9 Worst Fast-Food Value Meals to Stay Away From Right Now
A lot of us are looking to clean up our diets, but it's hard to avoid the temptation of a drive-thru value meal at a fast-food restaurant. Inexpensive and fast, value meals can seem like you're getting an affordable, quick lunch or dinner.
However, there's a difference between indulging and overindulging in value meals. The supersizing and double and triple patties can bring you over your recommended calories, sodium, fat, and sugar for the day before you've even finished your meal. "If you are eating these occasionally and you feel good, there's nothing to worry about," says holistic nutritionist Kristen Ciccolini. "But the main thing I'd be concerned with when consuming these meals regularly is the sodium content."
Read on for the 10 worst fast-food value meals you should stay away from given their high sodium and calorie content. And next, don't miss the 8 Worst Fast-Food Burgers to Stay Away From Right Now.
McDonald's Big Mac Combo Meal
Steering clear of added sugar? You'll want to skip this one or opt for a diet soda, but that won't solve everything. "This meal contains artery-clogging fat coming from the meat and cheese along with added sugar from the soda," says Lisa Young, RDN. Not to mention the 1,080 calories you'll consume at just one meal. This is one value meal to skip.
McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Meal
This meal has way too much sodium (and it's 1,260 calories!) Young weighs in: "This meal contains over 70 percent of the daily value for saturated fat and more than 60 percent of the daily value for sodium, making you want to skip it."
Arby's Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon Sandwich Meal
At 1,380 calories for one meal, this sandwich combo would put some adults close to their recommended calories for the whole day! The insanely high sodium count isn't great either. The CDC recommends people consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. "People with high blood pressure may want to avoid these foods," says Ciccolini.
Wendy's Bacon Double Stack Biggie Bag
With a name like "Biggie Bag," you know this meal isn't going to be the healthiest! Topping out at 1,350 calories, this meal contains a double patty burger, sides of fries and nuggets, and a soda. The burger alone clocks in at 480 calories and 260 of those are from fat.
Arby's Half Pound Beef n Cheddar Meal
While a half-pound of beef piled with cheese and served with a large drink and curly fries may sound tempting, Ciccolini urges caution. "The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that the average person limit their consumption to 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day," she says. "The Arby's sandwiches alone exceed that, and the combos skyrocket that intake—and, keep in mind, this is only one meal out of your day."
Burger King BLT Chicken Jr Meal
One of the worst offenders on our list, we can't believe how fast the additional calories stack up when you upsize this meal. The sandwich alone is 492 calories, but a large drink and side can take it all the way up to 1,790 calories for one meal! Even the small sides add up to 1,335 calories, so skip this combo and get the sandwich and bottled water.
Taco Bell Classic Combo
This is another sodium bomb and a hefty 1,240-calorie meal. The combo of a beefy five-layer burrito, crunchy taco, cinnamon twists, and a large soda contains more than half the calories a man or woman should eat in a day. Also, the smattering of lettuce on the taco doesn't count as a veggie.
Wendy's Crispy Chicken Sandwich Meal
Wendy's offers a 4 for $4 deal, which means in addition to fries and a soda, you also get a side of nuggets with your sandwich (yikes!). This meal tops out at 1080 calories, with the nuggets adding 170 calories, 10 grams of carbs, and 11 grams of fat.
Hardee's Meal Deal Big Cheeseburger
For only $5, this cheeseburger, fries, and soda meal may seem like a bargain, but you'll be paying for this with your health. The big burger comes with a small fries and drink, but still clocks in at 860 calories.