Do you love hamburgers, but they don’t necessarily love you back? For many dieters, the most torturous part of the program is staying away from the thick, meaty, juicy goodness of the all-American hamburger. (OK, let me take a moment to breathe….lol)
But thanks to Shine.com via Hungry-Girl.com, we’ve been able to find some burgers that won’t do AS MUCH damage to your waistline. And not the lettuce-wrapped soy patties, either; we’re talking about “real” burgers with all-beef patties on bread buns!
Hungry Girl looked at nutritional information for 15 popular restaurants chains that serve burgers and compiled a list of the best and worst picks.
Wendy’s Jr. Cheeseburger
PER SERVING (1 cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onion): 270 calories, 11g fat, 690mg sodium, 26g carbs, 1g fiber, 6g sugars, 15g protein
Think a real cheeseburger is totally off limits? Not if you go for this pick. It’s not the largest cheeseburger on the block, but it’s sure to kick your craving to the curb. And for under 300 calories, this burger is totally guilt-free. Way to go, Wendy’s!
Burger King’s Whopper Jr.
PER SERVING (1 burger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, mayo, and ketchup): 340 calories, 19g fat, 510mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 6g sugars, 14g protein
This burger has creamy mayo, yet clocks in with some decent stats. Of course, BK’s slogan is “Have it your way,” so you’ll be glad to know your burger will only have 260 calories and 10g fat if you skip the mayo. Nice!
PER SERVING (1 burger with pickles, onion, ketchup, and mustard): 250 calories, 9g fat, 520mg sodium, 31g carbs, 2g fiber, 6g sugars, 12g protein
You can’t do better than a real hamburger for 250 calories and less than 10g fat. It’s nothing fancy, but it hits the spot. Not to mention the regular Cheeseburger has just 300 calories and 12g of fat. Not too shabby, Mickey D’s!
PER SERVING (1 burger with grilled onion and spread): 390 calories, 19g fat, 650mg sodium, 39g carbs, 3g fiber, 10g sugars, 16g protein
For those of us on the West Coast or in Texas, you know we can’t talk about burgers without mentioning In-N-Out (so delicious!). And we’d be doing you a total injustice if we didn’t give you stats for a burger with grilled onion and that famous thousand-island-like spread. Good news: You can have both on your burger for under 400 calories and 20g of fat. YAY!
Red Robin’s Natural Burger
PER SERVING (1 burger with onion, pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce): 569 calories, 24g fat, 989mg sodium, 51g carbs, 3g fiber, 9g sugars, 37g protein
Notice how we haven’t mentioned sit-down restaurants until now? That’s because we were both shocked and saddened to learn that the majority of restaurant burgers top the 1,000-calorie mark and have more than 50g of fat. YIKES! If you absolutely have your heart set on a restaurant burger, Red Robin seems to offer your best bet. But even so, the stats aren’t good—just take a look. For that amount of calories, you could order a Big Mac from McDonald’s.
White Castle’s Original Slider
PER SERVING (1 slider with mustard, pickles, and onion): 140 calories, 6g fat, 360mg sodium, 13g carbs, 1g fiber, 1g sugars, 7g protein
If you’re not starving and just want authentic burger taste, then White Castle is probably your best bet. Why? Because you can order the Sliders (mini burgers) individually. Even the Bacon Jalapeno Cheeseburger Slider has only 190 calories and 12g of fat. Hooray for mini burgers!
Five Guys’ Little Hamburger
PER SERVING (1 burger, without toppings): 480 calories, 26g fat, 380mg sodium, 39g carbs, 2g fiber, 8g sugars, 23g protein
This burger chain has been getting a lot of attention ever since the President ate lunch there. Good pick, Mr. President! The Little Burger options (which are still pretty large, in our opinion) definitely lessen the nutritional blow. We were also excited to see that these burgers have the most impressive sodium counts (just 380mg for the Little Hamburger). Good to know!