Lunch Break: Comparing the Burgers at Olive Garden, Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, and Ruby Tuesday

Find out which chain’s burger contains 103 grams of fat.

Olive Garden recently added a burger to its menu for the first time ever. But how does it compare nutritionally to other restaurant chains' burgers? Photograph courtesy of Olive Garden's Facebook page.

Remember when Olive Garden was mostly known for its unlimited salad and breadsticks? Those days are long-gone with the addition of the restaurant’s first-ever burger to its menu of monstrous pasta dishes.

Naturally, this piqued our curiosity. What are the nutritional stats on this Italiano burger, and how does it compare with burgers at other restaurant behemoths such as Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, and Ruby Tuesday?

We had registered dietitian Kait Fortunato take a look at the nutritional content of each burger. Read on for her breakdown, from highest- to lowest-calorie.

1) TGI Fridays All-American Stacked Burger
The two beef patties and two cheeses were a dead giveaway, says Fortunato. The burger has a total of 103 grams of fat (35 grams of saturated fat), and an insane 4,030 milligrams of sodium. Stay far, far away—if you must have a burger, opt for the 930-calorie turkey burger.

2) Ruby Tuesday Classic Burger
At 1,366 calories this burger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onions, and mayonnaise isn’t that much better. Plus, it comes with a scary 2,519 milligrams of sodium, which is more than the recommended daily intake.

3) Olive Garden Italiano Burger
It’s a hefty 1,020 calories and is second only to the TGI Fridays burger when it comes to saturated fat content (66 grams!). The crispy prosciutto and garlic aïoli explain the high 1,800 milligrams of sodium.

4) Applebee’s Bacon Cheddar Burger
Even with the not-so-healthy red meats, Fortunato says this burger is the healthiest of the bunch because it contains the least amount of sodium and fat. She also points to the fresh meat and cheddar cheese, “which is less processed than American cheese.” But that still doesn’t mean it’s all that nutritious: It’s 970 calories with 63 grams of fat and 1,710 milligrams of sodium.

Want a burger you can indulge in without blowing your caloric budget? Check out these five healthy options around town