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The Worst Fast-Food Sauces

Maybe you're better of just skipping the dip...

A trip to a fast-food drive-thru means you're likely about to feast on a burger or some chicken and fries. And nothing pairs better with some crispy chicken and delightfully seasoned spuds than a dipping sauce. Something about dunking your nuggets into a brightly colored, flavored sauce just feels right, doesn't it?

There are plenty of sauce options at most fast-food restaurants, and it can get a bit overwhelming when it comes to choosing which one you want to add to your meal. You only have a few seconds to make your choice, after all! So to help you make the best choice, we rounded up some of the worst dipping sauce options you should totally skip. This way, you'll avoid adding excess calories, sodium, and sugar to your meal. And while you're making healthier choices, skip the 8 Worst Fast-Food Burgers to Stay Away From Right Now.


Chick-fil-A Zesty Buffalo Sauce

chick fil a zesty buffalo sauce
Courtesy of Chick-fil-A
Per serving: 25 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 570 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

At first glance, you wouldn't think much about Chick-fil-A's Zesty Buffalo sauce. While it's only 25 calories per pack, the 570 milligrams of sodium are steep. A 4-piece order of the nuggets is loaded with 610 milligrams of the salty stuff so that paired with this sauce already puts you at 1,180 milligrams of sodium. And that's without fries!

It's important to keep in mind that The American Heart Association recommends most adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium.


Popeyes Buttermilk Ranch

buttermilk ranch
Per serving: 150 calories, 15 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 230 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 0 g protein

Buttermilk ranch is one of those sauces that you need to always be wary of, no matter where you are. At Popeyes, one serving comes in at 150 calories and has 15 grams of fat. Instead, you're better off just enjoying the chicken by itself!


McDonald's Creamy Ranch Sauce

mcdonalds creamy ranch
Courtesy of McDonald's
Per serving: 110 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 160 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 0 g protein

Sorry, but the ranch option at McDonald's isn't much better, as it's the sauce option that contains the most amount of calories at Mickey D's. It's recommended alongside an order of McNuggets or fries, but again, if you really don't need the sauce, just skip them all together!

Looking to making more of your own meals at home? Check out the easy way to make healthier comfort foods.


Culver's Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce

culvers bbq sauce
Courtesy of Culver's
Per serving: 110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 440 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (0 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 0 g protein

Culver's BBQ sauce is dangerous for two reasons: It's high in both sodium and sugar. One serving has more sugar than two Original Glazed Krispy Kreme Donuts. You wouldn't think to just add that much sugar to your chicken meal, right?


Raising Cane's Cane Sauce

raising canes cane sauce
Courtesy of Raising Canes
Per serving: 190 calories, 19 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 580 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 0 g protein

Raising Cane's top-secret Cane's Sauce is described as being tangy with a little bit of spice and full of flavor. According to the chain's website, "restaurant general managers make a new batch every day in each Raising Cane's kitchen," so while it might be tasty, you want to keep in mind that one serving is nearly 200 calories. Plus, it has as much sodium as you would get from nearly three and a half bags of Lay's Classic Potato Chips


KFC Honey Mustard

kfc honey mustard
Courtesy of KFC
Per serving: 110 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 120 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (0 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 0 g protein

Overall, the KFC sauce dipping sauces aren't terrible, but knowing that one small packet of the honey mustard is adding more fat, sodium, and sugar to your meal is reason enough to just leave the sauce alone!

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more about Jennifer
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