Chain restaurants still have a reputation for being overwhelmingly unhealthy, and with good reason. Even though there are plenty of up-and-coming chains that focus exclusively on healthy food, and more and more old-timers are beginning to offer healthier options, it’s still very easy to go overboard in the calorie department at nearly every chain restaurant. These Tex-Mex and Mexican chains, however, make it exceptionally easy.
Tex-Mex cuisine has a reputation for being quite unhealthy, largely due to the prevalence of refried beans, melted cheese, fried tortilla chips, and the like. And while traditional Mexican cuisine usually eschews melted cheese (that’s a purely American invention), it still presents plenty of opportunities to eat unhealthy.
In order to track down which chains are the unhealthiest ones of all, we started by looking at the quality of ingredients; if dishes aren’t made fresh to order from fresh ingredients, it’s higher on our list. The fewer low-calorie items, the higher on the list. And the unhealthiest chains of all are the ones that offer more opportunities than others to eat high-calorie meals, with some dishes topping the thousand-calorie mark.
Read on to learn which Mexican and Tex-Mex chains are unhealthier than you may have thought. From quick-service fast food-style spots to sit-down family restaurants, it’s easy to go overboard in the calorie department when dining at chains, and it’s especially easy to go overboard when dining at these places.