40 Popular Burgers—Ranked!
Everything is bigger and better in America, especially the things we value the most: our cars, our homes, and our burgers. And boy, do we love our burgers! As a nation, we consume more than 50 billion patties and buns every year. And considering they contain 75 percent more calories than they did 30 years ago, that’s not exactly good news for our collective waistline. As the patties grow in circumference, so do our guts. But even so, here at Eat This, Not That!, we’re firm believers that all food—even the ones most folks label as “bad” or “sinful”—can have a place in a weight loss plan, so long as you’re strategic at least.
In burger land, being smart is all about uncovering which options carry the most calories, artery-clogging fat, sodium, and shady ingredients. Since most people don’t have the time or patience to dig for all of that, we dove deep into the data to ensure that you—and all of your burger-loving buddies—are picking a weight loss winner no matter where you dine. From sit-down restaurants’ all-American classics and crazy new concoctions to single and double-patty drive-thru options, we’ve ranked 40 of America’s most popular burgers by nutrition. Read on to see how your favorites stack up to the competition. And for even more ways to order smart—no matter what you crave—check out our exclusive report on healthy dining out tips.
Burgers can be a sensible, protein-packed meal, but nine times out of 10, sit-down chains squash their nutritional potential by serving them up in jumbo portions alongside heaping piles of fried potatoes. That said, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that’s under 1,000 calories—even the ones without all the crazy add-ons. But sometimes, you’ve just got to indulge, we totally get it. To rank these sit-down classics, we looked at calories, fat, and sodium, and gave extra points to those with high levels of fiber.
THE CLASSIC BURGERS…FROM BEST TO WORST
FRIENDLY’S ORIGINAL BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 965 calories, 57 g fat, 16 g saturated fat, 1,488 mg sodium, 71 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 5 g fiber, 39 g protein
Generally speaking, for a health-conscious eater, there’s nothing particularly friendly about Friendly’s. But If you want to have a waiter bring you your burger, this is the best option for your belly. The juicy beef, which is served with a side of fries, comes with a single patty sandwiched between a slice of American cheese with a touch of mayo. To make this burger even better for your health, have your waiter hold the fries. It slashes nearly 300 calories and 12 grams of artery-clogging fat! And speaking of fries, check out our investigative report, Every Fast-Food French Fry—Ranked! to see how they all stack up in terms of nutrition.
Per burger (includes fries): 1,120 calories, 63 g fat, 27.5 g saturated fat, 2.5 g trans fat, 1,690 mg sodium, 94 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 43, g protein
iHop’s cheeseburger may have more calories than Ruby’s Classic Cheeseburger, but its sodium count is far more reasonable, earning it the second most coveted spot on our list. This all-American classic comes with cheddar, lettuce, tomato and red onion so it serves up a bit of nutrition in the form of fiber, too. For even more vitamins and nutrients, swap out the fries for the seasonal mixed fruit. There’s no additional charge! For even more budget-friendly restaurant tips, check out these 20 Money-Saving Secrets from Waiters and Restaurant Pros.
RUBY TUESDAY RUBY’S CLASSIC BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,117 calories, 60 g fat, N/A saturated fat, N/A trans fat, 3,241 mg sodium, 90 g carbs, 49 g protein, 7 g fiber, N/A sugar1
Ruby Tuesday built its reputation on a hearty selection of hamburgers. The problem is, the burgers average 75 grams of fat which is 100 percent of the recommended daily limit. So despite it’s staggering 60 grams of fat, this brioche bun encased option is one of the chain’s leanest. (Sad, we know!) To slash some empty calories from your order—without sacrificing flavor—lose the top bun and enjoy your lunch “open-faced” style.
APPLEBEE’S CLASSIC BURGER WITH MONTEREY JACK CHEESE
Per burger (includes fries): 1,300 calories, 76 g fat, 26 g saturated fat, 2.5 g trans fat, 2,065 mg sodium, 103 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 49 g protein
It’s easy to see why it took Applebee’s so many years to release its nutritional information. This 1,300-calorie burger is just one of the many nutritional nightmares lurking on the menu. How they cram so many calories and carbs into one little burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, mild cheese, and tangy pickles the world may never know. What we do know, though, is that you can hack 440 calories from your meal if you hold the fries. Sure, they taste good, but we’re not convinced they’re worth it. For even more ways to hack off excess cals, check out these 25 Ways to Cut 250 Calories.
CHILI’S OLDTIMER WITH CHEESE
Per burger (includes fries): 1,150 calories, 62 g fat, 22 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat, 3,000 mg sodium, 100 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 49 g protein
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day. This burger serves up far more than that. So while the calorie count is on the lower end—well for a giant indulgent burger, at least—all its sodium is sure to leave your belly feeling heavy and bloated. (Salt is like a magnet to water.) Considering Chili’s started out as a burger joint in the 70’s before transitioning into Tex-Mex fare, we kind of expected more from them. They should know how to do a burger right after all these years without drowning it in salt.
UNO PIZZERIA AND GRILL THE UNO BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,260 calories, 75 g fat, 0 g trans fat, 23.5 g saturated, 2,210 mg sodium, 51 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 44 g protein
Uno changed its name in 2014 but hasn’t lifted a finger to change its atrociously caloric menu. We’re running out of ways to express its nutritional transgressions, so we’ll break it down like this: If you ate just one of these burgers each week, you’d take in enough calories to gain nearly 19 pounds in a year! Scary, we know. Curious about other things that can cause your waist to widen? Check out these surprising things making you fatter!
PERKINS CLASSIC BURGER WITH SWISS
**Per burger (includes fries): 1,360 calories, 84 g fat, 27.5 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat, 1,660 mg sodium, 101 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 47 g protein
Perkins does get brownie pounds for offering salad, fruit, and soup as burger side dishes, but if you stick with the fries and pair it with this burger, you’ll take in more calories than what’s in 2.5 Big Macs! In fact, a 175-pound person would have to scrub and sweep their home for more than 5 hours to work off all the calories in this seemingly innocent burger topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickles.
JOHNNY ROCKET’S THE ORIGINAL HAMBURGER WITH AMERICAN CHEESE
Per burger (includes fries): 1,450 calories, 84 g fat, 25 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 1,850 mg sodium, 124 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 47 g protein
If you ordered this burger sans mayo, you’d have a fairly balanced 780-calorie meal—a bit more caloric than the ideal, but not too awful. However, if you let the chef glob on the mayonnaise and add on an order of fries, the resulting meal is one that’s bound to make your jeans feel a bit tight. Just say no to Johnny!
DENNY’S DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,630 calories, 95 g fat, 37 g saturated fat, 2,260 mg sodium, 108 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 80 g protein
Unless you opt to build-your-own burger, Denny’s doesn’t serve up any classic single patty options; and this 1,600-monstrosity is (sadly) your best bet. If you really want to order it, at least swap out the fries for an order of fruit. It will keep 440 calories and 28 grams of fruit off of your plate—and off of your frame.
AND THE #1 WORST CLASSIC BURGER IS…T.G.I FRIDAY’S CLASSIC CHEESEBURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,570 calories, 78 g fat, 29 g saturated, 137 g carbs, 4,520 mg sodium, 13 g fiber, N/A sugar, 56 g protein
After much analysis, we’ve finally figured out the real acronym here: Tremendous Gut-Inducing Fridays. This straightforward burger—free of bacon, onion rings, and other fatty toppings—really shouldn’t pack this many calories, and don’t even get us started on the sodium content. If you can even believe it, this dish has as much of the blood-pressure-raising mineral as 17 packets of salt! Yes, we said 17! If you couldn’t dare use that many packets throughout the day, stay far, far away from this bad boy burger.
NOW, THE PATTIES WITH ALL THE FIXINS…FROM BEST TO WORST
FRIENDLY’S PEPPER JACK BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,175 calories, 68 g fat, 21 g saturated fat, 1,428 mg sodium, 92 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 8 g fiber, 47 g protein
Once again Friendly’s ranks as one of the least caloric burgers of the bunch. But don’t get it twisted; this Cajun spiced patty topped with Pepper Jack cheese is still painful in terms of nutrition. We’d never suggest anyone sit down to a meal with over half a day’s calories and more fat than 20 slices of sizzling bacon.
DENNY’S SPICY SRIRACHA BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,300 calories, 71 g fat, 24 g saturated fat, 2,210 mg sodium, 108 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 55 g protein
While it’s true that chili sauces like Sriracha can boost your metabolism, this hot n’ spicy burger is most definitely an exception to the rule. Topped with jalapeño bacon, a creamy (read: fatty) hot sauce, jalapeños, lettuce, tomato, red onions, and pickles this salty, caloric calamity is a loser in our eyes.
IHOP BLUE CHEESE & BACON BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,320 calories, 82 g fat, 32.5 g saturated fat, 3 g trans fat, 2,300 mg sodium, 93 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 52 g protein
With more carbs than 3.5 English muffins and more saturated fat than 21 slices of cheddar cheese, iHop’s’ blue cheese and bacon burger, topped with hickory-smoked bacon should be a hard pass.
CHILI’S SWEET & SMOKY BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,480 calories, 82 g fat, 27 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat, 3,790 mg sodium, 130 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 24 g sugar, 58 g protein
A typical burger at Chili’s will cost you a cool 1,400 calories— without fries!—so this ground-beef bomb is actually one of the better specialty burger offerings at the Tex-Mex chain. Even so, this burger packs far too many calories and far too much sugar than it should. But we can’t say we’re shocked, though; they pull out all the gut-busting stops: melted Pepper Jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, fried onion rings, lettuce, tomato, mango-infused BBQ sauce, and Chili’s Signature sauce.
PERKINS TANGLER BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,610 calories, 105 g fat, 31 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat, 2,150 mg sodium, 112 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 54 g protein
It’s not totally clear how they manage to do it, but Perkin’s packs more calories into this thing than you’d find in 5.5 McDonald’s cheeseburgers. Even with the cheese, bacon and “crunchy onion tanglers” 1,600 is still a shocker!
APPLEBEE’S ALL-DAY BRUNCH BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,630 calories, 101 g fat, 33 g saturated fat, 3 g trans fat, 3,140 mg sodium, 120 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 62 g protein
This egg- and hashbrown-topped breakfast burger fuses the flavors of America’s two favorite meals: breakfast and dinner. The result is a burger that packs more salt than most people eat in an entire day. Like chocolate covered potato chips, some meal mashups are better left untried—and this just another one of them.
RUBY TUESDAY TRIPLE PRIME COLOSSAL BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,697 calories, 96 g fat, N/A saturated fat, N/A trans fat, 4,171 mg sodium, 107 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 93 g protein, N/A sugar
When a burger is so large and in-charge that a giant knife is used to keep it standing upright, it should be a sign that there’s way too much going on. No one, no matter how hungry, should down three giant patties in one sitting—let alone one day! Oh and those 4,171 milligrams of salt?! That’s sure to leave you begging for water even hours after you’ve finished eating.
UNO PIZZERIA AND GRILL SPICY HAWAIIAN BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,620 calories, 91 g fat, 30.5 g saturated fat, 5,420 mg sodium, 106 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 48 g sugars, 51 g protein
Sure this burger comes with grilled pineapple, jalapeños, cheddar cheese, and a challah hamburger roll, but it’s also riddled with artery-clogging hydrogenated oils, two day’s worth of salt, and dimethylpolysiloxane, a type of silicone used in cosmetics, aquarium sealant, and Silly Putty. (Vom!)
JOHNNY ROCKETS SMOKE HOUSE DOUBLE
Per burger (includes fries): 2,120 calories, 128 g fat, 45 g saturated fat, 2,750 mg sodium, 136 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 99 g protein
For over 2,000 calories, this was the most calorific burger we came across in our research. This double patty monstrosity is topped with bacon, onion rings, cheddar cheese, and a sugary barbecue-ranch sauce, so we can’t say we were all too surprised. It’s relatively low sodium count (and let us reinforce the word, relatively) is it’s only saving grace—and the only thing that saved it from ranking the very worst “fancy” burger in America.
AND THE #1 WORST BURGER WITH FIXINS IS…T.G.I FRIDAY’S SMOKE STACKED BURGER
Per burger (includes fries): 1,950 calories, 118 g fat, 39 g saturated fat, 5,290 mg sodium, 148 g carbs, 12 g fiber, N/A sugar, 71 g protein,
Beer-braised sausage, onions, Asiago and cheddar cheeses, hickory-smoked patties, Tennessee BBQ sauce, BBQ ranch aioli, applewood-smoked bacon, and coleslaw team up to create the most calorie-dense burgers on our list. If weight loss—or even just avoiding a premature heart attack—are among your goals, stay far, far away from this horrible excuse for a meal.
FAST FOOD BURGERS
We split them into single-patty burgers and double-patty burgers categories to make the nutritionals more evenly matched, and ranked based primarily on nutritionals and then readjusted rankings based on nasty additives.
SINGLE-PATTY BURGERS… FROM BEST TO WORST
These burgers were ranked based on nutritionals, primarily calories as well as fat, sodium, and carbs. Beneficial add-ons like lettuce, tomato, and onions gained points along with fiber and protein, and deductions were given to disproportionately carb-centric burgers as well as those that had harmful additives like man-made trans fat.
Whataburger’s Original Whataburger
Per burger and toppings (316 g): 590 calories (230 calories from fat), 25 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 1,220 mg sodium, 62 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 29 g protein
Your best option on this entire list, this Texas-based chain produces one of the only single patty popular burgers to come with fiber-full lettuce and tomatoes (as well as pickles and onions). Whataburger also sets itself apart from other fast food chains with their customization—so almost nothing is pre-prepared. Whataburger patrons can personalize every aspect of their beefy sandwiches, from choosing the number of patties they’d like, to which condiments they want (no more unnecessary mayo), to whether or not they’d like their bun toasted. Althought this is the best choice on this whole report, you’ll still want to see What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Fast Food!
Wendy’s ¼-Pound Single
Per burger, 2 slices of cheese, and toppings (n/a g): 550 calories (300 calories from fat), 34 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 1,180 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 28 g protein
When we want a burger, we want a burger, and this creation from Wendy’s somewhat qualifies as such. Four ounces of fresh ground beef and a heaping pile of produce for minimal caloric investment make this one of our favorite burgers in America. Take advantage of Wendy’s extensive list of sides and skip the ubiquitous order of fries. Pair it with a mandarin orange cup or a side salad for an extra boost of fiber.
McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese
Per burger and toppings (206 g): 540 calories (250 calories from fat), 28 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 42 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 31 g protein
The best burgers are loaded with vitamin-packed, belly-filling veggies, but this “classic” has none, save for some pickle slices and slivered onions. Plus, you’ll find it has nearly as much sodium as the Bacon McDouble—but without the bacon. At least it’s high in protein and low in fat.
Per burger no condiments (n/a g): 560 calories, 32 g fat (11.5 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 670 mg sodium, 39 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 34 g protein
This Midwestern chain’s claim-to-fame is the lightly toasted, buttered bun that each of their 100% ground beef patties come on. And unlike other chains, they actually use real butter instead of a “butter-flavored spread” to crisp up their buns to a nice toasty brown.
Fatburger’s Medium 1/3 Lb FatBurger
Per 5.3 oz burger (n/a g): 590 calories, 31 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 1,190 mg sodium, 46 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 22 g protein
When it comes to a fatburger, you can get it small, medium, large, XL, or XXL. The most reasonably comparable size is the medium at a third of a pound, but it’s unreasonably loaded with sodium. Even worse, the nutrition is only for the bun and burger, so adding a slice of cheese, pickles, and mustard would bring you up to 1,670 mg of sodium, or more than 60 percent of your recommended intake of sodium for the whole day.
White Castle Sliders
Per slider and toppings (55 g): 140 calories (60 calories from fat), 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 360 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 7 g protein
Unless you can limit yourself to one or two, sliders make for a consistently calamitous menu choice. That’s because the burger to bun ratio is low and the novelty factor is high, both of which have been shown to encourage excess eating. And with four of these equalling similar serving sizes and nutritional values as the other burgers, you’re better off sticking with the McDonald’s quarter pounder to save on the empty, refined carbs. For more portion-controlling tips, check out these 20 Foods You Better Eat in Moderation.
Burger King’s Whopper
Per burger and toppings (290 g): 650 calories (340 calories from fat), 37 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 910 mg sodium, 50 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 22 g protein
What might be “America’s Favorite Burger,” the Whopper is the original mega-sized burger. While this option is more flab-friendly than the Double or Triple Whopper, it still has more than half of your daily recommended allowance of fat. So if you’re going with a Whopper, you better make it the Whopper Jr. and save yourself 350 calories. If you follow the advice of nutritionists Sarah Koszyk and Christine Palumbo and order it without the mayo, it would save you 150 calories, 15 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, and 180 mg sodium. Nutritionist Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN, says the Whopper Jr. is “a relatively healthy choice and quite satisfying.”
Carl’s Jr.’s Original Six Dollar Thickburger
Per 1/3 lb. burger and toppings (357 g): 830 calories (460 calories from fat), 51 g fat (16 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 1,510 mg sodium, 62 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 29 g protein
Carl’s Jr. bills this burger as a great deal. Gourmet eats for a fast-food price? It might sound good at first, but that chump change is also buying you almost half of your day’s worth of calories and sodium. Besides, this food is far from gourmet. The pickles are made with waist-widening high fructose corn syrup and undercover MSG additives like hydrolyzed soy protein and autolyzed yeast extract.
Carl’s Jr.’s Western Bacon Cheeseburger
Per burger and toppings (250 g): 750 calories (320 calories from fat), 35 g fat (14 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 1,650 mg sodium, 75 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 36 g protein
This burger might be lower in calories than the burger that preceded it, but those 50 calories are entirely made up fatty foods like bacon and deep-fried onion rings, rather than lettuce, tomato, and onion.
AND THE #1 WORST SINGLE PATTY BURGER IS…Jack in the Box’s Sourdough Jack
Per burger and toppings (227 g): 700 calories (410 calories from fat), 45 g fat (15 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 1,180 mg sodium, 39 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 35 g protein
Jack in the Box’s menu has come a long way in the past few years, but they still need to make some major changes. While Jack might have taken the harmful oils out of the fryer, artery-clogging, FDA-not-generally-recognized-as-safe partially hydrogenated oils still can be found all over the ingredients lists, including in the bread as well as in the sirloin beef patty seasoning.
DOUBLE-PATTY BURGERS… FROM BEST TO WORST
We primarily ranked these bilevel burgers based on calories, fat, and sodium, and gave extra points to those with high levels of fiber and protein. We then scoured ingredient lists for any sources of man-made trans fats or questionable ingredients and adjusted the rankings accordingly.
McDonald’s Big Mac
Per burger and toppings (212 g): 540 calories (250 calories from fat), 28 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 970 mg sodium, 47 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 25 g protein
This double layer of sear-sizzled 100% pure beef mingled with special sauce on a sesame seed bun and topped with melty American cheese, crisp lettuce, minced onions and tangy pickles is an Eat This, Not That favorite. We named it the #1 best thing to order at McDonald’s way back in 2008, and it’s stood the test of time in terms of the McDonald’s menu. How can this seemingly supersized meal be so good? Well, a balanced diet means a solid mix of protein, fats, and carbohydrates—and a Big Mac is relatively balanced: 25 grams of protein, 28 grams of fat, and 47 grams of carbs for 540 calories. In comparison, a Five Guys Cheeseburger has 840 calories and 8 g more fat, making the Big Mac the Mac Daddy of them all.
Per burger and toppings (148 g): 390 calories (160 calories from fat), 18 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 850 mg sodium, 34 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 22 g protein
This little protein bomb doesn’t have as much fiber as we’d like (no toppings, save for some pickles and onions), but it has half the calories and over 400 mg less sodium than another double McDonald’s burger, the Double Quarter Pounder.
Burger King’s Double Cheeseburger
Per burger and toppings (142 g): 360 calories (170 calories from fat), 19 g fat (8 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 670 mg sodium, 27 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 16 g protein
This double cheeseburger clocks in at fewer than 400 calories. It’s one of the safest things on the BK menu because it doesn’t have the extra fatty calories from mayo (they really like to put that stuff on everything). Instead, this burger is doused with a smathering of ketchup and mustard, a single slice of cheese, and pickles. If you’re feeling relieved it’s not so hard to indulge without destroying your diet, keep the confidence going with these 35 Tips for Being Healthy While Eating Out!
Steak ‘n Shake’s Double ‘n Cheese Steakburger
Per burger (n/a g): 440 calories (230 calories from fat), 25 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 590 mg sodium, 31 g carbs, <1 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 22 g protein
One of our EAT THIS! Hall of fame winners, Steak ‘n Shake is one of the only drive-thrus in the country where a substantial double-stacked cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and onion weighs in at under 500 calories. Just be sure to stick to the Original Steakburger menu; the specialty burgers at Steak ‘n Sheak are less impressive.
Checkers’ & Rally’s Big Buford
Per burger and toppings (230 g): 660 calories (350 calories from fat), 39 g fat (18 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 1,730 mg sodium, 39 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 38 g protein*
Touted as a chain that “loads it big, like you live it big”, this burger surely lives up to their motto. It’s sure to make you live big with bloat with more than 75 percent of your daily allowance of sodium. Surprisingly, that’s still less than the worst of the 20 Restaurant Desserts with More Salt Than a Bag of Pretzels.
In-N-Out’s Double Double
Per burger and toppings (330 g): 670 calories (370 calories from fat), 41 g fat (18 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 1,440 mg sodium, 39 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 37 g protein
When it comes to ordering fast food burgers, we can’t stress it enough: customization is your best friend. A standard Double Double comes with an extra 170 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat in the form of mayo-based “Spread” and extra cheese (two slices). If you ditch a slice and sub the spread for ketchup, you can get in (and out) of the drive-thru with a 500-calorie bilevel burger.
Wendy’s Dave’s Double
Per burger and toppings (n/a g): 790 calories, 51 g fat (20 g saturated fat, 3 g trans fat), 1,460 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 48 g protein
Scoring a decent meal at Wendy’s is just about as easy as scoring a bad one. We recommend you go for one of their Jr. Burgers that stay below 400 calories instead of this one that has 75 percent of your recommended intake of fat. Instead of widening your waistline, why not try one of these 20 Best-Ever Fat Burning Soups!
McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese
Per burger and toppings (291 g): 780 calories (410 calories from fat), 45 g fat (21 g saturated fat, 2.5 g trans fat), 1,310 mg sodium, 43 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 50 g protein
Our #2 worst main item at Mickey D’s, this burger is a remnant from the days when “super-sizing” was cool. Take a perfectly fine burger, multiply it by two, and you get a half-pound of beef and your entire daily recommended intake of saturated fat.
Jack in the Box’s Ultimate Cheeseburger
Per burger and toppings (253 g): 840 calories (530 calories from fat), 59 g fat (23 g saturated fat, 3 g trans fat), 1,180 mg sodium, 31 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 47 g protein
Add an extra beef patty, 2 slices American and 1 slice Swiss-style cheeses, real mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup on a buttery bakery bun and one of our picks at Jack in the Box (the 320-calorie cheeseburger) goes from an Eat This! to a definite Not That!. And when they say “buttery” bun, Jack in the Box really means “butter flavored” and possibly trans-fat-laden due to the appearance of hydrogenated soybean oil.
Per burger and toppings (n/a g): 930 calories (560 calories from fat), 62 g fat (24 g saturated fat, 3 g trans fat), 1,810 mg sodium, 33 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 58 g protein
This burger beast comes at your diet in full force, saddling your gut with six (six!) strips of bacon, two slices of processed cheese, and two 1/4 -pound slabs of greasy ground beef. Coincidently, ¼ of a pound is exactly how much flab you’ll add to your middle if you inhale one of these bad boys. What’s worse is its high trans fat content, which is more than a day and a half’s worth. And because Wendy’s doesn’t list their cheese ingredients online (the cheese and patty are the two sources of trans fats), there’s no way to tell if it’s all natural or not.
AND THE #1 WORST DOUBLE PATTY BURGER IS… A TIE! Five Guys’ Hamburger
Per burger (265 g): 700 calories (400 calories from fat), 43 g fat (19.5 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 430 mg sodium, 39 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 39 g protein
Five Guys’ Bacon Cheeseburger
Per burger (317 g): 920 calories (560 calories from fat), 62 g fat (29.5 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fat), 1,310 mg sodium, 40 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 51 g protein
Without much more than burgers, hot dogs and french fries on the menu, it’s difficult to find anything nutritionally redeeming about Five Guys. To add even more insult to injury, the chain’s confusing nomenclature dubs regular burgers as doubles and its “Little” burgers are singles. While they are putting out burgers superior to the hamburger heavyweights (they’re cooking fresh ground chuck on flattops to order), Five Guys proves fresh and healthy often have very little to do with each other. Besides the fact that these burgers pack more calories than a Big Mac, they also have a classic source of health-harming trans fats—vegetable shortening—in their bun recipe. Definitely one of the 30 Worst Foods For Your Heart!