If you forgo the burgers and fries, it’s possible to eat healthy at most fast food chains.
But that aforementioned hamburger isn’t such a terrible choice when compared to some of the other items on the menu.
CheatSheet has listed six things you should never order at any fast food restaurant. The ones that aren’t loaded with fat, calories, and sugar are rarely made fresh, meaning they possibly sit under heat lamps for hours before they end up on your plate.
1. Chicken nuggets
This is the perfect example of that latter point. Nuggets can sit out all day before someone orders them; as a result, they’re typically loaded with TBHQ, a food additive that can extend shelf life, but has also been linked to liver enlargement, convulsions, paralysis, and an increased incidence of tumors in lab rats.
Have you ever wondered which part of the chicken produces the nugget? According to CheatSheet, only about 20 percent of the average chicken nugget is breast meat. The rest is made up of bone, fat, gristle, corn, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives, among other nasty ingredients.
So you shouldn’t always believe fast food chains when they claim their nuggets are made with 100 percent white meat!
2. Veggie burgers
Sorry, vegetarians. Your go-to fast food dish can be just as unhealthy as a Big Mac!
While the burgers themselves are typically low in calories, they’re often smothered in fatty sauces and cheeses. They’re also rarely fresh — CheatSheet reports that many restaurants buy veggie burgers pre-made and only remove them from the freezer when someone orders them.
It’s worth noting that veggie burgers may be cooked on the same grill as hamburgers and cheeseburgers. This could present a problem for vegans and strict vegetarians.
3. Blended and frozen coffees
You might as well order a milkshake. Blended coffee beverages can easily have more than twice your daily allotment of sugar. For example, a venti Coffee Frappuccino from Starbucks has 69 grams of the sweet stuff.
Fortunately, plain old iced coffee is still a good choice. Just take it easy on the sugar!
4. Certain salads
Salads are inherently healthy (most of the time), but watch out for what you put on them! Creamy dressings — such as blue cheese, Caesar, and ranch — are loaded with fat and calories. Vinaigrettes aren’t much better, as the flavored ones typically have tons of sugar.
Other salad toppings can be dangerous too. Bacon, cheese, and guacamole are all delicious but fattening additions to a bowl of greens. And if you’re given a choice, skip the crispy chicken and opt for grilled instead — it’s much lower in saturated fat.
5. Fish sandwiches
Here’s another healthy choice made unhealthy by fast food chains. The omega-3s found in plain fish are good for both your heart and your brain. But when fish is one of more than 100 ingredients, as it is in the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, you should probably look elsewhere for those benefits.
To complete the artery-clogging effect, most restaurant fish patties are deep fried and served on white bread with cheese and some type of fattening sauce, like tartar or mayonnaise.
6. Anything served in a tortilla
Stick to burrito bowls, Chipotle lovers. According to CheatSheet, a single tortilla contains a whopping 300 calories — and that’s without meat, beans, veggies, and cheese!