Life in 2018 can be super tough, can’t it? There are so many perils, pitfalls and dangers. Prices are climbing ever higher, stress levels are following suit, tensions are rising around the world, Justin Bieber could drop a surprise comeback album on us at any moment… it’s a frightening, frightening time.
Another threat facing us all every day is the temptation of fast food. If McDonald’s actually did widely deliver, rather than insisting that we all get off our saggy cheeks and go and fetch it, the problem could well be far worse. As it is, though, we’re still in all kinds of trouble.
Our lives are darn hectic, that’s part of the problem. This is why breakfast bars and even breakfast drinks are such a big thing now, because nobody has time to take care of the Most Important Meal of the Day™ anymore. Just try wrestling six children into the car for the school run and getting yourself to work on time to boot.
At the end of an exhausting day, cooking is sometimes off the table. What’s on the table instead? Takeout, that’s what, or a trip to the drive thru. It’s an easy option, but what toll is it taking on our bodies? We all have different opinions on fast food, but I think we can all agree that Burger King, Wendy’s and their competitors just cross the line at times.
Settle in and hold on to your waistlines as we check out some of the worst fast food meals in existence.
20 Taco Bell’s XXL Grilled Beef Stuft Burrito: I’m Totally Stuft
As a general rule of fast food menus, anything with the word ‘stuffed’ in the title is going to be very, very bad for you. Granted, you aren’t here for a health-conscious, detoxing sort of meal, but there’s no need to absolutely maximise the craptastic you’re eating.
What do you get when you stuff something bad full of… something else bad? You get bad squared, that’s what you get. The XXL Grilled Beef Stuft Burrito from Taco Bell is just oozing with calories, and it’s enormous to boot. It was thoughtful of them to add a health warning, though: the XXL is the pants size you’ll have to switch to if you eat it.
19 Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger: Holy Sodium-Central, Batman!
Some foods don’t begin as a disaster. When you’re making a sandwich, say, you can opt for a wholesome bread and some nice healthy salad, and come out of the whole thing feeling pretty darn righteous. You can also just go all the way to town with meats and sauces and such. It’s all up to you.
Check out Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger, for instance. As Fitness Magazine reports, this was already a cheese and bacon-stuffed quesadilla, and that was before the burger was added. The end result? A pretty darn monstrous 4,410 milligrams of sodium. How do you even fight that?
18 Arby’s Sausage Gravy Biscuit Double: It’s A Biscuit, Jim, But Not As We Know Them
Speaking as a Brit, I can completely understand that there’s a little confusion about the word biscuit. Here in England, biscuits are cookies, while some use the two terms in completely different ways. I’m totally on board with that. Live and let live, as they say.
One thing I definitely cannot condone, however, is Arby’s Sausage Gravy Biscuit. No cookie, biscuit, scone or whatever else you might call it deserves to be dowsed in gravy and topped with a sausage, in my eyes.
Our stomachs, meanwhile, don’t deserve to be hit by this sodium-saturated, calorific disaster. That’s a firm no from me.
17 Domino’s Handmade Pan Pizza With Pepperoni: This Time, It’s Personal
Of course, we couldn’t finish this rundown without an appearance from our old friend the pizza. Domino’s is one of the most popular pizza places, and The Daily Meal reveals that one of the worst things on their menu is the Handmade Pan Pizza With Pepperoni.
2,420 calories, a mighty 4,310 milligrams of sodium and 130 grams of fat? It’s enough to make your head spin. The worst part? That’s only one of their smaller pizzas. Many of us could easily demolish that and still want more. Which is a little frightening, when you stop and really think about it.
16 Wendy’s Baconator: The Bacon Strikes Back
So you thought you’d seen the raw, natural fury of bacon in its purest form with Baconzilla? Well, stand back, friends, because Wendy’s are throwing their meaty, fat-tastic hats into the ring too. Feast your eyes on the Baconator.
I think a couple of my arteries slammed shut just looking at this thing. The generous helpings of cheese, the double patties, the bacon itself… Sure, you’d expect a burger dubbed the Baconator to be big and powerful enough to take a Whopper’s lunch money and send it crying to grandma, but still. This is one heckola of a proposition, there’s no denying.
15 Quiznos’ Large Italian Meatball Sub: The Joey Special
I mean, sure, the traditional Joey special of Friends fame consisted of two pizzas, but still. The man sure liked his meatball subs, and in that arena, this is among the ultimate indulgences out there.
This bad boy is the Quiznos Large Italian Meatball Sub. You might think that a sandwich would be a healthier option, but this could well be the worst meal on this rundown. As Paleohacks reports, it offers a mighty 150% of your RDA of sodium, along with 140% and 125% of your saturated fat and total fat RDAs respectively.
14 KFC’s Chicken Pot Pie: You Call That A Pie? *THIS* Is A Pie
Now, you might think that, compared to KFC’s usual thick-coating-of-fat-on-everything batter-heavy approach, a chicken pie might not be the worst option. I mean, they’re sometimes relatively nutritious, with a little celery and a bit of carrot or something thrown in there.
Alas, though, the fast food menus of the world tend to be where vegetables go to die. KFC’s take on the popular chicken pot pie is not good news. According to Eat This, Not That!, this treat “comes laced with appetite-spiking MSG and inflammatory hydrogenated oils.”
Ah, yes, because where would we be without that sweet, sweet appetite-spiking MSG? Chicken pot pie just like mama used to make.
13 Chick-Fil-A’s Sausage Breakfast Platter: A Breakfast Fit For A King (Well, A Super-Paunchy One Like Henry VIII)
I don’t know about you, friends, but I’m not very big on the whole breakfast thing. I can’t start my day without eating something, but it’s usually going to be something really light. This monstrous breakfast offering, Chick-fil-A’s Sausage Breakfast Platter, is not light. We’re talking only Arnold Schwarzenegger could lift it levels of not-light.
Lol Wot deems this one of the worst fast food items ever sold, and reports,
“This beast of a plate has over 800 calories, 1,850 mg of sodium, and 285 mg of cholesterol. Grab something healthier.”
It’s almost impressive that it’s possible to eat that much terrible before noon.
12 Quiznos’ Tuna Melt With Cheese And Dressing: Go Large Or Go Home
It’s easy to fall into the fast food trap of something seeming healthier than it really is. Nobody could kid themselves that a huge burger laden with cheese is going to do their hearts any favours, but how about a tuna sandwich? How could you go wrong with that?
Well, for one thing, you could opt for Quiznos’ tuna melt with cheese and dressing. Naturally, for some of us, a large is the only way to go, and that just multiplies the dangers here. This is one huge sandwich. According to Fitness Magazine, you’re looking at a meal that offers more grams of fat than four Big Macs!
11 Denny’s Cheesy Three Pack Appetiser: Aww, So Cute
As we saw with that vast burrito in the last entry, the bigger you go, the more calories you tend to be eating. That’s just simple food math. The trouble is, though, that whole idea is deceptive.
So you walk into Denny’s, and you see the cheesy three pack on the menu. They’re so teeny and adorable, in a cheese-leaky sort of way, you think. They can’t be that bad. Well, sadly, that’s just not the case. As Fitness Magazine reports, these three teeny weeny burgers (with included portion of onion rings, of course) weigh in at 1,940 calories, over twice as much as Denny’s plain old classic burger (pictured here).
10 Checkers Baconzilla: Look Out Tokyo, Baconzilla’s Coming!
Now, if only fast food restaurants offered us some clue as to the less-than-waistline-conscious nature of their food. I mean, come on, how was I supposed to know that something called the Baconzilla wasn’t some kind of a body-cleansing superfood?
Snark aside, yes. If you’re going to serve up something called the Baconzilla, it had darn well better come with a whole heaping helping of bacon. You can’t get people’s hopes up like that. You’d have people hammering on the windows of Checkers all around the country, howling dude, where in heckola is our bacon? Those plucky rebels would have right on their side, too.
Worry not, though. This thing comes with a quadruple serving of bacon. You know, if the blood’s just been flying through your arteries like it owns the place lately, and you want to bring it down a peg or two.
9 Wendy’s Asiago Ranch Chicken Club Sandwich: Clubbing You Over The Head… With Heart Disease
Okay, I laboured the joke in the headline just a little too much there. The polite thing would’ve been not to draw attention to it.
Moving right along, we have another deceptively calorific option. As Paleohacks rightly says, when you pop into Wendy’s, you might think you’re doing yourself a favour by opting for chicken instead of a big beef patty. Don’t think that you’ve gone with a healthy choice, though, because their Asiago Ranch Chicken Club Sandwich is just sodium city right here.
1640 milligrams of sodium to be precise, or two-thirds of our recommended daily allowance. Dang.
8 McDonald’s McDLT: A Total McDisaster
Oh, McDonald’s. You wild, wild innovators. The key to the chain’s global success is that they’ve been able to tailor their menus to specific tastes around the world. Naturally, this has taken some experimentation, and some hilarious missteps along the way. That’s all part of the journey to fast food nirvana, though.
So, at one point, was the McDLT. In an effort to combine their good ol’ fashioned patties with the much-beloved BLT sandwich, this culinary Frankenstein’s monster was created. The worst part about this one wasn’t the lack of nutritional value, but the environmental horror that was the Styrofoam container.
7 On The Border’s Grande Taco Salad: It’s Got Salad In The Name, How Can You Go Wrong?
In the whole wide world of deceptive foods, there’s nothing more insidious and dangerous than the salad. It’s a darn salad, after all. It’s supposed to make us feel all fluffy and righteous inside by default. You’d never think it’d be such a calorie-heavy option, but it’s all in the ingredients.
Look at On the Border’s Grande Taco Salad. It’s a festival of greens. And reds, and every other colour you can imagine. It should be super-good, but according to Fitness Magazine, the meal is packed with “as much saturated fat as 40 strips of bacon.”
That’s what happens when you deep-fry a tortilla.
6 Wendy’s Dave’s Triple: I’ll Have Three
Here’s another little slice of fast food math: two is twice as bad as one. If you opt for a double, you’re doubling calories, salt, cholesterol and all kinds of things that your GP is not going to approve of later.
When it comes to tripling up, then, the best advice would be to not freaking do it. Nevertheless, it’s a popular menu option at various places. Wendy’s, for instance, offers the powerful-looking Dave’s Triple, a three-patty mountain containing far more fat and salt that I really want to think about. Not to mention the dreaded trans fats in there too.
5 Burger King’s Triple Whopper With Cheese: It’s Definitely Whopping
The trusty Whopper is one of Burger King’s most popular offerings, and there’s a reason for that. We know it, we love it, it’s everything fans come to Burger King for in a neat package. It’s certainly no health food, but at least it isn’t… the Triple Whopper.
Of course there’s a generous portion of cheese in there. Of course there is. It’s got all the usual trappings of a Burger King burger and doesn’t really offer anything out of the ordinary. The problem is the sheer amount of it. I like the occasional double-patty burger, but I’m not sure I could stretch to a triple.
4 McDonald’s McAfrica: A Bit Of A Faux Pas
Oh, McDonald’s. McDonald’s, McDonald’s, McDonald’s. What in all of the heckola were you thinking here? I can appreciate that you like to stay relevant, stay in touch with current events and try to cash in on different worldwide tastes and all of that malarkey, but there was something distinctly uncool about this one. I don’t think someone in the PR department thought the McAfrica burger all the way through.
Disgusting in a totally different way, this Limited Edition Olympic Games Burger, as it was known, was soon stricken from the menu. It’s pretty clear to see what went wrong here.
3 Chop’t Cobb Salad Sandwich: When Salads Attack
Darn it, salads. Come on now. In a world of super-tempting, artery-clogging fast foods, I thought you were one of the good guys. I thought you were our friends. What’s even happening here?
Over at Chop’t now, we’re looking at the Cobb Salad Sandwich. It sounds deceptively healthy compared to some menu items, but that’s exactly the problem. That’s how it suckers you in. According to Business Insider, you’re looking at a meal of around 1,000 calories, with a whole lot of sodium and saturated fat to boot.
It’s just not fair at all. How could salads do this to us? Can’t we even trust our dang lettuce anymore?
2 Red Robin Gourmet Burgers’ Monster Meal: It’s Definitely Monstrous
As the old saying goes, if you’re going to do something wrong, do it right. Some of us like to pick relatively safe choices when we stop in for our fast food fix, and others go all the way. There isn’t really any further you can go than the Monster Meal from Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.
This is the very pinnacle of wealth and excess. You might as well wear a toga like a Roman emperor as you take on this beast of a meal. The peppercorn burger, the steak fries (bottomless, naturally) and huge salted caramel milkshake total over 3,500 calories and 6,200+ milligrams of sodium, according to Buzzfeed.
1 Chipotle’s Carnitas Burrito: Much More Than The Sum Of Its Parts
As I say, sometimes it’s the optional extras that make all the difference. Whatever they happen to be. You know you’re so much better off without that sauce, those toppings, those chocolate sprinkles, the salsa, but you just cannot resist. It’s just a little bit, after all.
When all of those little bits are added together, though, what happens? Chipotle’s Carnitas Burrito happens. With all the cheese, guacamole, salsa and such thrown in, it all adds up to a waistline-ravaging meal containing over 3,000 milligrams of sodium. It’s pushing three-quarters of the average recommended calories for the day, too. That’s not cool.
References: Eat This, Not That!, Lol Wot, Paleohacks, Fitness Magazine, Business Insider, Buzzfeed, The Daily Meal.