10. 10. WORST HEALTHY SIDE: Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole

460 calories, 16 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 270 mg sodium

Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, and they’re loaded with fiber, carotenoids, and potassium. That said, restaurants rarely serve them without adding gluttonous loads of fat and sugar. This casserole is a perfect example—you could eat four sweet potatoes before matching the calories in just one serving.


Garlic Dill New Potatoes

140 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 120 mg sodium


620 calories, 34 g fat (6 g saturated; .5 g trans), 550 mg sodium

No, this does not count as a vegetable. Think of the onion as a mere seasoning for the crispy ring of oil-saturated breading wrapped around it. One side of these rings a week and you’re looking at more than nine extra pounds of pure fat within a year.


Seasoned Fries

300 calories, 12 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 490 mg sodium

8. 7. WORST MOZZARELLA STICKS: Arby’s Mozzarella Sticks (Large)

700 calories, 35 g fat (14 g saturated; 1 g trans), 1,940 mg sodium

These mozzarella sticks have 230 more calories than one of Arby’s Bacon Cheddar Roastburgers, not to mention more than half your day’s saturated fat and 80 percent of your sodium. Unfortunately Arby’s doesn’t sell a single non-fried side, so you’ll have to either order a couple small sandwiches or downsize to a small order of Potato Cakes.

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Potato Cakes (small)

260 calories , 15 g fat (2 g saturated), 400 mg sodium

7. 6. WORST MASHED POTATOES: TGI Friday’s Loaded Mashed Potatoes

960 calories

Friday’s refuses to release its full nutritional content, and by looking at these potatoes, we can guess why. This thing is supposed to be a side dish, yet it contains more calories than an entire stick of butter. Unless Fridays decides to prove otherwise, you’d be smart to assume that the sodium and saturated fat counts are equally atrocious.


Cole Slaw

100 calories

6. 5. WORST LOADED FRIES: Dairy Queen Chili Cheese Fries

1,020 calories, 51 g fat (15 g saturated), 2,360 mg sodium

The numbers on this side dish are unacceptable even by dinner standards. A 170-pound person would have to jog for nearly 2 hours to burn off all 1,020 calories.


Side Salad w/ Fat-Free Italian

40 calories, 0 g fat, 380 mg sodium

5. 4. WORST REGIONAL SIDE: A&W Cheese Curds (Large)

1,140 calories, 80 g fat (42 g saturated; 2.5 g trans), 2,440 mg sodium

This odious Midwestern creation takes the cheese-stick formula and makes it even more fattening. Here’s how: The cheese pieces are smaller, which provides even more surface area on which to spackle oily breading. And therein lies the true nature of the beloved cheese curd—just one order is the saturated fat equivalent of seven McDonald’s cheeseburgers.

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Chili (bowl)

190 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 640 mg sodium

4. 3. WORST PASTA SIDE : Cheesecake Factory Macaroni & Cheese (side serving)

1,230 calories, 46 g saturated fat, 1,439 mg sodium

No matter what food category we explore, Cheesecake Factory consistently finds itself in the running for worst in America, and side dishes are no exception. The Factory’s Mac and Cheese is far and away the worst pasta side dish in the country. To put it into perspective, this dish packs nearly as many calories as two full boxes of Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese.


Asparagus (side serving)

45 calories , 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium

3. 2. WORST MEXICAN SIDE : Baja Fresh Chips and Guacamole

1,340 calories, 83 g fat (8 g saturated; 2.5 g trans), 950 mg sodium

Guacamole is loaded with healthy fats, fiber, and phytonutrients, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t include it in your diet. That said, it is a calorie dense food, and eating it by the bucket alongside a mountain of oil-soaked chips is a quick way to pack on flab. A smarter move would be to order a 110-calorie side of guacamole with your meal, and then choose beans for your side.


Pinto Beans

320 calories, 1 g fat , 840 mg sodium

2. 1. WORST SIDE DISH IN AMERICA: Five Guys Fries (Large)

1,474 calories, 71 g fat (14 g saturated), 213 mg sodium

If you ate one large order of these things every week for a year, you would take in more than eight pounds of pure fat, all of it straight out of Five Guys’ deep fryer. What makes these fries so monumentally unhealthy? The portion—one order clocks in at a staggering 1.25 pounds. Because fries are the only side option, your best bet is to downsize to a regular and split with a friend.

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Fries (1/2 of a Regular order)

310 calories, 15 g fat (3 g saturated), 45 mg sodium

1. 9. WORST BAKED POTATO : Ruby Tuesday’s Loaded Baked Potato

568 calories, 28 g fat, 536 mg sodium

This potato delivers nearly half the fat you should eat in an entire day, and much of that comes from the load of animal fats perched on top. Tuesday’s refuses to release a breakdown of its fat content, but we have to assume that a substantial portion of these 29 grams are saturated.


Fresh Grilled Green Beans

45 calories, 2 g fat (sat. unavailable), 145 mg sodium

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