The Five Unhealthiest Fast Foods
5 Chili Cheese Fries
On those days when you have a massive appetite, that picture of chili cheese fries probably calls right out to you. Ignore the beckoning sounds of the chili cheese fries. A medium order has nearly 470 calories. While that might not sound terrible if that’s your big splurge for the day, keep in mind that you’re also getting nearly 950 milligrams of sodium and 7.5 grams of saturated fat. Even if you nix those toppings, a 4-ounce medium order of plain fries still has around 335 calories, 360 milligrams of sodium and over 3 grams of saturated fat.
4 The Breakfast Sandwich
Sure, racing through the drive through to grab a bite to eat in the morning sounds like a good thing, but it’s not. That sausage, egg and cheese croissant you crave has a whopping 525 calories. Still not convinced it’s completely awful for you? Think again. You’ll get an astounding 1,115 milligrams of sodium—about half of your daily allowance—and over 18 grams of saturated fat, which is more than 80 percent of the saturated fat you should have for the day for a 2,000-calorie diet. Don’t think you’re doing yourself any favors by getting a plain egg and cheese either. An egg and cheese croissant breakfast sandwich has 370 calories, 550 milligrams of sodium and a surprisingly high 14 grams of saturated fat.
3 Chocolate Milkshake
What’s the harm in a frosty chocolate shake? After all, it’s made from milk and you need milk for strong bones, right? Not exactly. Milkshakes are made with whole milk, heavy cream and loads of sugar. So that large 24-ounce chocolate shake topped with whipped cream that you reward yourself with on the weekends packs over 830 calories into your diet. Need more convincing to skip it? That same shake contains over 140 grams of sugar—about 34 teaspoons of sugar—and roughly 13 grams of saturated fat. Your teeth and heart will thank you if you skip it.
2 Taco Salad
You might see the word “salad” and think to yourself “Hey veggies! It must be good for me!” Not the case when the bowl is deep fried and fully edible and the salad is loaded with cheese and sour cream. A fast food taco salad provides more than 900 calories. If that doesn’t send you scurrying in the opposite direction, you’ll also get around 1,935 milligrams of sodium and 16 grams of saturated fat from your so-called “salad.” Any potential benefits of the veggies are seemingly flushed down the tubes with those dangerously high numbers.
1 Double Cheeseburger with Bacon
Few things are quite as American as biting into a big old bacon cheeseburger, but it’s a surefire way to get yourself a muffin top—if that’s what you’re aiming for. A large double patty cheeseburger with all the fixin’s, including a couple strips of bacon, has more than 1,200 calories. Not only do you get more than half your calories for the day, you also walk away with 1,160 milligrams of sodium, which is a big red flag since you should only have 2,300 milligrams max per day, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 advises. Just in case you’re not already grossed out, that burger contains over 35 grams of saturated fat. That’s a day and a half worth of saturated fat, because it should make up no more than 10 percent of your calories or 22 grams for the entire day for a 2,000-calorie diet.