The Fast Food Items To Avoid in the US
You may or may not be familiar with this information, but the fact remains that between 2015 and 2018, Chipotle Mexican Grill made more than 1,100 of its customers across the United States sick by food poisoning.
It would appear that the employees of this popular restaurant were having difficulty complying with the restaurant’s food safety protocols, transmitting the norovirus to many customers. That’s reason enough to stop visiting Chipotle restaurants!
2 Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is a must for many when it comes to pizza, and indeed, it is far from being the worst pizza place there is. However, if you suffer from certain health problems, you may want to avoid their extremely salty pizza.
Also, the cheese used at Pizza Hut is far from being the best, being often rubbery and tasteless, which is a shame since it is one of the most important ingredients on a pizza!
3 Triple Whopper with Cheese – Burger King
Burger King has been a fast food favorite since it opened its doors in 1954. While you can find some yummy options on their menu, there is one item in particular that you should steer clear of if you’re trying to make healthy eating decisions.
The Triple Whopper with Cheese is just as fattening as it sounds. This burger comes with three ¼ lb flame-grilled beef patties topped with tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun. With 1216 calories and 82 grams of fat per serving, this cheeseburger is a triple bypass heart surgery waiting to happen.
4 Big Breakfast – McDonald’s
McDonald’s is most known for their Big Mac and tasty french fries, but they also have an extensive breakfast menu. While they have a few healthy options, most of their breakfast items only offer empty calories. The Big Breakfast is their worst offender.
Just as the name implies, you get a huge serving of food. The meal includes two hotcakes, a biscuit, a sausage patty, scrambled eggs, and an order of hash browns. This breakfast packs on 1340 calories and 64 grams of fat. While it may sound delicious, you’d be better off ordering McDonald’s Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait, which has 210 calories.
The freshness of Subway salads and the quality of its meats have come in for a great deal of criticism in recent years.
Moreover, as people start to appreciate the importance of a healthy diet, Subway’s popularity has dipped and 1,000 outlets were closed in 2018. It seems that their claims of health and freshness might not be too well-founded after all.
Similar to McDonald’s, Domino’s international success has not prevented it from finding itself on a list of America’s worst fast-food restaurants.
Rating poorly across the board, including for value, food quality, service speed and cleanliness, the 12-inch version of the corporation’s unhealthiest pizza, the Pepperoni Handmade Pan Pizza, will ensure you pile on the pounds as it contains 130 gm of fat and 2,420 calories. If you do find yourself in a Domino’s, opt for the 140-calorie garden salad.
7 Dairy Queen
When the weather is nice and warm, there’s nothing better than a good ice cream to cool down! For many people, ice cream means Dairy Queen. Well, you might want to rethink your habits.
You know the ad that says your blizzard must stay in the cup when turned upside down or they’ll make you another? Of course, the blizzard never falls from the cup, but that just shows that Dairy Queen’s ice cream is way too greasy for your own good!
8 Little Caesars
Take-away-only pizza chain Little Caesars markets itself on having high-quality ingredients but customers disagree. In addition to low scores for freshness and quality, a slice of Little Caesars’ unhealthiest offering, the Stuffed Crust Deep!
Pepperoni Pie, contains an astonishing 20 g of fat, 45 mg of cholesterol, 840 mg of sodium, 10 gm of saturated fat and 420 calories.
It may be one of the most popular chains in America but two Arby’s sandwiches have ranked extremely low in a recent nutrition study and a third of all menu items were found to contain trans fats.
This includes the chain’s famous roast-beef sandwich. Sides are just as bad. You’ll find 2,530 mg of salt in a serve of mozzarella sticks. You’d better invest in a healthy future and skip Arby’s.
10 Jack in the Box
Reading the many bad comments on Google about Jack in the Box restaurants makes you wonder how they manage to stay open.
Customers say that the food is tasteless and often served cold, and that customer service is absolutely poor. According to Customer Reports, only 33% of customers who have visited a Jack in the Box say they will return.
11 Coffee Cake Muffin – Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin’ Donuts serves up some delicious coffee and donuts. You may think that a healthy choice would be to opt for one of their muffins, but the truth is, most of their muffins contain more fat and sugar than many of their donuts.
The most unhealthy pastry item at Dunkin’ Donuts might surprise you. The Coffee Cake Muffin boasts 590 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 370 mg of sodium. Dunkin’ Donuts also has a few specialty coffee drinks you should avoid. The Caramel Swirl with Cream has a shocking 900 calories per serving!
12 Chicken Bacon Ranch – Subway
Subway may seem like a healthy fast food option, and while many of their menu items are smart options, they offer several sandwiches that aren’t the best for you. The Chicken Bacon Ranch is the highest calorie Subway sandwich.
This sub offers chicken breast strips, bacon slices, ranch sauce, and Monterey cheese blend on Italian bread. That may sound tasty, but the 6-inch sub has a whopping 610 calories! Not to mention that it has 32 g fat and 1,340 mg sodium. Don’t let Subway fool you into thinking you’re making a wise decision with this sub.
13 New England Clam Chowder – Panera Bread
Customers flock to Panera Bread for a variety of sandwich and soup options. While you can find several fresh menu items, you still have to be choosy if you’re on a health kick. One of the worst choices you can make is the New England Clam Chowder served in a bread bowl.
This one comes in at 1040 calories, 840 mg sodium, and 157 grams of carbs. You’d be smart to skip the bread bowl and opt for a serving of Panera’s Low-Fat Chicken Noodle Soup instead, which is only 160 calories and contains 5 grams of fat.
14 Burger King
Breakfast items are the worst offenders when it comes to the calorific offerings on a Burger King menu. With as much as 1,420 calories in a breakfast option, trade the latter for grilled chicken with a garden salad without dressing.
However, if you care about your cardiovascular system, it’s probably best to stay away from this high-fat, high-salt and high-cholesterol fast-food chain altogether.
15 Church’s Chicken
America is covered in chicken restaurants but Church’s Chicken is a relatively lesser-known chain.
As with the other chains on this list, meals at Church’s Chicken are high in calories and fat but this fast food restaurant has, even more strikes against it. The chicken is dry, the shrimp are soggy and the biscuits are hard. So when it comes to Church’s Chicken, keep your money in the bank.
Checkers restaurants have been running since 1986. It could be a guarantee of quality, you might say, but it’s absolutely not the case.
Not to mention the poor service you’ll find there, you’ll certainly be disappointed with the quality of your food, whether it’s the soggy salad in your hamburger or the lack of taste in general.
Who doesn’t feel like a good sandwich once in a while? Unfortunately, at Quiznos, that’s not really what you’ll get. Not only will you eat a sandwich that’s not that tasty, but you’ll have paid way too much for it.
Let’s just say that the quality/price ratio is not at its best at Quiznos. It’s not for nothing that several of their restaurants have closed in the last few years.
The A&W restaurant chain, known mainly for its root beer, has been in business since 1919. Probably there was a time when their food was worth the detour, but this is no longer the case.
In addition to getting poor service in restaurants with questionable cleanliness, you’ll eat a quickly assembled hamburger and odd-tasting greasy fries.
19 Taco Bell
Grabbing a taco when you’re on the move may sound like a great idea. However, see what else you can find other than a Taco Bell if you want to purchase and feast on better-for-your-health-and-your-taste buds Tex Mex food.
This chain has the dubious honor of being America’s worst fast-food Mexican restaurant, scoring especially low on food freshness and quality. Chipotle anyone?
20 El Pollo Loco
Every Mexican food lover has visited an El Pollo Loco. However, it is quite possible that they have only been there once because of the poor quality of these restaurants.
The food could taste worse, although it is usually dry, but at the price it is sold for, you would expect much better.
21 Five Guys
Five Guys is not the place for the health-conscious consumer, or simply anyone who doesn’t want to consume 1,500 calories in a single meal. No one goes in there to invest in their health and sip on a glass of spring water.
The extraordinarily calorific Five Guys should only be visited as a treat or, ideally, never at all.
KFC chicken isn’t just chock full of herbs and spices; it is also overflowing with fats and chemicals.
To their credit, chicken strips may be a good source of protein, but they are also carb-heavy and this can compromise your health.
23 Cici’s Pizza
When the employees of a restaurant won’t eat the food it produces, you know something’s wrong. However, while the staff stays away from the menu due to its poor quality and the chain’s restaurants receive low scores for cleanliness, surveys show that you will be served politely and quickly at a Cici’s Pizza.
However, great service is not a reason to purchase and consume a bad meal that even employees won’t buy.
24 White Castle
A favorite of comedy duo Harold and Kumar, you may struggle to see what all the fuss is all about.
Why trade other places’ big and juicy burgers for their small and dry buns and bland meat. A White Castle meal is simply not worth the calories.
Smashburger often tries to play the healthier-than-others card by adding avocados or truffles to their hamburger, for example, but don’t be fooled.
With the high-fat ranch dressing or the old mushy lettuce they add to their burger, to name a few, Smashburger is wasting all their efforts on a delicious and healthier dish.
26 Raising Cane’s
If you like breaded chicken fillets, Raising Cane’s would certainly be the place to go since they only sell this and the taste is generally good. The big problem with Raising Cane’s, however, is consistency.
You can visit these restaurants several times, but rarely will your chicken strips taste the same. Sometimes they will be okay, but other times they will be overcooked, or soggy.
Wienerschnitzel restaurants may seem very attractive because of their very low prices, but here’s all you’ll find attractive there, be sure of it.
Their low prices come at the cost of overcooked meat that tastes burnt and is served in quantities far too small for the bread that contains it, and French fries of questionable texture.
The specialists in New York-style pizza have found themselves at the bottom of fast food outlet ranking lists this year, dragged down by the low quality and freshness of their food.
It may be unsurprising then that early in 2019, Sbarro started its second bankruptcy proceedings in around three years.
Starbucks may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of fast-food restaurants but perhaps you should think again.
Purchase a mocha or a hot chocolate and you’ll consume a huge amount of calories and 300% of your maximum recommended daily sugar intake.
Choose just one of the items on a Wendy’s menu and there’s a good chance you will be getting a whole day’s recommended intake of salt, sugar, saturated fat and calories. Nothing good for your arteries, especially if you are in recovery for any cardiac disease.
If you don’t find that off-putting enough, cast your mind back to the 2018 video that went viral showing an employee at Wendy’s discovering a mouse amongst a batch of buns.
Apparently eager to challenge Hardee’s for the title of ‘Maker of America’s Unhealthiest Burger,’ Sonic gives customers the option of doubling up their bacon cheeseburger with mayo to create a meal that will clog your arteries as soon as you look at it.
In total, this double burger contains 1,880 mg of sodium, 23 gm of saturated fat, 12 gm of sugar and 1,030 calories. We also recommend making sure that your health insurance is still in effect if you really must try it.
32 In-N-Out Burger
In-N-Out Burger is a popular fast-food chain in the Western United States and is a favorite among the rich and famous. Of course, they serve up juicy hamburgers and crispy french fries but think twice before placing your order because they have plenty of not-so-great options for you.
They even have a secret menu that features their most unhealthy item, the IN-N-OUT 4×4 Burger. This monstrosity has four hamburger patties and four slices of cheese. At 1,050 calories and 70 grams of fat, your arteries will not be happy if you hunker down on this bad boy.
33 Del Taco
Mexican food enthusiasts flock to Del Taco for their authentic menu items. This fast-food chain offers everything from street tacos to nachos. Plus, they have delicious french fries on the menu, and who doesn’t love eating a taco with french fries?
For their worst item, in terms of calories and fat, you should not opt for the Epic Steak and Potato Burrito. It contains layers of carne asada, crinkle-cut fries, chipotle sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. The sodium count alone is 2,280 mg! Your heart rate probably went up just reading about this burrito!
34 Burger King’s Extreme Super One Pound Beef Burger
As everyone knows, the menus of the various fast food restaurants can vary from country to country. This specific item is only available in Japanese Burger King’s restaurants, but it still deserves its place in this list because it is absolutely incredible.
The Extreme Super One Pound Beef Burger is considered ‘A heart attack to go’ according to a Twitter user. It contains no bread, but it has more than a pound of meat, about 4 times more than a Whopper, giving it a weight of 1.12 pounds. The rest of the ingredients are quite similar to a normal hamburger. Still, it costs 1400 yen, or $13.50.
Popeye’s Chicken is another fast-food chain for chicken-lovers. They serve traditional fried chicken and all the yummy sides. They caused quite a stir with their Spicy Chicken sandwich. It may be worth all the hype, but it is not the best option if you’re hoping to eat healthily.
This gut-busting sandwich features a chicken breast marinated in Louisiana seasonings, buttermilk breading, barrel cured pickles, spice mayonnaise, all in a brioche bun. It may sound yummy, but it has 700 calories and 70 grams of fat. Yikes! You’d be better off ordering their loaded chicken wrap.
36 Papa John’s Pizza
Papa John’s Pizza is a beloved pizza chain that offers everything from specialty pizzas to chicken wings. It’s the best place to go to fulfill those pizza cravings, but not so good if you’re on a health kick. They offer a Garden Salad for the health-conscious diner, but their other menu items are not great options.
For example, Papa John’s large Meat-Lover’s pizza is loaded with calories. This pie features pepperoni, sausage, beef bacon, Canadian bacon, and is smothered with mozzarella cheese. One slice alone is a whopping 410 calories and contains 1130 mg of sodium. Avoid this pizza at all costs!
If you like chicken, then chances are, you love Zaxby’s. This southern fast-food chain offers everything from traditional chicken wings to their famous Chicken Fingerz. This is tailgating food at it’s finest, but don’t eat here if you’re watching your waistline. Although they offer salads on the menu, there are items you should avoid.
The 6 Piece Chicken Plate is their least healthy option. The meal includes 6 chicken fingers, crinkle-cut french fries, coleslaw, and a slice of Texas toast. It may sound mouth-watering, but this meal comes in at 1,920 calories! No, thank you!
Hardee’s is home to America’s unhealthiest burger. One for which health insurance should be a requirement. A hugely familiar brand across the country, Hardee’s (or Carl’s Jr. in some areas) is responsible for a burger that includes three cheese slices, four bacon strips and close to a pound of beef.
Eat one of these monstrosities and you’ll be consuming 35 gm of saturated fat, 1,690 mg of sodium and 1,240 calories. Yikes.
39 Panda Express
With brown rice available as a healthier option, you will even find vegetables in a Panda Express meal, although vegetarians have just one choice when it comes to entrees.
Nonetheless, salt levels are elevated and the corporation has been criticized for its high prices given the quality of its food.
Being an international food chain doesn’t guarantee excellence. The burgers at McDonald’s received the lowest ranking in terms of the quality and freshness of their ingredients in a recent survey.
While low on quality, they are immensely high in calories and there is now little doubt that the obesity epidemic in the US is due in part to the omnipresence of McDonald’s restaurants. Yes, the classic of classics on the fast-food market is actually bottom-of-the-scale stuff.
When you start craving a chicken sandwich, rule Chick-fil-A out! With high-fat, high-calorie and bad-tasting fries and salty, fatty sandwiches, go elsewhere to satisfy that craving.
Grilled nuggets are a slightly healthier choice at Chick-fil-A, as long as you don’t buy fries as a side and trade them with something else, which, good luck.
Did you know that according to a survey conducted by the U.S. government about the eating habits of its citizens, they have very bad nutritional habits, and that’s saying a lot.
- About 3 out of 4 Americans do not eat enough vegetables, fruits, dairy products and good fats every day.
- The majority of Americans eat too much of foods filled with sugar, saturated fats and salt.
- While more than half of the U.S. population consumes the right amount, if not slightly more than the recommended amount, of grains and protein, they do not follow the recommendations for subgroups of these food categories.
In fact, here are some other interesting facts about American eating habits that are rather disturbing:
- According to a 2012 study, 52% of Americans consider it easier to do their taxes than to understand how to eat healthy;
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American would consume nearly a ton of food, or 1,996 pounds, per year;
- A 2012 study showed that 7 out of 10 Americans do not believe that all sources of calories play an equal role in weight gain. Instead, they believe that carbs, sugar and fat are the only ones responsible;
- Americans consume 31% more packaged food than fresh food;
- More than 10 billion donuts are consumed each year in the United States;
- 10% of the disposable annual income of Americans is spent on fast food;
- The average American tends to eat better at the beginning of the day; with each hour that passes, the healthiness of the food consumed drops by 1.7%;
- 20% of all American meals are eaten in the car.
In other words—or numbers, more precisely:
- More than 80% of Americans do not eat enough vegetables;
- Nearly 80% of Americans do not eat enough fruit;
- More than 40% of Americans do not consume enough total grains;
- More than 80% of Americans do not consume enough dairy products;
- About 40% of Americans do not consume enough protein foods;
- Over 70% of Americans do not consume enough oil.
But, on the other hand:
- About 70% of Americans consume too much added sugars;
- About 70% of Americans consume too much saturated fats;
- About 90% of Americans consume too much sodium.
There’s something sincerely disturbing about these numbers, don’t you think? Especially when we know that good nutrition is the basis of optimal health, both physical and mental. These results are distressing, even worrying. With our various articles about food, you will be able to improve your diet for a healthier and more balanced life!