In 2008, Burger King made a pledge to eliminate trans fat from its foods. As I analyzed BK’s list of nutrition facts and ingredients, I was shocked to see that the following foods still contain partially hydrogenated oil (which is another name for trans fat):
1. Tendergrill Chicken Filet
2. Breaded Original Chicken Patty
3. BK Fish Filet
5. Chocolate Fudge Topping
6. Hershey’s Sundae Pie
7. Double Chocolate Oreo Brownie
So what gives? I contacted the good folks at Burger King to find out, and still haven’t heard back. I’ll update this page if/when that happens.
Now let’s talk about some specific healthy/unhealthy foods on the menu. We’ll start with the bad.
Dishes to should avoid at BK:
1. The Triple Whopper weighs in at 1230 calories and 82 grams of fat. Add a large French fry and large drink with that and you’re looking at a complete days’ worth of calories and two days’ worth of fat … ouch!
2. But that’s not as bad as the BK Ultimate Breakfast platter, an ultimate nutrition nightmare: 1450 calories, 84 grams of fat, 134 grams of carbs, and 2920 mg of sodium. It’s way too big a portion for one person.
3. Even the Club Original Chicken sandwich has 700 calories, 44 grams of fat, and 1620 mg of sodium. Add fries and you’re well over 1000 calories.
4. Let’s say you opt for a salad instead. Good choice, right? Not if you order the Garden Fresh Salad Chicken Apple & Cranberry with TENDERCRISP chicken, which has 700 calories, 41 grams of fat, and 1090 mg of sodium.
So then, what’s actually healthy at Burger King? Anything??
Burger King Nutrition Facts and Healthiest Menu Options:
• Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich* (no mayo): 360 calories, 6 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 1330 mg sodium
• BK Veggie Burger (no mayo, no cheese): 320 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1030 mg sodium
• Garden Fresh Salad Chicken Caesar with TENDERGRILL and dressing: 490 calories, 28 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 1620 mg sodium
• BK Breakfast Muffin Sandwich: Egg and Cheese: 220 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 650 mg sodium
*Burger King now posts its nutrition facts and list of ingredients, which is great and I commend them for their transparency. But a chicken sandwich should not look like this:
TENDERGRILL® CHICKEN FILET (grilled): Caramel Color and Smoke Flavor Added Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Spices, Natural Flavors, Onion Powder, Modified Corn Starch, Chicken Fat, Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Dehydrated Garlic, and Artificial Flavors.), Modified Corn Starch, Soybean Oil, Salt, Sodium Phosphates. Glazed with: Water, Seasoning [Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Methylcellulose, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Partially Hydrogenated Sunflower Oil, Modified Potato Starch, Fructose, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Dehydrated Garlic, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavors, Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate, Chicken Fat, Carmel Color, Grill Flavor (from Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil), Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Turmeric, Smoke Flavor, Annatto Extract, and Artificial Flavors], Soybean Oil or Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil.
SESAME SEED BUNS: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour or alpha amylase from aspergillus orizae, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin b1), riboflavin (vitamin b2), ascorbic acid and folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup or granulated sucrose or liquid succrose, vegetable oil (canola and/or soy) and/or soybean and/or cottonseed oil, yeast may contain 2% or less of the following: salt, (vital) wheat gluten, sesame seeds, yeast food (may contain one or more of the following: calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, moncalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate), dough conditioners (may contain one or more of the following: wheat starch, microcrystalline cellulose, sorbitol, sodium chloride, magnesium stearate, distilled monglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, [ethoxylated] mono- and diglycerides, calcium peroxide, calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate, datem, l-cysteine), enzymes, mold inhibitor (calcium propionate and/or sorbic acid), vinegar, soy flour, corn starch.
So when I say the chicken sandwich is a “healthy” alternative, please understand I use the term loosely.
BOTTOM LINE: Burger King doesn’t have many healthy choices to choose from. They have been one of the last fast food chains to embrace healthy changes such as eliminating trans fats and offering healthy menu options. Most of their “food” sounds like it was concocted by a mad scientist.
Look for another option whenever possible.