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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE February 13, 2012

Five ‘Anti-Aphrodisiac’ Restaurant Foods to Avoid on Valentine’s Day

Dietitians Say Fat in Steak, Lobster, Cheese Can Slow Sex Drive and Break Your Heart

Heart on a plate with fork and knife

WASHINGTON—Steak, lobster, and chocolate desserts are popular Valentine’s Day restaurant options, but the copious quantities of fat, calories, and sodium in these foods can hurt your heart and push your sex drive into low gear on the year’s most romantic night, according to a new report from the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

In the report, PCRM dietitians highlight five foods from national restaurant chains to avoid this Valentine’s Day. About 70 million Americans dined out last Valentine’s Day, and many diners are not aware of the shockingly high levels of fat and sodium in many popular items.

A single serving of Applebee’s Blue Ribbon Brownie, for instance, has more than 1,300 calories—more than you’d find in eight Twinkies. An Outback Steakhouse Porterhouse Steak has more fat than 29 pieces of bacon. And the Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta, a cheese fondue offered as an appetizer at the Olive Garden, has as much sodium as most Americans should eat in an entire day.

“These high-fat foods could put you in the ER instead of the arms of your beloved,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “A single fatty meal can raise heart attack risk and reduce testosterone levels. Over the long term, a high-fat diet can block your arteries, causing erectile dysfunction. Worse, it increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.”

The Five Heartbreaking Valentine’s Day Foods are:

Shocking Nutrition Facts about Valentine’s Day Foods
Food Nutrition Shocker
Blue Ribbon Brownie at Applebee’s More calories than 8 Twinkies.
Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta at Olive Garden Almost as much sodium as most people should eat in an entire day.
Maine Lobster with Stuffing at Red Lobster This one-and-a-quarter pound lobster contains nearly double the cholesterol a person should eat in an entire day.
Porterhouse Steak at Outback Steakhouse More saturated fat than 29 pieces of pan-fried bacon.
Fresh Strawberry Original Cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory One slice has more calories than five cans of Coke.

To speak with Susan Levin, please contact Jessica Frost at 202-527-7342 or

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.


Media Contact:
Jessica Frost

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.

Related Links:
Five Heartbreaking Valentine’s Day Foods

Dr. Barnard's Blog: Take Care of Your Heart this Valentine's Day

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