Advertisement
Ranking fast food chains from most to least calories BrokenSphere / Wikipedia / HealthGrove
(BrokenSphere / Wikipedia / HealthGrove)

Burgers, milkshakes, french fries, tacos and sandwiches. Today, we have a plethora of fast food options to choose from. While some people love the convenience, price and taste, others try and avoid fast food as much as possible. Still, most of us find ourselves in a Carl’s Jr., Burger King or Chipotle from time to time, going over the menu and maybe trying to choose an item that will widen our midsection the least.

RELATED: Which fast food kids’ meals are healthiest and which are total calorie bombs?

Of course, eating fast food often, no matter what your selection, is probably not the healthiest choice. Most fast food restaurants add more sugar, fat and cholesterol than you would ever consume at home. When you are grabbing a quick bite at a fast food joint, it’s important to be conscious of what’s packed into each meal.

Experts at HealthGrove, a health data site by Graphiq, analyzed the menus of 27 popular American fast food chains, and ranked chains by the average calories of their menu items. Pizza chains are not included, as well as restaurants that reported individual items as opposed to servings (KFC, Panda Express), as most items are not meant for individual consumption. Menu items such as “Beverages,” “Drinks,” “Sauces,” “Condiments” etc. were removed as to keep a focus on meals and food menu items. HealthGrove also looked at the following nutrition qualities: calories, total fat, sugar and cholesterol, and reported the menu item that had the highest value for those categories.

RELATED: Which chain offers the tastiest fast-food chicken sandwich in America?

Depending on the fast food chain you choose, you could significantly change the number of calories you are ingesting. For example, a Double-Double at In-N-Out is 670 calories, but a Monster Thickburger at Hardee’s is nearly 1,300 calories. Snacking on chips and guacamole from Chipotle before devouring a burrito could have consequences, too — chips and guacamole are Chipolte’s highest-calorie item. For dessert, many milkshakes have more than half the calories you need in a day, and up to five times the daily recommended amount of sugar.

Advertisement

Note: These figures are from data available on 3/21/2017 and are subject to change.

27. Whataburger

  • Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas
  • Average calorie count: 727.2
    • Highest calorie: Chop House Cheddar Burger Meal (1,840)
    • Highest cholesterol: Breakfast Platter with Sausage Meal (705 mg)
    • Highest fat: Chop House Cheddar Burger Meal (95 g)
    • Highest: Strawberry Malt 32 oz (156 g)

26. Zaxby’s

  • Headquarters: Athens, Ga.
  • Average calorie count: 707.8
    • Highest calorie: Buffalo Fingers 20 Piece (2,550)
    • Highest cholesterol: Buffalo Wings 20 Piece (765 mg)
    • Highest fat: Buffalo Fingers 20 Piece (175 g)
    • Highest sugar: Chocolate Cookie Milkshake (110 g)

25. Culver’s

  • Headquarters: Prairie du Sac, Wis.
  • Average calorie count: 687.1
    • Highest calorie: North Atlantic Cod 3 Piece (2,156)
    • Highest cholesterol: Vanilla Frozen Custard 1 Quart (608 mg)
    • Highest fat: North Atlantic Cod 3 Piece (139 g)
    • Highest sugar: Chocolate Frozen Custard 1 Quart (166 g)

24. Sonic

  • Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Average calorie count: 672.4
    • Highest calorie: Peanut Butter Caramel Pie Malt, Large (2,170)
    • Highest cholesterol: Ultimate Meat & Cheese Breakfast Burrito (390 mg)
    • Highest fat: Peanut Butter Fudge Malt (123 g)
    • Highest sugar: Grape with Nerds Candy Ice Cream Slush (282 g)

23. Smashburger

  • Headquarters: Denver, Colo.
  • Average calorie count: 657.1
    • Highest calorie: BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar Burger Big Smash (1,048)
    • Highest cholesterol: Classic Cobb Salad with Crispy Chicken (347 mg)
    • Highest fat: BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar Burger Big Smash (70 g)
    • Highest sugar: Chocolate Oreo Malt (81 g)

22. Carl’s Jr.

  • Headquarters: Carpinteria, Calif.
  • Average calorie count: 602.8
    • Highest calorie: Thickburger El Diablo 1/2 lb (1,270)
    • Highest cholesterol: Steak & Egg Burrito (390 mg)
    • Highest fat: Guacamole Bacon Thickburger 1/2 lb (89 g)
    • Highest sugar: Vanilla Malt (86 g)

21. Jimmy John’s

  • Headquarters: Champaign, Ill.
  • Average calorie count: 559.8
    • Highest calorie: The J.J. Gargantuan on French Bread (1,134)
    • Highest cholesterol: The J.J. Gargantuan on French Bread (179 mg)
    • Highest fat: Gourmet Veggie Club on Wheat (60 g)
    • Highest sugar: N/A (Jimmy John’s does not report sugar content)

20. Five Guys Burgers and Fries

  • Headquarters: Lorton, Va.
  • Average calorie count: 554
    • Highest calorie: Cajun Style Fries (953)
    • Highest cholesterol: Bacon Cheeseburger (180 mg)
    • Highest fat: Bacon Cheeseburger (62 g)
    • Highest sugar: Cheese Veggie (14 g)

19. Jack in the Box

  • Headquarters: San Diego, Calif.
  • Average calorie count: 533.2
    • Highest calorie: Chick-N-Tater Melt Munchie Meal (2,010)
    • Highest cholesterol: Loaded Breakfast Sandwich (515 mg)
    • Highest fat: Chick-N-Tater Melt Munchie Meal (109 g)
    • Highest sugar: Chocolate Shake with Whipped Topping, Large (128 g)

18. Dairy Queen

  • Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Average calorie count: 516
    • Highest calorie: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Smash Blizzard (1,510)
    • Highest cholesterol: Ultimate Hashbrown Platter Bacon (430 mg)
    • Highest fat: Banana Blizzard (230 g)
    • Highest sugar: Brownie Cookie Dough Blizzard, Large (158 g)

17. Taco John’s

  • Headquarters: Cheyenne, Wyo.
  • Average calorie count: 488.9
    • Highest calorie: Honey Habanero 1 lb (1,250)
    • Highest cholesterol: Potato Olés Scrambler with Regular Sausage (375 mg)
    • Highest fat: Potato Olés Scrambler with Regular Sausage (79 g)
    • Highest sugar: Honey Habanero 1 lb (51 g)

16. Hardee’s

  • Headquarters: Nashville, Tenn.
  • Average calorie count: 477.5
    • Highest calorie: 2/3 lb Monster Thickburger (1,290)
    • Highest cholesterol: Low Carb Breakfast Bowl (630 mg)
    • Highest fat: 2/3 lb Monster Thickburger (92 g)
    • Highest sugar: Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Malt (76 g)

15. In-N-Out Burger

  • Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
  • Average calorie count: 468.1
    • Highest calorie: Double-Double with Spread (670)
    • Highest cholesterol: Double-Double with Spread (120 mg)
    • Highest fat: Double-Double with Spread (41 g)
    • Highest sugar: Strawberry Shake (67 g)

14. Blimpie

  • Headquarters: Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Average calorie count: 460.4
    • Highest calorie: Super Stacked Turkey and Bacon 12 inch (1,240)
    • Highest cholesterol: Grilled Breakfast Sandwich with Sausage (385 mg)
    • Highest fat: Philly Steak & Onion 12 inch (70 g)
    • Highest sugar: Cotton Candy (56 g)

13. Arby’s

  • Headquarters: Atlanta, Ga.
  • Average calorie count: 460.1
    • Highest calorie: Smokehouse Pork Belly Sandwich (860)
    • Highest cholesterol: Chicken Fajita Flatbread Mild (210 mg)
    • Highest fat: Smokehouse Pork Belly Sandwich (61 g)
    • Highest sugar: Pumpkin Cheesecake Shake (96 g)

12. Taco Bell

  • Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
  • Average calorie count: 422.3
    • Highest calorie: Cinnabon Delights 12 Pack (930)
    • Highest cholesterol: Cheesy Breakfast Burrito – Bacon (210 mg)
    • Highest fat: Cinnabon Delights 12 Pack (53 g)
    • Highest sugar: Cinnabon Delights 12 Pack (59 g)

11. Burger King

  • Headquarters: Miami, Fla.
  • Average calorie count: 415.8
    • Highest calorie: BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter (1,450)
    • Highest cholesterol: BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter (505 mg)
    • Highest fat: BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter (84 g)
    • Highest sugar: Red Velvet Oreo Shake (116 g)

10. McDonald’s

  • Headquarters: Oak Brook, Ill.
  • Average calorie count: 401.5
    • Highest calorie: Chicken McNuggets 40 Piece (1,880)
    • Highest cholesterol: Big Breakfast with Hotcakes (575 mg)
    • Highest fat: Chicken McNuggets 40 Piece (118 g)
    • Highest sugar: Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappé, Large (137 g)

9. Subway

  • Headquarters: Milford, Conn.
  • Average calorie count: 397.8
    • Highest calorie: Big Hot Pastrami Footlong (1,160)
    • Highest cholesterol: 6″ Mega Melt (275 mg)
    • Highest fat: Big Hot Pastrami Footlong (62 g)
    • Highest sugar: Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Footlong (36 g)

8. Chipotle

  • Headquarters: Denver, Colo.
  • Average calorie count: 396.2
    • Highest calorie: Chips & Guacamole (720)
    • Highest cholesterol: Chicken Burrito (115 mg)
    • Highest fat: Chips & Guacamole (40 g)
    • Highest sugar: Chips & Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa (8 g)

7. Chick-fil-A

  • Headquarters: Atlanta, Ga.
  • Average calorie count: 371.5
    • Highest calorie: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake (910)
    • Highest cholesterol: Sausage Platter (385 mg)
    • Highest fat: Sausage Platter (54 g)
    • Highest sugar: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake (124 g)

6. Popeyes

  • Headquarters: Atlanta, Ga.
  • Average calorie count: 352.2
    • Highest calorie: Chicken Livers (1,190)
    • Highest cholesterol: Chicken Livers (765 mg)
    • Highest fat: Chicken Livers (80 g)
    • Highest sugar: Cole Slaw, Large (45 g)

5. Boston Market

  • Headquarters: Golden, Colo.
  • Average calorie count: 348.2
    • Highest calorie: St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs 1/2 Rack (1,180)
    • Highest cholesterol: Parmesan Tuscan Chicken, 1/2 Chicken (355 mg)
    • Highest fat: St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs 1/2 Rack (74 g)
    • Highest sugar: Carrot Cake (79 g)

4. Wendy’s

  • Headquarters: Dublin, Ohio
  • Average calorie count: 345.4
    • Highest calorie: Dave’s Triple Cheeseburger (1,060)
    • Highest cholesterol: Mornin’ Melt Panini with All-Natural Sausage (310 mg)
    • Highest fat: Dave’s Triple Cheeseburger (67 g)
    • Highest sugar: Chocolate Frosty (42 g)

3. Dunkin’ Donuts

  • Headquarters: Canton, Mass.
  • Average calorie count: 340.9
    • Highest calorie: Sausage, Egg and Cheese Sandwich on Croissant (700)
    • Highest cholesterol: Big ‘n Toasted (345 mg)
    • Highest fat: Sausage, Egg and Cheese Sandwich on Croissant (50 g)
    • Highest sugar: Muffin Coffee Cake (51 g)

2. Panera Bread

  • Headquarters: St. Louis, Mo.
  • Average calorie count: 339.7
    • Highest calorie: New England Clam Chowder Soup Bread Bowl (1,140)
    • Highest cholesterol: Power Breakfast Bowl with Steak (405 mg)
    • Highest fat: Large Signature Mac & Cheese (61 g)
    • Highest sugar: Frozen Caramel (77 g)

1. Long John Silver’s

  • Headquarters: Louisville, Ky.
  • Average calorie count: 238.5
    • Highest calorie: Ciabatta Jack Chicken Sandwich (730)
    • Highest cholesterol: Baked Cod (80 mg)
    • Highest fat: Ciabatta Jack Chicken Sandwich (44 g)
    • Highest sugar: Strawberry Iceflow Lemonade (62 g)
Advertisement

Stories You Might Like