Burgers are often referred to as the all-American food. What started off as perhaps a slightly indulgent meal has progressed into monstrous menu choices. Over time, the once classic fast-food burger has evolved into huge portions ladled with fat as fast-food joints look to out-do one another.

As each new artery-clogging masterpiece arrives, generally not too far behind comes a new gastronomic creation to take its place as the reigning king of unhealthiest burgers. There are many pretty unhealthy options on today's fast-food menus, and here are some of the worst you can find in the industry.

8 of the Unhealthiest Fast Food Burgers

1. Wendy's Triple Baconator / Wendy's Double Baconator

The former Wendy's Triple Baconator had a whopping 1330 calories, 780 which were derived from fat. Total fat is 86 grams (132 percent! of daily recommended) and saturated fat is 38 grams (190 percent daily recommended). The cholesterol contained in the Triple Baconator is 115 percent daily recommended amount and sodium weighs in at 131 percent.

With astronomical fat and calorie levels, it is no surprise this burger should be listed in the worst fast-food burgers. Wendy's no longer lists this monstrosity on their menu by this name, but the "3/4 pounder" and "Double Baconator" are listed and, while each is slightly less in fat and calories, these two menu choices still pack a pretty bad punch in the unhealthy burger category. If you really want the monster-sized burger, in 2016, the “Hot ‘N Juicy Triple” is listed as an option with 1,090 calories, 1990 mg of sodium, 40 grams of carbs and 9 grams of sugar. [1]

Wendy's restaurant
Credit: Leigh Goessl

2. Burger King A1 Steakhouse XT Burger

Burger King's A1 Steakhouse XT Burger maybe wasn't king of the unhealthiest fast-food burgers, but would definitely qualify to be in the royal court.  This burger and fixings packed an enormous 970-80 calories, about about 55 grams of fat, 23 grams of saturated fat and 1,930 milligrams of sodium. While not as high as the Baconator, still a pretty unhealthy choice. (This one was discontinued a few years ago, but still deserves a mention as you never know when fast food restaurant chains will bring back menu items). 

3. Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger

One of the more appealing characteristics about Five Guys restaurants is they only sell fresh food, never frozen. The bright red/white décor in the shops with the numerous bags of fresh potatoes placed throughout the store as a part of the ambiance scream fresh fast food. This may give the impression that these choices are somehow better, but really some choices are not healthy despite the fresh factor.

While probably one of the tastiest chains in terms of fast-food, one burger on its menu ranks high on the unhealthy list. The Bacon Cheeseburger is made of two patties and contains 920 calories, 560 of those calories from fat. Fat is pretty high up there as well, containing 62 total grams of fat, while 29.5 of those grams are saturated fat. Cholesterol is listed at 180 milligrams, carbs at 40 grams, sugar at nine grams, and sodium is a high 1310 milligrams. [4]

Credit: Meditations via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain https://pixabay.com/en/abstract-barbeque-bbq-beauty-beef-1238246/

4. Checkers' Triple Buford

Another doozy of an option, Checkers' Triple Buford weighed in at 910 calories, 550 from fat. A massive 61 grams of fat, 27 saturated. Cholesterol isn't listed, however sodium is ranked pretty high at 1870 milligrams. (I think this one may have been discontinued as it appears to no longer be listed – but appears to have been replaced by the “Baconzilla” which packs about 800 calories and 50 grams of fat)and the "BBQ Bacon Buford" which comes with 890 calories and 55 grams of fat). [6]

5. Shake Shack's Shack Stack

The Shake Shack contains a varied menu, but if you want to keep the fat and calories down, don't eat their Double SmokeShack burger. This fat and calorie laden masterpiece contains 925 calories, 65 grams of fat (27 of those saturated), 171 milligrams of cholesterol and a whopping 2068 milligrams of sodium. [5]

6. McDonald's Angus Bacon & Cheese Burger

In the past McDonald's has had some pretty unhealthy options. While not as bad as some of its other fast-food counterparts, McDonald's Angus Burger packed 790 calories, 350 of which were from fat. Fat grams total 39 grams, 17 grams of those are saturated fat. The Golden Arches lists other nutritional value figures at 145 milligrams for cholesterol and an excessive 2070 milligrams for sodium. Currently, I don’t see this one on McDonald’s menu any longer, the highest calorie burger currently on the menu (October 2016) is the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, which lists 780 calories. [7]

Ronald McDonald
Credit: Vijayanarasimha via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain https://pixabay.com/en/mcdonald-figure-man-red-yellow-370465/

7, Dairy Queen FlameThrower GrillBurger

At 970 calories, the Dairy Queen FlameThrower 1/2 pound Grillburger is not exactly a healthy choice either. It packs 68 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbs, 9 grams of sugar and sodium levels clock in at 1,580  mg; the 1/4 pound version of this menu item is 720 calories. [8]

8. Sonic SuperSONIC Bacon Double Cheeseburger 

Sonic’s specialty monster burger, called the “Sonic SuperSONIC Bacon Double Cheeseburger", boasts 1,240 calories, 87 grams of fat and 1,690 mg of sodium. The burger itself weighs almost a pound (.87 grams).  [9] A few of its other burgers also clock in at more than 1,100 calories.

While fast-food burgers may be considered an easy and tasty quick meal on the run, in terms of health these are generally bad choices.  Especially if you get the meal deals which include fries and a soda.

Cheeseburger and fries
Credit: RobertoCardona via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain https://pixabay.com/en/burger-cheeseburger-french-fries-1156564/

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These popular burgers listed above are some of the worst in the industry, however, there is strong possibility other chains' choices are likely bad too. If you need to grab a drive-thru meal and you absolutely must have a burger, for a "less bad" option, choose one of the smaller options. Even a McDonalds' value menu McDouble packs about 400 calories, many of them fat laden, however, when compared to its unhealthy counterparts, it's probably the lesser of unhealthy evils.

Better yet, if you want to remain health conscious, avoid the fast food in general. However, if you do find yourself wanting or needing to stop at one for a quick bite, try to avoid the burgers and consider sticking to grilled chicken and healthy salad options; just remember to lay off the extras that add additional fat, sugar and calories to the meal because, in many instances, these additions make them just as bad as the burgers.

[ Related Reading: Reasons to Avoid Drinking Soda ]