21 Restaurant Menus from the ’70s That Would Be Deemed Too Unhealthy or Non-Inclusive Today

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Restaurant menus in the 1970s featured rich, hearty, and decadent dishes. While these menus may have given us a golden family memory or a nostalgic charm, they are unlikely to pass in today’s era when everybody is conscious of their diet. Here are 21 restaurant menus that would likely be deemed unhealthy today.

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Steak and Lobster Combo

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Steak and Lobster Combo became the mark of upscale dining in the 1970s by symbolizing luxury. Diners were treated to large portions of juicy steak paired with tender lobster tails. While this meal sounds mouth-watering, it would be scrutinized for its high saturated fat and cholesterol levels and environmental footprint.

The Classic Cheeseburger with Fries

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The famous go-to combo was popular back then as well. In the 1970s, the classic cheeseburger with a side of crispy fries was the primary in America. It featured a white bun, processed cheese, and deep-fried potatoes. However, people criticize this traditional version for its little nutritional value, high calories, unhealthy fats, and refined carbohydrates.

All-You-Can-Eat Buffets

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During the 1970s, these buffets were quite popular, offering diners numerous calorie-dense foods, from fried chicken to sugary desserts. These buffets encouraged overeating and food waste by promoting quantity over quality, which would be scrutinized in today’s era. Unlimited access to indulgent foods would be less favored due to self-control and balanced diets.

Veal Parmigiana

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Veal Parmigiana was a popular Italian-American dish in the 1970s. It included breaded animal protein cutlets dipped in marinara sauce and melted cheese. However, most people choose to avoid it due to the treatment of calves and the dish’s high calorie and fat content.

Fettuccine Alfredo

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A favorite meal in the 70s, Fettuccine Alfredo, was characterized by its rich and creamy sauce. But as finger-licking as it may sound, it would be criticized today for its high calorie, fat, and carbohydrate content.

Bacon-Wrapped Everything

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Bacon received so much love in the 1970s that Bacon-wrapped appetizers suddenly became famous for their savory appeal. Though its popularity hasn’t lessened even today, its excessive use is now questioned due to its high sodium and fat content. Today, people lean towards cooking methods that highlight ingredients’ natural flavors without excessive salt and fat.

Iceberg Lettuce Salads with Creamy Dressings

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In the 1970s, iceberg lettuce salads were topped with creamy dressings like Thousand Island or Ranch, but today, these salads are scrutinized for lacking nutrient density. Salads now feature a mix of greens, various colorful vegetables, and healthier dressings such as vinaigrettes.

Fried Appetizer Platters

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Platters with deep-fried foods such as onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and chicken wings were popular in the ’70s. However, due to their high fat and calorie content, people will likely criticize them for promoting unhealthy eating habits. Now, appetizers are still popular, but diners have found a better alternative, like grilled or baked appetizers, that offer the same satisfying flavors with less fat and more nutritional value.

Prime Rib

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Prime Rib was known for its tender and juicy meat in the 70s. However, as time has passed, it has become less popular in today’s more health-conscious era as its nutritional profile is high in saturated fat and calories.

Quiche Lorraine

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Quiche Lorraine was a beloved brunch item in the 70s filled with bacon, eggs, and cheese. It’s still a popular choice, but today’s diners add more vegetables to it while using healthier crusts or go crustless to reduce fat and calorie content.

Surf and Turf

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Surf and Turf combined seafood and steak, typically served with rich sauces and a symbol of culinary luxury in the 1970s. It is heavy in fats and calories. Today, whenever Surf and Turf is eaten, people focus on including sustainable seafood and leaner cuts of meat, accompanied by lighter sides and sauces.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

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Soups based on cream, like Cream of Mushroom, were typical starters in the 70s as they were rich in butter and heavy cream. White flour and refined starches were likely more prevalent in older recipes, whereas today, there’s a push for whole grains and fiber-rich ingredients for better digestion and nutrient intake.

Jell-O Salads

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Jell-O salads are made with gelatine and a mix of fruits and sometimes vegetables. They were a novelty in the 1970s, but the picture seems to have changed now, as these sugary and processed concoctions are considered outdated and unhealthy. Fresh fruit salads and whole-food-based desserts have taken their place, offering natural sweetness and nutritional benefits.

Baked Alaska

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Baked Alaska was a dramatic dessert featuring cake and ice cream topped with meringue, and it became a showstopper in 70s dining. It remains a nostalgic favorite even today, but people now prioritize natural sweeteners, fresh fruit, and portion control. People believe healthy desserts provide satisfaction without overwhelming them with excessive sweetness or calories.

Chicken a la King

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Chicken a la King is a creamy dish served over rice or pasta that became a comfort food of the 1970s. Classic versions might rely heavily on white bread or rice for thickening and serving, which are higher in refined carbohydrates. These carbs get digested quickly and can cause blood sugar spikes. People now prefer eating similar dishes with lighter sauces and whole grains.


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Fondue, which makes our mouths water today, was also a popular communal dish back in the 1970s. Whether cheese or chocolate, it’s still enjoyed, but its high-fat content and the risk of cross-contamination have made it less favorable. People try to avoid it and prefer healthier alternatives that provide a similar experience as they lean towards mindful eating and food safety in today’s generation.

Bread Basket with Butter

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Bread baskets with butter were a dining norm of the 1970s, and to accommodate today’s generation, restaurants have found an alternative. They provide whole grain or gluten-free bread options and healthier spreads like olive oil to cater to new preferences and restrictions. Such reforms emphasize inclusivity and health-conscious choices by offering varying dietary needs.

Deviled Eggs

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Another common appetizer in the 1970s was Deviled Eggs made with mayonnaise and sometimes topped with bacon. However, people today use healthier ingredients like Greek yogurt for the filling. They add more vegetables, focusing on nutrient density and lower fat content.

Hot Fudge Sundae

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Winter nights and hot fudge sundae sound delicious, don’t they? It was a desert classic in the 70s, topped with whipped cream and nuts. But even though it’s loved today, many people prioritize natural sweeteners and fresh fruit, which offer a healthier yet indulgent end to a meal.

Eggs Benedict

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Eggs Benedict was a brunch favorite in the 1970s. It featured poached eggs on English muffins with Canadian bacon and Hollandaise sauce. To make it healthier and according to their preferences, people replaced the Canadian bacon with smoked salmon or avocado and used lighter sauces or whole-grain muffins.

Shrimp Cocktail

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The shrimp cocktail was served with a tangy sauce and was a popular starter in the 70s. People still enjoy cocktail shrimp but emphasize sourcing sustainable seafood and offering alternative dipping sauces that carry less sugar and additives in today’s time. This change not only focuses on health and sustainability but also provides a dining experience that is both delicious and reliable.

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