There’s no denying it, fast food burgers are delicious. Unfortunately for us, with an excess of trans fat and sodium, fast food isn’t exactly nutritious.
So what’s a fast food lover supposed to do? Well, if you’re going to put unhealthy food in your body, you might as well pick the best of the worst. And surprisingly, not all fast food burgers are as unhealthy as you would think.
We decided to compare some of the USA’s most popular fast food burgers in order to see where we should go the next time a craving for a juicy, greasy burger hits. We used the nutrition facts from a plain, one patty burger with cheese from each place in order to keep things nice and consistent.
Here they are, ranked from the most to the least calories:
With 550 calories and over 1000 mg of sodium, Wendy’s burger comes in last place on this list. This also has more fat than any of the other burgers we evaluated, with 34 total grams of fat and 1.5 grams of trans fat.
However, Wendy’s lovers shouldn’t give up hope because their menu does feature some healthier options. Also, if you are dying for a Frosty after reading this, we’ve got you covered with a Frosty you can make at home.
Five Guys comes in at number 5 (no, I did not plan that) because although the calorie count of their little cheeseburger is the same as Wendy’s, their sodium and fat content are much, much lower. The burger has 690 mg of sodium and 1 gram of trans fat. Even though these burgers are not the best for you, sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice your health for taste.
The In-N-Out cheeseburger clocks in at 480 calories, .5 grams of trans fat and 1000 mg of sodium. Although this is more sodium than Five Guys, the fewer calories and trans fat in this one make it a slightly healthier option. Also, it’s important to note that the nutrition facts for this burger include the onions that come on it, which might contribute to the higher sodium.
At least us non-California residents only have to worry about being tempted by In-N-Out’s deliciousness when we travel to Cali.
3. Shake Shack
Shake Shack’s calorie count is just under In-N-Out at 455. The burger does have one gram of trans fat, which is more than In-N-Out, but it has significantly less sugar and sodium (7 grams and 666 grams respectively).
We love the milkshakes at Shake Shack too much to check the nutrition info for those, but you can get some life advice from Shake Shack’s Danny Meyer here.
The McDonald’s burger is arguably the most famous burger in the world, and many would be surprised to see that it landed the number 2 spot on this list. However, at only 300 calories, 12 grams of fat and 680 mg of sodium, this burger is pretty healthy (comparatively).
Guess what? McDonald’s offers a ton of healthier options, including a kale salad.
1. Burger King
In terms of health, Burger King truly takes the crown. Their cheeseburger has 270 calories, the same amount of fat and sugar as the McDonald’s burger, and only 540 mg of sodium, making it the healthiest of the lot. Keep in mind, this list only looks at the most basic one patty burger at each place, so if you are going for a Whopper here or a Big Mac at McDonald’s, you might have to reevaluate.
We officially crown Burger King as the real king in this healthiest burger showdown.