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The #1 Worst New Fast-Food Menu Item of 2020

Next time you hit up the drive-thru, just be sure you don't even consider ordering this...

Even though 2020 was a year unlike any other, fast food didn't go away. While there may have been moments when certain items weren't available (we're looking at you, all-day breakfast at McDonald's), there were still plenty of fast-food chains that added new menu items throughout the year. Whether it was larger-than-life burgers, frozen treats packed with five donuts worth of sugar, or side dishes that had more calories than anything else on the menu, some rather scary options made their debut in 2020.

But which new fast-food menu item is the worst of them all?

We took a closer look at the unhealthiest new fast foods of the year, and found the biggest culprit of all. (While you're making healthier choices, be sure to try out any of the 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time!)

But the next time you're heading to the drive-thru, be sure you don't order…

Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Pub Triple Cheeseburger

pretzel bacon triple cheeseburger
Courtesy of Wendy's
1,520 calories, 106 g fat (45 g saturated fat, 4 g trans fat), 1,910 mg sodium, 53 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 89 g protein

Wendy's brought back the beloved pretzel bun in 2020, with a new burger nestled between those buns. The Pretzel Bacon Pub Triple Cheeseburger really made a splash and if the fast-food giant was aiming for unforgettable, that's exactly what was accomplished with this burger. But it's memorable for all the wrong reasons!

So what exactly are you in for if you bite into a Pretzel Bacon Pub Triple Cheeseburger? Well, the monstrous burger is made up of three-quarters of a pound of Wendy's square beef patties that are covered in warm beer cheese sauce, Applewood smoked bacon, smoky honey mustard, crispy fried onions, pickles, and a slice of muenster cheese. Reading that description, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that this sandwich has the most amount of calories out of all the burger options on the Wendy's menu. If you make the meal a combo and tack on a large order of French fries and a large Coke, you're looking at an additional 970 calories. That means this meal is now costing you 2,490 calories.

Besides the fact that this burger is highly caloric all on its own, it's also packing 106 grams of fat and 4 grams of heart-harming trans fat. By now, it's common knowledge that trans fats are bad news, as they can raise artery-clogging LDL or "bad" cholesterol, and lower your HDL or "good" cholesterol. The 2015-2020 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans say it's best for people to limit trans fats consumption to as low as possible, which means consuming zero trans fats is the goal.

This burger is just serving up too much of everything, and that includes protein. While you might think seeing a high amount of protein is a plus, that's just not the case. Coming in at 89 grams, this burger has far more protein than one person should consume in one meal. It's been suggested that no more than 30 grams of protein per meal is ideal.

If that isn't reason enough to hide from this burger, take a look at the amount of sodium. Keep in mind that the American Heart Association recommends the average person consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. This one burger by itself will have you closely approaching your entire daily limit of sodium, with its 1,910 milligrams. That's without any side dishes, like an order of fries, or even anything else you eat during the rest of the day. While your body does require sodium, eating too much of it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

We're sure this Wendy's burger is packed with flavor, but it comes with far too many health-related red flags. In a year filled with so much uncertainty, one thing is certain—the Pretzel Bacon Pub Triple Cheeseburger is one fast-food menu item you should always skip.

Looking for more helpful tips? Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!

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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