Whether you are on the run or only have 20 minutes away from the office for lunch, fast food restaurants seem to be a more and more viable solution for your busy schedule. I know here at Tie Attack, we find ourselves taking a trip down the drive-thru several times a week so we can get in, get out, and have a tasty meal without spending a lot of time. When you eat out as much as we do, there comes a point that you need to take all the short cuts you can. Even though you’re eating a burger, that doesn’t mean that you can’t choose the healthiest one.
We collected data from the chain restaurants around us, and a couple that are popular in other areas around the nation, and figured out which fast food burger is the healthiest choice (according to calories and fat content) for your lunch.
Burger King now has another crown to put on top its head, it comes in last on our list of healthy choice burgers. Their specialty cheese burger the “Whopper with Cheese” has a whopping 710 calories and 42 grams of fat! That’s a full third of your daily calories when living with the “recommended” diet of 2000 calories.
A regular cheese burger from the menu of the King carries 280 calories and 12 grams of fat which, despite the low ranking of the Whopper, is the lowest calorie amount on any “snack” burger we looked at.
So, Burger King ends up having the least healthy signature burger, but the healthiest regular burger…Who’d of thought?
West coast dwellers, sorry to break it to you, but we have created a monster in our land of fitness and yoga pants. In-N-Out, although incredibly tasty, ranks near the bottom in our research when compared on a similar scale to other restaurants. A “Double Double” (cheese burger with 2 patties and 2 slices of cheese) was marked as the “signature burger” and carries with it a massive price of 670 calories and 42 grams of fat. That’s the second most of all the signature burgers we researched.
Also, a regular single cheese burger contains 480 calories and 27 grams of fat. It may be our favorite here at the Tie Attack HQ, but it clearly isn’t one we’d recommend for regular consumption.
One of the restaurants that, sadly, is not an option in our area. Whataburger presented an interesting little hiccup in the data because their signature burger does not have up-to-date recorded nutritional information when cheese is added (not that we could find at least).
The “Whataburger,” a single patty with mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion, is what we used for both the signature burger, and the snack burger as it fit both requirements. Coming in with 640 calories and 32 grams of fat, it did not fare too well on either scale.
Revamps in image and recipes seem to be a yearly tradition according to the Wendy’s marketing team. The most recent data placed Dave’s “old fashioned” burger place right in the middle of the pack for our comparison. The ¼ pound single with cheese (what we’re going to consider the signature sandwich) has a calorie count of 620 and holds about 36.5 grams of fat.
The regular, single patty cheese burger has 290 calories and 13 grams of fat. This snack burger has the second lowest totals in our comparison, making Wendy’s a pretty good choice for your burger fix.
For those who have never been to White Castle, this fast food chain operates in sliders (small sandwiches). I don’t think I’ve ever known a single person who goes to White Castle to get a single “burger.” For the signature burger section we took 4 sliders, the amount you get when ordering a #1 combo, and added the slider’s values together. The 4 bite-size beauties add up to 560 calories and 24 grams of fat, the lowest signature burger we’ve had so far.
If you’re going for the “snack burger” portion, cut the above in half. 2 sliders contains 280 calories and 12 grams of fat, tying it for healthiest in the snack category with Burger King. A surprisingly good choice once you’ve considered the alternatives.
(Note: WhiteCastle’s numbers don’t include cheese)
Yeah, we were surprised too. McDonald’s is always the fast food no-no that people hate on most, but after we took a look at the nutritional facts, we were surprised to see that the Big Mac was the specialty burger with the least calories (550) but was not the least in grams of fat at 29.
A regular cheese burger has 300 calories and 12 grams of fat, putting it barely in the lower half of our scale, meaning you can go to the golden arches and leave relatively guilt free.
A couple things to note, these numbers are based on what each restaurant releases as its nutritional information. Whether or not they are to be trusted, well, that’s a whole different discussion. Why be suspicious of reported nutritional information? Check out this short video by our favorite YouTuber and videographer Casey Neistat on the subject:
Also, realize that “healthy” is not determined solely on the number of calories or fat content. Those are just the aspects we chose to compare in or short analysis.
Got a favorite lunch spot we missed? Let us know in the comments!