Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you most likely know that burgers aren’t exactly good for you. They’re loaded with fat, calories, saturated fat, trans fats, and cholesterol, and cheese and bacon just add insult to injury. Fast food chains are America’s biggest sellers of burgers, and we’ve tracked down the 10 unhealthiest burgers of all.
Burgers have been a fast-food mainstay for as long as fast food chains have been around. The original fast food chains, ones like A&W (1919) and White Castle (1921), sold basically just burgers and fries, and today a fast food chain that doesn’t sell burgers is considered slightly outside the box, or as Taco Bell puts it, “outside the bun.”
Today, fast food chains are having a bit of an identity crisis, torn between the highbrow and the lowbrow. On the highbrow end of the spectrum, we’ve got a dedication to fresher and more responsibly sourced ingredients. And on the lowbrow end, we’ve got giant, usually deep-fried novelty items like Burger King’s new Mac ‘n Cheetos. Big burgers tend to lie somewhere in the middle; most non-chain burger places sell half-pound burgers with creative toppings, and fast food chains are trying harder and harder to compete with them.
The bigger a burger gets, the more calories it contains, obviously. But the sheer amount of calories in these burgers may surprise you. And just because they’re from fast food chains doesn’t magically make them less healthy than the burger at your favorite diner or burger place; just about all restaurant burgers are made with at least 20 percent fat, and grease is grease. Read on to learn about the unhealthiest burgers, from a caloric standpoint, at 10 leading burger chains.