Fast Food Restaurants & Nutrition Facts Compared
Fast food is bad food. That's pretty much common knowledge these days. The majority of the foods served at fast food restaurants contain an insane amount of calories, tons of fat (including the very evil trans fat), and are high in pretty much everything else that you'd want your food to be low in. Long story short, it's the kind of food you want to avoid eating.
But, you probably know this already. The funny thing is, most of the world doesn't seem to care. The fast food restaurants continue to do just fine because people continue to eat their unhealthy food. So I figured, if you are still going to eat this junk, you might as well at least know which is the best of the worst, and which is the worst of the worst.
To show this, I've compared the nutrition facts of the most popular foods from over 20 popular fast food restaurants to see how each restaurant's version of the same food stacks up against the others. If this isn't enough to convince you to eat less (or none) of this stuff, it will at least give you the information you need to make the better choice and avoid making the worst one. Enjoy...
*NOTE #1* The tables below are sortable. Clicking a category (calories, fat, trans fat, etc.) will sort the data in that column from lowest to highest. Clicking it again will sort it from highest to lowest.
*NOTE #2* Any questions you may have about anything you see in this fast food comparison is most likely answered at the bottom of this very page or in the "Notes" of each comparison. Be sure to check it out for clarifications on anything that may seem unclear.
French Fries (Large) Compared
|Fast Food Restaurant||Type||Serving Size
|Burger King||Salt Not Added||160||500||28||6||6||57||530|
|Jack In The Box||Natural Cut||236||640||33||8||10||77||1180|
|Jack In The Box||Seasoned Curly||170||550||31||6||10||60||1200|
- Best: Sonic (regular)
Sonic's basic french fries are my pick for the best of this comparison. It's not hard to see why either. Due to having the smallest serving size of all of the other fast food restaurants, their large fries ended up being the lowest in every single one of the compared nutrition facts. Not to mention, with 0 grams of trans fat, it was one of just two large french fries that contained 0 grams. The other? Another one from Sonic... this time their cheese fries.
- Worst: Dairy Queen (regular) & White Castle (regular)
It was hard to pick an official worst choice here, as there was a lot of trans fat being thrown around. In the end, I went with Dairy Queen's basic fries for being the highest in calories (seriously, 730 calorie fries? Yikes.) and sodium. White Castle's basic fries were also picked here not so much for calories (although at 700, it was right up there in second place) but because of it containing more trans fat (11 evil grams) than any of the others. Of all of the items being compared in this entire comparison, french fries are easily one of the worst all around trans fat offenders.
- Notes: For this comparison, I tried to use each fast food restaurant's "Large" french fries. In two cases however, there was no "large" version. So, I instead used whatever that restaurant's largest size was. For White Castle it was "Sack," and for Del Taco it was "Medium."
|Fast Food Restaurant||Type||Serving Size
|Carl's Jr||Big Hamburger||209||470||17||6||Unknown||54||1060|
|Dairy Queen||Homestyle Burger||140||350||14||7||0.5||33||400|
|Jack in the Box||Regular||118||310||14||6||1||30||600|
- Best: White Castle (regular) & Wendy's (Jr. Hamburger)
This one should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen a White Castle hamburger. They are tiny. And, when it comes to making the least-bad fast food choice, tiny = good. Due to the below average serving size, all but one of its nutrition facts were the lowest in this comparison. The one that wasn't? Trans fat. You'd think with a burger that size they would be able to pull off 0 trans fat per serving. Apparently not. Wendy's Jr. Hamburger on the other hand does pull it off, and combined with being the second lowest in nearly all of the other nutrition facts, they certainly end up as one of the better basic fast food hamburgers.
- Worst: Carl's Jr (Big Hamburger)
While the nutrition facts of each fast food restaurant's most basic hamburger were somewhat similar in some cases, the "Big Hamburger" from Carl's Jr is my pick for the worst in this comparison simply based on being the highest in calories and sodium.
- Notes: For this comparison I used each restaurant's most basic hamburger. If the restaurant did not have anything simply called "Hamburger," I went with their next most similar and comparable product instead. For Wendy's, I used their "Jr. Hamburger." For Carl's Jr, I used their "Big Hamburger." For Sonic I used their "Jr. Burger." And for Dairy Queen, I used their "Homestyle Burger."
|Fast Food Restaurant||Type||Serving Size
|McDonald's||Quarter Pounder (cheese)||198||510||26||12||1.5||40||1190|
|McDonald's||Double Quarter Pounder (cheese)||279||740||42||19||2.5||40||1380|
|McDonald's||Big N' Tasty||206||460||24||8||1.5||37||720|
|McDonald's||Big N' Tasty (cheese)||220||510||28||11||1.5||38||960|
|Burger King||Whopper (cheese)||315||760||47||16||1.5||52||1450|
|Burger King||Double Whopper||373||900||57||19||2||51||1090|
|Burger King||Double Whopper (cheese)||398||990||64||24||2.5||52||1520|
|Burger King||Triple Whopper||456||1130||74||27||3||51||1160|
|Burger King||Triple Whopper (cheese)||480||1230||82||32||3.5||52||1590|
|Burger King||Whopper Jr.||158||370||21||6||0.5||31||570|
|Burger King||Whopper Jr. (cheese)||170||410||24||8||1||32||780|
|Burger King||Double Hamburger||164||410||21||9||1||30||600|
|Burger King||Double Stacker||190||610||39||16||1.5||32||1100|
|Burger King||Triple Stacker||250||800||54||23||2||33||1450|
|Burger King||Quad Stacker||311||1000||68||30||3||34||1800|
|Burger King||Double Cheeseburger||189||500||29||14||1.5||31||1030|
|Hardee's||Mushroom N' Swiss Thickburger||276||720||42||21||Unknown||48||1570|
|Hardee's||Bacon Cheese Thickburger||334||910||64||24||Unknown||50||1550|
|Hardee's||Low Carb Thickburger||245||420||32||12||Unknown||5||1010|
|Hardee's||Six Dollar Burger||412||1060||73||28||Unknown||58||1950|
|Hardee's||Grilled Sourdough Thickburger||381||1030||77||28||Unknown||42||1910|
|Hardee's||Double Bacon Cheese Thickburger||463||1300||97||38||Unknown||50||2200|
|A&W||Bacon Double Cheeseburger||303||800||48||17||4||47||1610|
|Jack in the Box||Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger||338||1090||77||30||3||53||2040|
|Jack in the Box||Bacon n' Cheese Ciabatta Burger||395||1120||76||28||3||66||1670|
|Jack in the Box||Jumbo Jack||261||600||35||12||1.5||51||940|
|Jack in the Box||Jumbo Jack (cheese)||286||690||42||16||1.5||54||1310|
|Jack in the Box||Junior Bacon Cheeseburger||131||430||25||9||1||30||820|
|Jack in the Box||Single Bacon n' Cheese Ciabatta Burger||308||870||54||18||1.5||66||1550|
|Jack in the Box||Sirloin Cheeseburger||421||1070||71||25||1.5||61||1850|
|Jack in the Box||Sirloin Bacon n' Cheese Burger||422||1120||73||24||2.5||63||2620|
|Jack in the Box||Sourdough Jack||245||710||51||18||3||36||1230|
|Jack in the Box||Sourdough Ultimate Cheeseburger||291||950||73||29||4.5||36||1360|
|Jack in the Box||Ultimate Cheeseburger||323||1010||71||28||3||53||1580|
|White Castle||Bacon Cheeseburger||71||200||11||5||1||15||480|
|White Castle||Double White Castle||104||250||13||5||1||22||340|
|White Castle||Double Cheeseburger||118||300||17||8||1.5||23||590|
|White Castle||Double Jalapeno Cheeseburger||122||320||19||9||1.5||23||680|
|White Castle||Double Bacon Cheeseburger||130||370||22||10||1.5||23||880|
|Sonic||SuperSonic Cheeseburger (mayo)||343||980||64||24||2.5||58||1430|
|Sonic||Sonic Burger (mayo)||248||650||37||10||1||55||720|
|Sonic||Sonic Cheeseburger (mayo)||266||720||42||14||1.5||56||1040|
|Sonic||SuperSonic Jalapeno Cheeseburger||313||890||53||22||2.5||56||1600|
|Sonic||Thousand Island Cheeseburger||266||680||38||13||1.5||58||1130|
|Sonic||Green Chili Cheeseburger||287||630||31||12||1.5||56||1070|
|Sonic||Jr. Double Cheeseburger||190||570||35||16||1.5||33||1290|
|Dairy Queen||Homestyle Double Cheeseburger||226||640||34||18||1||34||950|
|Dairy Queen||Homestyle Bacon Double Cheeseburger||245||730||41||21||1||35||1270|
|Dairy Queen||Ultimate Burger||259||780||48||22||1.5||33||1110|
|Dairy Queen||1/4 lb FlameThrower GrillBurger||245||780||54||14||3||41||1490|
|Dairy Queen||1/2 lb FlameThrower GrillBurger||344||1030||73||23||4||41||2020|
|Dairy Queen||Classic GrillBurger||212||470||23||7||2.5||42||1020|
|Dairy Queen||Classic GrillBurger (cheese)||231||560||30||11||2.5||42||1160|
|Dairy Queen||1/2 lb GrillBurger||297||670||37||12||3.5||42||1310|
|Dairy Queen||1/2 lb GrillBurger (cheese)||330||820||49||19||3.5||47||1510|
|Dairy Queen||Bacon Cheddar GrillBurger||229||650||37||13||2.5||41||1480|
|Dairy Queen||Mushroom Swiss GrillBurger||210||630||40||11||3||39||950|
|Carl's Jr.||Six Dollar Burger||430||1010||68||27||Unknown||60||1980|
|Carl's Jr.||Western Bacon Six Dollar Burger||382||1130||66||28||Unknown||83||2540|
|Carl's Jr.||Bacon Cheese Six Dollar Burger||409||1070||76||30||Unknown||50||1910|
|Carl's Jr.||Double Six Dollar Burger||602||1520||111||47||Unknown||60||2760|
|Carl's Jr.||Low Carb Six Dollar Burger||267||490||37||15||Unknown||6||1290|
|Carl's Jr.||Famous Star (cheese)||278||660||39||12||Unknown||53||1260|
|Carl's Jr.||Super Star (cheese)||385||930||59||21||Unknown||54||1600|
|Carl's Jr.||Philly Cheesesteak Burger||297||830||55||17||Unknown||52||1510|
|Carl's Jr.||Western Bacon Cheeseburger||241||710||33||12||Unknown||70||1480|
|Carl's Jr.||Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger||323||970||52||21||Unknown||71||1820|
|Carl's Jr.||Jalapeno Burger||286||720||45||8||Unknown||50||1320|
|Del Taco||Double Del Cheeseburger||202||560||35||12||Unknown||35||960|
|Del Taco||Bacon Double Del Cheeseburger||212||610||39||14||Unknown||35||1130|
- Best: Burger King (Whopper Jr.) & White Castle (Bacon Cheeseburger)
Just like in the "basic" hamburger comparison, White Castle ends up looking like one of the better "advanced" hamburgers due to being relatively small compared to other fast food restaurant's versions. And, this translates into it being the lowest in most of the nutrition facts shown. Burger King's Whopper Jr. on the other hand is my other pick for a couple of reasons, the first obviously being that it contains the least trans fat out of all of the other similar items compared. Also, at just 370 calories, 6 grams of saturated fat, and 570mg of sodium, it also ranks as one of the lowest in many of the other important areas.
- Worst: Carl's Jr. (Double Six Dollar Burger) & Too Many Others
Are you ready for this one? The Double Six Dollar Burger from Carl's Jr. contains an insane 1520 calories. That's not a typo. One sandwich contains more calories than some smaller females need... PER DAY. The 111 grams of fat isn't a typo either. That's more fat in one sandwich than most average sized men need per day. Carl's Jr. unfortunately does not provide the trans fat content of their foods, as I for one would have loved to have seen that number as well. Too bad. I wanted to make a second "worst" pick, but there was just too many to choose from. Obviously anything with any trans fat could make it, as well as the items with a ton of saturated fat. And calories... ha! For starters, how about anything with over 700 calories? Or 800? Or maybe 900? How about the nearly 20 items with over 1000 calories? Yikes.
- Notes: For this comparison I used each fast food restaurant's more "advanced" sandwiches/hamburgers. The previous comparison used only the most basic and simple hamburger (1 patty, nothing fancy). This comparison basically compares all of the other hamburger type items that exist. As you can tell, there were a lot of them.
Chicken (Individual Pieces) Compared
|Fast Food Restaurant||Type||Serving Size
|McDonald's||Chicken McNuggets (6pc)||96||250||15||3||1.5||15||670|
|McDonald's||Chicken Selects Premium Strips (5pc)||221||630||33||6||4.5||46||1550|
|Burger King||Chicken Tenders (6pc)||92||250||15||3.5||2.5||16||720|
|Burger King||Chicken Fries (6pc)||85||260||15||3.5||3||18||650|
|Wendy's||Chicken Nuggets (5pc)||Unknown||230||15||3||0||12||520|
|Arby's||Chicken Tenders (5pc)||218||630||31||5||0||47||1977|
|Arby's||Popcorn Chicken (large)||184||531||26||6||1||39||1666|
|Hardee's||Chicken Strips (5pc)||241||630||34||6||Unknown||45||2260|
|Dairy Queen||Chicken Strip Basket (6pc)||531||1270||67||11||12||121||2910|
|KFC||Popcorn Chicken (large)||160||550||35||6||0||30||1600|
|Carl's Jr.||Chicken Breast Strips (5pc)||215||710||41||6||Unknown||46||2020|
|White Castle||Chicken Rings (6pc)||110||340||23||4.5||4||15||670|
- Best: Wendy's Chicken Nuggets (5pc)
This one was as easy to pick as can be. The 5 piece chicken nuggets from Wendy's are, as far as fast food goes, fantastic! From its 0 grams of trans fat, to its only 230 calories, these chicken nuggets have it all. The significantly less saturated fat and sodium are great, too. Nice job, Wendy's.
- Worst: Dairy Queen Chicken Strip Basket (6pc)
And I thought picking the best item in this comparison was easy. HA! The worst was actually ten times easier. Dairy Queen has somehow managed to turn a 6 piece order of chicken strips into a 1270 calorie meal, more than 1000 calories higher than this category's "best" pick. They then top it off with 12 evil grams of trans fat, and 2910mg of sodium. I do realize that their serving size is larger than that of the other items, but it doesn't change the fact that people can walk into a Dairy Queen and walk out with this craziness as their 6 piece order of chicken strips.
- Notes: For this comparison I used each fast food restaurant's version of individual pieces of chicken. This includes nuggets, tenders, rings, popcorn, strips and basically any chicken item that wasn't a sandwich or an actual part of the chicken (such as a whole breast). I also wanted to keep the serving sizes as similar as possible, so I limited this to 5-6 piece items, or, when no amount was given, a "large." Some restaurants only had 2-4 piece items. These items were therefore not included in the above comparison.
Chicken Sandwiches Compared
|Fast Food Restaurant||Type||Serving Size
|McDonald's||Premium Grilled Chicken Classic||226||420||10||2||0||51||1190|
|McDonald's||Premium Crispy Chicken Classic||229||500||17||3.5||1.5||61||1330|
|McDonald's||Premium Grilled Chicken Club||260||570||21||7||0||52||1720|
|McDonald's||Premium Crispy Chicken Club||263||660||28||8||1.5||63||1860|
|Burger King||TENDERGRILL (with mayo)||258||510||19||3.5||0.5||49||1180|
|Burger King||Chick'n Crisp (with mayo)||144||480||31||5||2||36||870|
|Wendy's||Ultimate Chicken Grill||Unknown||320||7||1.5||0||36||950|
|Wendy's||Spicy Chicken Fillet||Unknown||440||16||2.5||0||46||1320|
|Wendy's||Homestyle Chicken Fillet||Unknown||430||16||2.5||0||48||1140|
|Hardee's||Low Carb Charbroiled Club||250||370||21||7||Unknown||10||1170|
|Jack In The Box||Regular||145||400||21||4.5||2.5||38||730|
|Jack In The Box||Jack's Spicy||270||620||31||6||3||61||1100|
|Jack In The Box||Sourdough Grilled||266||530||28||7||2||34||1430|
|White Castle||Breast (with cheese)||82||200||8||2.5||1.5||21||720|
|KFC||Honey BBQ Snacker||101||210||3||0.5||0||32||530|
|KFC||Oven Roasted Twister||269||420||17||4||0||40||1250|
|Carl's Jr.||Charbroiled BBQ||239||360||4.5||1||Unknown||48||1150|
|Carl's Jr.||Charbroiled Club||264||550||25||7||Unknown||43||1410|
|Carl's Jr.||Charbroiled Santa Fe||264||610||32||8||Unknown||43||1540|
|Boston Market||Boston Carver||321||700||29||7||0||68||1560|
|Boston Market||Half Boston Carver||199||340||15||4||0||29||710|
|Chick-Fil-A||Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich||193||270||3.5||1||0||33||940|
|Chick-Fil-A||Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich||221||380||11||5||0||33||1240|
|Chick-Fil-A||Chicken Salad Sandwich||153||350||15||3||0||32||880|
- Best: KFC (Honey BBQ Snacker)
Another very easy pick for me. KFC's Honey BBQ Snacker wins this comparison hands down. The 0 grams of trans fat and only 210 calories combined with it being the lowest in most of the other nutrition facts makes it easily the best fast food chicken sandwich around. Great job, KFC.
- Worst: Hardee's (Big Fillet) & Burger King (TENDERCRISP)
This was actually a harder one to decide on. In the end though, I had to go with Hardee's Big Fillet because, at 800 calories (highest in the comparison) and 1890mg of sodium (highest again) it towers over most of the other items compared by being literally 2-4 times as high. Hardee's did not provide the trans fat content of their food, but something tells me it would be up there as well. Burger King on the other hand did provide trans fat content, and its TENDERCRISP sandwich contains 4 grams of it. Add that to the fact that it's second highest in pretty much all of the other nutrition facts, and you have your second pick for worst chicken sandwich.
- Notes: This comparison includes pretty much every single fast food chicken-related sandwich there is.
Onion Rings Compared
|Fast Food Restaurant||Serving Size
|Burger King (King Size)||150||500||25||5||4.5||62||720|
|Jack In The Box||119||500||30||6||10||51||420|
|White Castle (Sack)||178||410||20||5||7||53||400|
|White Castle (Homestyle, Sack)||178||790||44||8||30||91||860|
|Dairy Queen (Large)||142||590||37||7||9||56||930|
- Best: A&W, Sonic (Large), or really... NONE.
My real pick for best onion rings is none of the above. But, since I am forced to give a pick, I'd have to go with either A&W or Sonic's large order. The nutrition facts of A&W's onion rings look really good until you make your way over to trans fat. 4.5 grams is the opposite of really good. Then you have Sonic's version, which is the lowest in trans fat (0.5 grams) which is great. Not so great though is its 640 calories (second highest). I guess if I really had to make a decision here, the real "best" pick is half an order of Sonic's large onion rings.
- Worst: White Castle (Homestyle, Sack)
Hmmm, I wonder which onion rings will be the "worst" pick? Oh, I know. How about the reigning and defending champion of my 88 Fast Food Items Highest In Trans Fat list, White Castle's Homestyle sack of trans-fat-rings. 30 insane grams. Is there really any reason to even mention the 790 calories after that? Nope. We can just end it right here.
- Notes: For this comparison, I used each fast food restaurant's largest available size of onion rings.
Breakfast Sandwiches/Biscuits/Croissants/Wraps Compared
|Fast Food Restaurant||Type||Serving Size
|McDonald's||Sausage McMuffin (egg)||164||450||27||10||0||30||920|
|McDonald's||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit (regular)||144||450||25||11||0||36||1360|
|McDonald's||Sausage Biscuit (egg, regular)||159||500||32||12||0||35||1130|
|McDonald's||Sausage Biscuit (regular)||113||410||27||10||0||33||1040|
|McDonald's||Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddles||173||460||21||9||0||48||1360|
|McDonald's||Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles||202||560||32||12||0||48||1360|
|Burger King||Croissan'wich Egg & Cheese||115||300||17||6||2||26||740|
|Burger King||Croissan'wich Sausage & Cheese||106||370||25||9||2||23||810|
|Burger King||Croissan'wich Sausage, Egg & Cheese||159||470||32||11||2.5||26||1060|
|Burger King||Croissan'wich Ham, Egg & Cheese||149||340||18||6||2||26||1230|
|Burger King||Croissan'wich Bacon, Egg & Cheese||122||340||20||7||2||26||890|
|Burger King||Double Croissan'wich Sausage, Egg & Cheese||215||680||51||18||3||26||1590|
|Burger King||Double Croissan'wich Bacon, Egg & Cheese||142||430||27||10||2||27||1250|
|Burger King||Double Croissan'wich Ham, Egg & Cheese||196||420||23||9||2||27||2210|
|Burger King||Double Croissan'wich Sausage, Bacon, Egg & Cheese||179||550||39||14||2.5||27||1420|
|Burger King||Double Croissan'wich Ham, Bacon, Egg & Cheese||169||420||24||9||2||27||1600|
|Burger King||Double Croissan'wich Ham, Sausage, Egg & Cheese||206||550||37||14||2.5||27||2040|
|Burger King||Enormous Omelet Sandwich||266||730||45||16||1||44||1940|
|Burger King||Ham Omelet Sandwich||139||330||14||5||0||35||1130|
|Burger King||Sausage Biscuit||118||390||26||8||5||28||1020|
|Burger King||Ham, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||156||390||22||7||5||31||1410|
|Burger King||Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||183||530||37||12||6||31||1490|
|Burger King||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||146||410||25||8||5||31||1320|
|Hardee's||Country Ham Biscuit||144||440||26||6||Unknown||36||1710|
|Hardee's||Breaded Chicken Fillet Biscuit||226||600||34||7||Unknown||50||1680|
|Hardee's||Breaded Country Steak Biscuit||180||620||41||11||Unknown||44||1360|
|Hardee's||Breaded Pork Chop Biscuit||222||690||42||8||Unknown||48||1330|
|Hardee's||Sausage & Egg Biscuit||185||610||44||11||Unknown||36||1290|
|Hardee's||Country Steak & Egg Biscuit||223||690||47||11||Unknown||44||1800|
|Hardee's||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||174||560||38||11||Unknown||37||1360|
|Hardee's||Ham, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||220||560||35||10||Unknown||37||1800|
|Hardee's||Loaded Omelet Biscuit||198||640||44||14||Unknown||37||1510|
|Hardee's||Sunrise Croissant (Ham)||164||430||26||10||Unknown||28||1050|
|Hardee's||Sunrise Croissant (Bacon)||138||450||29||12||Unknown||28||900|
|Hardee's||Sunrise Croissant (Sausage)||161||550||38||15||Unknown||29||1030|
|Hardee's||Frisco Breakfast Sandwich||185||420||20||7||Unknown||37||1340|
|Hardee's||Loaded Breakfast Burrito||258||780||51||20||Unknown||38||1620|
|Arby's||Bacon & Egg Croissant||120||337||22||10||0||23||651|
|Arby's||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||158||461||28||8||0||30||1446|
|Arby's||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Croissant||133||378||22||10||0||23||850|
|Arby's||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sourdough||173||437||16||5||0||40||1220|
|Arby's||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Wrap||193||515||29||8||0.5||50||1367|
|Arby's||Egg & Cheese Sourdough||164||392||12||3||0||40||1058|
|Arby's||Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||185||557||38||11||0||30||1579|
|Arby's||Sausage, Egg & Cheese Sourdough||191||514||27||8||0||40||1232|
|Arby's||Ham & Cheese Croissant||113||274||12||7||0||22||842|
|Arby's||Ham, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||188||437||23||6||0||31||1658|
|Arby's||Ham, Egg & Cheese Croissant||213||434||24||10||0||25||1282|
|Arby's||Ham, Egg & Cheese Sourdough||296||679||35||11||0||42||2104|
|Arby's||Ham, Egg & Cheese Wrap||242||568||31||10||1||51||1929|
|Arby's||Sausage & Egg Croissant||147||433||32||13||0||23||784|
|Arby's||Sausage Gravy Biscuit||238||961||68||14||0||107||3755|
|Arby's||Sausage, Egg & Cheese Croissant||160||475||32||13||0||23||982|
|Arby's||Sausage, Egg & Cheese Wrap||239||689||45||15||1||50||1849|
|Jack In The Box||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||149||430||25||8||5||34||1100|
|Jack In The Box||Bacon Breakfast Jack||113||300||14||5||0.5||29||730|
|Jack In The Box||Breakfast Jack||125||290||12||4.5||0||29||760|
|Jack In The Box||Chicken Biscuit||154||450||24||6||6||42||980|
|Jack In The Box||Ciabatta Breakfast Sandwich||278||710||36||10||1||63||1730|
|Jack In The Box||Extreme Sausage Sandwich||213||670||48||17||1.5||31||1300|
|Jack In The Box||Meaty Breakfast Burrito||183||480||29||10||1||29||1210|
|Jack In The Box||Sausage Biscuit||131||440||29||8||5||32||870|
|Jack In The Box||Sausage Breakfast Jack||154||450||28||10||1||29||840|
|Jack In The Box||Sausage Croissant||174||580||39||13||4||37||770|
|Jack In The Box||Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||234||740||55||17||6||35||1430|
|Jack In The Box||Sirloin Steak & Egg Burrito||289||790||48||15||3.5||52||1320|
|Jack In The Box||Spicy Chicken Biscuit||169||460||22||5||7||44||1020|
|Jack In The Box||Supreme Croissant||151||450||25||9||3.5||36||860|
|Jack In The Box||Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich||249||570||27||10||1||49||1700|
|Sonic||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Bistro||162||510||30||10||0.5||37||1060|
|Sonic||Ham, Egg & Cheese Bistro||181||460||24||7||0.5||36||1320|
|Sonic||Sausage, Egg & Cheese Bistro||189||590||40||13||1||37||1000|
|Sonic||Sausage, Egg & Cheese Toaster||194||620||42||13||1||40||1380|
|Sonic||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Toaster||167||530||32||10||0.5||40||1440|
|Sonic||Ham, Egg & Cheese Toaster||186||490||26||8||0.5||40||1700|
|Sonic||Sausage, Egg & Cheese Burrito||167||470||30||11||1||38||1140|
|Sonic||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Burrito||157||450||26||10||0.5||38||1240|
|Sonic||Ham, Egg & Cheese Burrito||183||440||23||9||0.5||37||1630|
|Sonic||SuperSonic Breakfast Burrito||216||550||34||12||1.5||47||1340|
|Subway||Chipotle Steak & Cheese Sandwich||259||580||31||11||0.5||48||1400|
|Subway||Double Bacon & Cheese Sandwich||185||500||25||11||0.5||44||1310|
|Subway||Honey Mustard Ham & Cheese Sandwich||216||460||19||8||0||51||1430|
|Subway||Western Sandwich (cheese)||207||440||18||8||0||45||1320|
|Subway||Chipotle Steak & Cheese Wrap||251||570||33||11||0.5||41||1510|
|Subway||Double Bacon & Cheese Wrap||177||480||27||11||0||38||1420|
|Subway||Honey Mustard Ham & Cheese Wrap||208||450||21||8||0||45||1540|
|Subway||Western Wrap (cheese)||199||420||20||8||0||39||1430|
|Carl's Jr.||Breakfast Burger||309||830||47||15||Unknown||65||1580|
|Carl's Jr.||Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich||193||460||21||9||Unknown||39||1050|
|Carl's Jr.||Sunrise Croissant||172||560||41||15||Unknown||27||970|
|Carl's Jr.||Bacon & Egg Burrito||208||570||33||11||Unknown||37||990|
|Carl's Jr.||Loaded Breakfast Burrito||328||820||51||16||Unknown||52||1530|
|Carl's Jr.||Steak & Egg Burrito||322||660||36||13||Unknown||44||1690|
|Chick-Fil-A||Chicken, Egg & Cheese (sunflower multi-grain bagel)||215||500||20||7||0||49||1260|
|Chick-Fil-A||Hot Buttered Biscuit||79||270||12||3||3||38||660|
|Chick-Fil-A||Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||163||470||26||9||3||39||1190|
|Chick-Fil-A||Sausage & Egg Biscuit||198||570||37||11||3||39||1130|
|Chick-Fil-A||Biscuit (with gravy)||192||330||15||4||4||43||950|
- Best: McDonald's Biscuit (regular)
This was a tough one, as there were a few good choices. In the end though I have to go with the regular Biscuit from McDonald's based on it being the lowest in calories and among the lowest in all of the other nutrition facts (including 0 grams of trans fat). Really though, any of the breakfast items with 350 or less calories and 0 grams of trans fat could be tied for second best.
- Worst: Arby's Sausage Gravy Biscuit & Jack In The Box Spicy Chicken Biscuit
Arby's Sausage Gravy Biscuit ends up as one of the worst breakfast items based mostly on two of its nutrition facts. First up is its 961 calories which are 250 calories higher than the item that is second highest in calories, and 700 more than this category's "best" pick. As if that wasn't enough, take a look at its 3755mg of sodium... literally 3000mg more than many of the other similar breakfast items. Jack In The Box's Spicy Chicken Biscuit also makes the cut due to its 7 grams of trans fat (highest in the comparison).
- Notes: For this comparison I went with pretty much every single sandwich-type breakfast item there was, and there were a TON of them.
Mozzarella Sticks Compared
|Fast Food Restaurant||Type||Serving Size
|Arby's||4 pc (Regular)||137||426||28||13||1||38||1370|
|Arby's||8 pc (Large)||273||849||56||26||2||75||2730|
|Jack In The Box||3 pc||71||240||12||5||2||21||420|
|Jack In The Box||6 pc||138||483||27||11||4||39||1018|
|White Castle||3 pc||79.2||250||14||6||2||22||750|
|White Castle||5 pc||132||420||23||10||3||37||1240|
|White Castle||10 pc||264||820||46||20||6||73||2490|
- Best: Sonic
This was pretty tough, but in the end I had to go with lack of trans fat over lack of calories. Sonic's mozzarella sticks contain 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving and in this comparison, that's as good as it's going to get.
- Worst: Arby's 8 pc (Large) & White Castle 10 pc
A large (8 piece) order of mozzarella sticks from Arby's packs a pretty insane 849 calories, 26 grams of saturated fat and 2730mg of sodium. Let's also not forget the 2 grams of trans fat. Pretty crazy for just an appetizer. White Castle's 10 piece version is a close second in all of those nutrition facts except one, trans fat, where it ranks the highest with 6 grams.
- Notes: For this comparison, since there were so few fast food restaurants offering mozzarella sticks, I decided to compare all of the available sizes from the restaurants that did sell them rather than just one specific size.
Breadsticks, Cheesy Bread, Cheese Breadsticks Compared
|Fast Food Restaurant||Type||Serving Size||Calories||Total Fat
|Pizza Hut||Breadsticks||1 pc||150||6||1||0||20||230|
|Pizza Hut||Cheese Breadsticks||1 pc||200||10||3||0||21||370|
|Domino's Pizza||Breadsticks||1 pc||130||7||1.5||0||14||90|
|Domino's Pizza||Cheesy Bread||1 pc||140||7||2.3||0||14||140|
|Little Caesars||Crazy Bread||1 pc||100||3||0.5||0||15||150|
|Little Caesars||Italian Cheese Bread||1 pc||130||7||2.5||0||13||230|
|Little Caesars||Pepperoni Cheese Bread||1 pc||150||8||3||0||13||280|
|Papa John's||Breadsticks||1 pc||140||2||0||0||26||260|
|Papa John's||Cheesesticks||2 pc||370||16||4.5||0||42||830|
- Best: Little Caesars (Crazy Bread)
This was another hard one to pick a "best" for because the nutrition facts do not differ that much among the foods. In a case like this, I'd have to go with the food lowest in calories. In this comparison that title goes to Little Caesars Crazy Bread with 100 calories per piece. However, with all of the items compared above containing 0 grams of trans fat, no real significant amount of saturated fat (at least by fast food standards) and being somewhat close in calories, they pretty much all qualify as being this comparison's "best."
- Worst: Papa John's (Cheesesticks)
This one is kind of silly. I have no idea why Papa John's Cheesesticks are the only item with a serving size of 2 pieces (the others were all 1 piece) but since I'm making my best/worst picks based on the nutrition facts per serving, I guess I kind of have to go with these. The obvious reason why is that with double the serving, you're eating double the calories, fat, sodium, and other nutrients. Like I said, silly.
- Notes: For this comparison I used each fast food restaurant's version a bread stick, with and/or without cheese. Papa John's "Cheesesticks" were the only item whose serving size wasn't 1 piece (it was 2 pieces) and while that kind of throws things off a bit in this comparison, I included it anyway. Another thing to keep in mind about the serving sizes is that all of these items come in orders ranging from 7-10 pieces. So, if you're eating the whole order, you're eating the above nutrition facts multiplied by 7-10.
"14 Inch Large Cheese Pizza" Compared (1 slice, no toppings)
|Fast Food Restaurant||Type||Serving Size
|Pizza Hut||14" Large Pan Pizza||146||390||19||7||0||38||800|
|Domino's Pizza||14" Classic Hand-Tossed||121||290||9||3.5||0||42||470|
|Papa John's||14" Original Crust Pizza||132||300||11||3.5||0||39||750|
|Little Caesars||14" Round HOT-N-READY Pizza||94||200||7||3.5||0||25||340|
- Best: Little Caesars (14" Round HOT-N-READY Pizza)
Little Caesars looks like the winner of this one based mostly on its smaller serving size and therefore lower nutrition facts. Honorable mentions to all of the fast food pizza restaurants compared for containing 0 grams of trans fat.
- Worst: Pizza Hut (14" Large Pan Pizza)
With the largest serving size of them all, Pizza Hut appears to be the worst in this comparison, as it is the highest in all of the most important nutrition facts (calories, saturated fat, sodium). However I will add that when you compare any of these items with any of the other items already compared above, pizza really isn't even in the same league.
- Notes: For this comparison I used each pizza restaurant's most basic 14 inch cheese pizza.
Fast Food Comparison FAQ
Just in case anything in the above comparison was a little unclear, here is a quick Q&A that will hopefully clear it all up and answer any questions you may have had.
How many calories should a person eat per day? How much fat? How much saturated fat? How much trans fat? How much sodium?
- Calories: It depends. But, here's how to figure it out...
Daily calorie intake recommendations depend on many factors. Age, height, weight, gender, metabolism and of course, goals. For example, are you trying to lose weight, gain weight, or just maintain your current weight? Luckily though I have already put something together for occasions just like this. So, for all of your calorie and weight related questions, check out the Guide To Calories And Weight Control. It will explain everything.
- Fat: 20%-30% of your total calorie intake.
Recommendations for daily fat intake typically fall in the range of 20%-30% of your total calorie intake. So, if an example person eats 2000 calories per day, 20-30 percent of that would be 400-600 calories. And, since 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories, this works out to be about 44-66 grams of fat per day for this example person. Of course, most of this fat should be coming from healthy sources (like nuts, fish, and olive oil for example) rather than junky sources (like fast food, for example).
- Saturated Fat: Maximum of 7% of total calorie intake.
Besides the above amount, another recommendation I've heard for daily saturated fat intake is a maximum of 1/3 of your total fat intake. They both actually end up fairly close to each other. Either way, the answer ends up translating into "not much at all." Saturated fat may not be quite as terrible as trans fat, but it's a not-too-distant second. Speaking of which...
- Trans Fat: 0 grams per day.
As I already mentioned in the Fast Food Items Highest In Trans Fat article, The American Heart Association recommends a MAXIMUM of no more than 2 grams of trans fat per day. They then go on to say that there is enough naturally occurring trans fats in some meat and dairy products that most people already reach this maximum 2 grams without the additional consumption of the industrially manufactured trans fats contained in the foods mentioned in the above comparison. So, when you take this intake account (and realize 2 grams is the MAX amount, not recommended average amount) you should really be eating 0 grams of trans fat per day.
- Sodium: 2500mg maximum per day.
Recommendations for sodium intake are usually in the range of 1000mg - 3000mg per day, with 2500mg being a fairly common maximum recommendation for the average healthy adult.
- What this all means...
Basically, you could walk into one of the fast food restaurants mentioned above, make a very normal, very typical fast food order, and easily leave having met or greatly exceeded every single daily total recommendation in just one single meal. And also bare in mind that the nutritional recommendations you'd be exceeding aren't for something like Vitamin C. They're for ALL of the really bad, really unhealthy things.
What's the deal with carbs? Were they listed above because they are as bad as the other nutrients?
The only reason carbs were one of the included nutrition facts for this comparison is that people are so obsessed with them that I knew I had to include them just to avoid getting emails from people requesting that carbs be added. It was sort of an email-prevention-method on my part. Here's the thing, carbs are not bad. Generally speaking, there's really just two things you should know. Some carbs are pretty junky (simple carbs like sugar and processed foods) and should be limited, while others (complex carbs like whole grains, oatmeal, brown rice and white rice, beans, fruits, vegetables, etc.) are perfectly fine and should comprise most (if not all) of your carb intake. That's it. End the carb insanity.
Why did you decide to only compare these specific fast food items? Are you taking suggestions for others?
You bet I am! The types of foods compared (fries, hamburgers, breakfast sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, etc.) were all picked because they were the first bunch of fast food items that popped into my head when I was coming up with what to compare. They are, to me at least, the most popular stuff. However, I am aware that I may have neglected to compare other really popular foods. So, if you happen to know of a similar type of food that is sold at 2 or more fast food restaurants and would like to see it all compared side-by-side like the above items were, just leave a comment and suggest it. I won't make any promises, but I will try to get it done and added to this page as soon as I can.
When did you put this thing together and when was it last updated? Is the nutrition info current?
This whole thing was put together in November 2007. At that time, all of the nutrition facts used (calories, fat, etc.) were completely up to date and accurate. Whether or not everything is still completely up to date and accurate is tough to say, as this took forever to create and would take forever to recheck. Lately, I do most of my writing over at A Calorie Counter's sister site, A Workout Routine.
If I had to guess though, I'd say the only real differences I could see having been made since November 2007 would probably be trans fat related (as it was beginning to be banned around that time). But stuff like calories, saturated fat and sodium probably haven't changed much, if at all, and I don't really see them changing much in the future either. A 1500 calorie burger won't suddenly become a 500 calorie burger any time soon.
However, to ensure that the nutritional information you see is still 100% accurate and up to date, I'd recommend checking out the web site of each fast food restaurant.
I found this comparison useful. Do you have any other similar fast food content on this site?
You bet I do. This comparison is actually part of a series of really big fast food articles I have put together. Feel free to check them out: Fast Food Items Highest In Calories and Fast Food Items Highest In Trans Fat.
Where did you get the nutritional content of all of these foods from?
All of the nutrition data used in this comparison came directly from the official web site of each fast food restaurant.