

A chicken salad at TGI Friday’s comes in at over 1,000 calories, while a turkey burger will set you back 960 calories. And these are supposed to be their healthier options? No, thanks!

6. PF Chang’s

PF Changs offers a gluten-free menu for those who want it. However, the amount of calories in their dishes is shocking. Their gluten-free coconut curry dish comes in at 1,270 calories, 90 grams of fat and more sodium than your body needs for an entire day!

7. Applebees

Applebees is usually a family-favorite, but this chain restaurant overfeeds its customers. A simple appetizer can set you back over 1,000 calories! Their sweet potato fries, something that should be a little bit healthier, will provide you with 1,160 calories before you even order your meal!

8. Waffle House

Most people end up ordering waffles when they dine at The Waffle House. No surprise there. The problem is that these waffles are filled with gluten, doused in sugary syrup, and topped with processed meats, such as bacon and sausage. Not such a balanced breakfast.

So, where should you eat?

Just like with buying groceries, eating at a small local restaurant is better than eating at a chain restaurant. There is more care put into the food and you will be supporting local businesses. It better for the economy and for the planet!

Dr. Axe
PF Changs
Waffle House
TGI Friday’s
Cracker Barrel
The Cheesecake Factory