We know fast food isn’t the greatest but whether it’s convenience, price, or you’re just cravin’ some nuggets, sometimes we can’t avoid the golden arches (or insert-your-favorite-restaurant-here). Don’t fret because we’ve got you covered. Each week we’ll spotlight one fast food joint and tell you what to eat — and what to avoid. This week’s choice? Burger King.
It’s hard to go to Burger King and pass up on a burger, but you don’t have to. As long as you make some smart decisions and are willing to pass on the supersize, you can still have a healthy fast food meal. Just keep in mind that a burger (with cheese, a white bun, and red meat) is a red food. This means for a small amount of food, you’re taking in a lot of calories. Make sure to keep red foods to one serving only, and bulk up your meal with green foods (fruits, veggies, or a salad). Check below for which options are best and which you should definitely pass on.
What to eat:
If you’re craving a burger, try the Whopper Jr. The burger is topped with onions, tomatoes, pickles, and lettuce (all green foods that help to pump up the volume of your burger and keep you full.) This dish clocks in at 300 calories but ask for no mayo to bump it down to 230. Add a side salad without cheese and use only half dressing for a filling 85-calorie side dish.
Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe
The name of this burger doesn’t scream ‘healthy’ but it contains only 290 calories (but it does have 14 grams of fat). If you’re craving something a little extra indulgent but don’t want to completely break the calorie bank, try this burger with a side salad or side of apple slices.
Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich
The Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich has 450 calories which is more than both burgers but has much less artery-clogging saturated fat (it contains only 2.5 grams). Hold the mayo to save 100 calories.
What to avoid:
Triple Whopper Sandwich
The Triple Whopper Sandwich has a staggering 1160 calories, 75 (!!) grams of fat, 27 grams of saturated fat, and 4 grams of trans fat. There isn’t much to say about the lack of nutritional quality of this sandwich. If you’re going to avoid any burger, this is the one.
Bacon and Cheese Tendercrisp
While chicken is normally a leaner alternative to red meat, this chicken sandwich is fried then topped with bacon and cheese. With 790 calories, 51 grams of fat, and 12 grams of saturated fat, this sandwich is better skipped.
If you need a side of fries, opt for a small as the large has more calories than some full meals. Clocking in at 500 calories, with 72 grams of carbs, and 22 grams of fat, this side item is likely to push your calorie budget over the edge.
Your best options are normally going to be leaner white meats that aren’t fried without heavy sides. But nothing is off limits so if you really need those fries, go for it. Just remember portion control. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to get but you know you’ll be getting fast food, almost all fast food restaurants have nutrition information on their website. Knowledge is power!