Fast food chains are known for having some pretty unhealthy menu options, but you might be surprised at how much fat is in some of your favorite meals.
We consulted with nutritionists Molly Hembrey and Ilana Mullstein to identify fast foods with crazy amounts of fat. “Some fast food offerings contain an excess of total fat, including unwanted saturated fat, due to high-fat meats and cheeses and the use of added oils,” Hembrey says.
The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting saturated fat to less than 10% of daily calories, which is 20 grams based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Hembree warns that six of the eight menu items on our list exceed this number.
“These foods should be treated as ‘sometimes’ and never consumed on a regular basis,” Hembrey explains. “The fats in our diet should instead come from healthy unsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils like canola or olive oil.”
Read on to find out (and avoid!) These fast foods with tons of fat, ranked from best to worst.
And don’t miss 10 fast food drinks with exorbitant amounts of sugar.
Per serving (1 slice, ⅛ pizza): 480 calories, 28 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 60 mg cholesterol, 1180 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 20 g protein.
Pizza Hut Meat Lover pizza is the fattest pizza on the menu, with 28 grams of fat per slice. If you were to eat this entire pizza yourself, you would eat a total of 224 grams of fat. As Hembrey points out, fatty meats and cheeses are essential here to make this pizza one to stay away from.
per serving: 1314 calories, 57 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 1327 mg sodium, 181 g carbohydrates (21 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 20 g protein.
As Hembrey explains, the oils used to cook fatty foods make them especially unhealthy. Five Guys not only cooks fries with refined peanut butter, but also serves them in large portions – almost 600 grams of fries, compared to more common servings of 100 to 300 grams at other chains.
That’s why a large serving of french fries at other fast food chains has significantly less fat: 21 grams at Wendy’s, 23 grams at McDonald’s, and 35 grams at Chick-fil-A and Arby’s.
per serving: 1340 calories, 63g fat (25g saturated fat), 525mg cholesterol, 2070mg sodium, 158g carbs (5g fiber, 48g sugar), 36g protein.
Speaking of a full breakfast, this McDonald’s meal contains more saturated fat than the recommended daily allowance. Breakfast includes cookies, scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausages and hash browns, which is more than half of your daily calories.
per serving: 850 calories, 63g fat (36g saturated fat, 1.5g trans fat), 180mg cholesterol, 1540mg sodium, 48g carbs (1g fiber, 9g sugar), 33g protein.
Packing more fat than comparable-sized mac and cheese in Chick-fil-A (29g) and KFC (23g), Popeyes mac and cheese is full of just the kind of “undesirable saturated fat” that Hembree warns about.
Not only does it have more saturated fat than recommended, but the total amount of fat is incredibly high for a fast food. Plus, it’s unlikely you’ll stop at Popeyes’ mac and cheese – throw in some fried chicken and your meal will be criminally greasy.
per serving: 1359.3 calories, 93.9 g fat (39.3 g saturated fat, 3.1 g trans fat), 269.7 mg cholesterol, 2962.4 mg sodium, 58.3 g carbohydrates (2.5 g fiber, 14.5 g sugar), 72.7 g protein.
As the fattest burger on the Burger King menu, Bacon King has about 100 grams of fat in just one serving. And it’s easy to see why – this burger consists of two quarter-pound grilled beef patties with smoked bacon, four slices of cheddar cheese, ketchup and mayonnaise.
Not only is the fat content very high, but the sodium content will also take you to the recommended daily limit. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
per serving: 1420 calories, 102 g fat (42 g saturated fat, 5 g trans fat), 235 mg cholesterol, 2110 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 82 g protein.
With over 100 grams of fat per burger, Wendy’s Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Triple should definitely be a blue moon treat. The burger contains almost a pound of beef plus cheddar cheese, bacon jam, Applewood smoked bacon, onion and American cheese, all on a cheddar bun – no wonder it’s so unhealthy.
per serving: 1490 calories, 111 g fat (31 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 100 mg cholesterol, 3110 mg sodium, 77 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 41 g protein.
A part of fast food that contains a huge amount of fat, White Castle mozzarella sticks are a product that should be avoided at all costs. The large size contains 10 sticks for a total of 111 grams of fat.
Not to mention, the saturated fat content is higher than the recommended daily intake for most people. Add to that the ultra-high sodium content, and these grilled cheese slices can only be given to a few people.
per serving: 1660 calories, 128 g fat (62 g saturated fat, 6 g trans fat), 355 mg cholesterol, 3800 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrates (<1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 95 g protein.
Who knew one burger could have Well over 100 grams of fat? Steak ‘n Shake’s popular 7×7 steakburger offers just that. “With enough saturated fat to top the limit for three consecutive days, serious consideration should be given before ordering this, especially if they have risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure,” Mülstein explains.