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The 5 Worst Items at California Pizza Kitchen

In the sixth part of our 10-part series on eating at chain restaurants, we take a look at California Pizza Kitchen. Check out part five, where we examine Carl's Jr.

Indulging in occasional 'guilt' food isn't a bad thing, but that doesn't mean you should totally ignore calorie and fat content. It's important not to let loose inhibitions when ordering food, especially at California Pizza Kitchen. While CPK offers protein-packed food choices on their menu, there is five calorie and fat infused items that you should avoid.

DON'T EAT: Tortilla Spring Rolls

CPK's tortilla spring rolls contain anywhere in between 380 and 490 calories per roll. The addition of dipping sauce revs up sugar intake. Any two spring rolls could contain up to 30 grams of sugar. These tasty pre-meal treats also have at least 17 grams of total fat per roll, making them a food choice that should be ignored.

INSTEAD EAT: It might be best to eat a satisfying appetizer as your main, instead of your first course. Consider the Lettuce Wrap with Chicken, which contains 610 calories and 32 grams of protein. It also contains just 40 grams of carbohydrates, making it a healthy alternative to many of CPK's main courses.

DON'T EAT: Full Caramelized Peach Salad with Sautéed Salmon

Salads are commonly thought of as healthy food options, but that theory isn't foolproof. The full order of caramelized peach salad with sautéed salmon contains 1,220 total calories, including 770 from fat, and also includes 88 grams of fat. The dressing accompanied with this salad adds 51 grams of sugar, making it a dish that counteracts the supposed health benefits associated with salad.

INSTEAD EAT: When given the option between a 'full' and 'half' order of salad, it's typically wiser to select the choice with less food. The half order of CPK's Roasted Veggie Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast contains 550 calories and 41 grams of protein. Less than half of its calories (270) are from fat.

DON'T EAT: Chicken Piccata

The chicken piccata contains 130 grams of protein, but has 1,630 total calories and 78 grams of fat. It's also loaded with sodium, containing 2,140 milligrams of salty goodness. Your body simply doesn't need that much protein in one meal, let alone the high calorie content and copious amounts of fat that come with it.

INSTEAD EAT: The Chicken Milanese contains fewer calories (910) and less saturated fat (9 grams) than chicken piccata. It's a dish rich in calorie content, nonetheless, but is a more practical food option than the piccata. Chicken milanese also has fewer carbs and less cholesterol.

DON'T EAT: Pesto Cream Penne with Chicken and Shrimp

The pesto cream penne pasta with chicken and shrimp headlines a list of mouth-watering food items that you shouldn't eat. CPK's pesto cream penne is a 1,370-calorie pasta dish that also features a whopping 89 grams of fat. Of the total calorie count, 800 of those calories are from fat, and 49 grams of its fat content are saturated.

INSTEAD EAT: Although CPK doesn't flaunt low-calorie options on its pasta and specialties menu, certain choices do include healthy portions of vegetables and protein. The Asparagus and Spinach Spaghetti with Grilled Chicken Breast contains 1,010 calories, but has just 10 grams of saturated fat, and also has 11 grams of fiber and 34 grams of protein.

DON'T EAT: The Meat Craver's Crispy Thin Pizza

Don't be fooled by the concept of a "personal" pizza. A pizza like this might be a meat lover's dream, but it's not a wise food choice. CPK's personal meat craver's pizza contains a total of 1,590 calories, 76 grams of fat and 132 grams of carbohydrates. It's also overloaded with salt, containing an incredible 4,620 milligrams of sodium.

INSTEAD EAT: Let's be honest: pizza is a feel good 'guilt' food that most people don't indulge in on a regular basis. There isn't a low-calorie, low-fat pizza on CPK's menu, or perhaps any menu for that matter. The original BBQ Chicken Pizza without Bacon is a wise selection, though. It contains less than 1,070 calories, and just 250 calories are from fat. It also has 56 grams of protein.

The 5 Worst Items at Carl's Jr.

John Shea is a team sports fanatic and fitness aficionado. His work has been published across a wide platform of online audiences in the realm of health and fitness. His passion for fitness is exemplified in his writing, as he aims to help readers improve their overall well-being.

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