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03.22.11

25 Deadliest Chips and Dips

Today is National Chip and Dip Day, but not all crunching is created equal. From Chevys' 1,900-calorie nachos to the Cheesecake Factory's 1,600-calorie guacamole, these are the snack attacks.

Between St. Patrick’s Day and April Fools’ Day, there’s another holiday worthy of celebration, National Chip and Dip Day. For the dedicated dippers, there’s no reason to settle for a staid onion dip with ridged potato chips when chain restaurants offer concoctions like lobster nachos or smoked mozzarella fonduta. Of course, the cost of such celebration can be measured in calories—lots of ‘em.

Gallery: 25 Unhealthiest Chips and Dip

If gluttony’s your game, go to Chevys Fresh Mex, where a large order of nachos will add 1,890 calories to your daily tab. For those seeking a helping of greens, Applebee’s spinach and artichoke dip appetizer may work (calorie count: 1,590). For avocado aficionados, there is always Cheesecake Factory’s made-to-order guacamole, which packs a full day’s allowance of saturated fat. Nearly every offering on our list has more than half of the FDA’s recommended daily intake level for calories, sodium, saturated fat, and carbohydrates.

The Daily Beast surveyed the menus of more than a dozen national chains with at least 100 national locations to figure out which restaurants offer the most gluttonous and sodium-laden chip and dip options (offerings only needed to include chips and a topping, which means nachos counted). The final ranking was based on an average of relative rank across four categories: calories, saturated fat, sodium, and carbohydrates. Ties were broken by calorie content, and each eatery was limited to three appearances. Nutrition facts listed are for the dishes as served.