Too many hamburgers are made with cheap meat and come topped with calorie-laden cheeses and fixings. But burgers can actually be great muscle fuel. "Beef has protein, iron, and other minerals, and vitamins, too," says Jeffrey Hampl, Ph.D., R.D., Associate Professor of Nutrition at Arizona State University. The key to a healthy burger is selecting the right meat, then topping it wisely so neither the burger nor you is weighed down.
The only problem with trying to make healthy choices when eating out is most fast-food chains pack on massive amounts of calories and fat with an abundance of condiments. Here are six of the heaviest hitters.
McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Ingredients: Two quarter pound 100% beef patties, sesame seed bun, American cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickle slices, slivered onions
740 calories 42 grams of fat
Calorie equivalent = 6 1 oz. Slim Jim Beef Jerky sticks
Sonic SuperSonic Cheeseburger Ingredients: Two beef patties, crinkle-cut pickles, chopped onions, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, choice of mustard, mayo or ketchup
898 calories 53 grams of fat
Calorie equivalent = 4 Hershey chocolate bars
Wendy's 3/4 lb. Triple with Cheese Ingredients: Three hamburger patties, two slices of American cheese, four strips of Applewood smoked bacon, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, honey mustard, four dill pickle slices, four onion slices, 1-2 tomato slices, lettuce and a bun
970 calories 60 grams of fat
Calorie equivalent = 18 Oreo cookies
Carl Jr.'s The Guacamole Bacon Six Dollar Burger Ingredients: Charbroiled 100% Black Angus beef patty, guacamole, two strips of bacon, two slices of melted pepperjack cheese, lettuce, two slices of tomato, red onions, and Santa Fe sauce on a toasted sesame seed bun
1040 calories 70 grams of fat
Calorie equivalent = 1 pint of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream
Burger King Triple Whopper Ingredients: Three flame-broiled beef patties with two slices of American cheese, lettuce, mayo, tomatoes, pickles and onions—all on a toasted sesame seed bun
1,160 calories 76 grams of fat Calorie equivalent = 4 Snickers bars
Hardees 2/3 lb. Monster Thickburger Ingredients: Two 1/3 lb. charbroiled 100% Black Angus beef patties, four strips of bacon, three slices of American cheese and mayonnaise on a sesame seed bun
1320 calories 95 grams of fat
Calorie equivalent = 4 Dunkin Donuts Jelly-Filled donuts
A Fitter Bacon Cheeseburger?