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Canada’s worst fast-food meals

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean swearing off fast-food altogether. Find out which fast-food meals you should avoid and which ones to choose instead

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fast-food burger fries

The fast-food dilemma

Maybe you’re hitting the road with friends and a mid-road trip McDonald’s craving hits. Or your kids are begging you to get ice cream at Dairy Queen. Should you splurge and get that Double Big Mac? (After all, you’ve been living on salads all week…) Wouldn’t tucking into a Blizzard just taste so yummy right about now?

Of course it would. But these dishes come at a hefty price-namely a high-calorie, high-fat, high-everything price tag. So next time you’re faced with a fast-food situation, avoid these options, which are some of Canada’s worst fast-food meals. (Brace yourself for the numbers!) Instead, choose one of our better meal picks when your next hunger hankering hits.

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hamburger fast-food

McDonald’s Double Big Mac

You feel like: A Double Big Mac and large french fries.

The cost: Brace yourself. The burger (700 calories; 40 g of fat (17 grams saturated fat + 1 g trans fats); 1520 mg sodium; 3 g fibre; 8 g sugar) and fries (560 calories; 27 g of fat (3.5 saturated + 0.3 g trans); 430 mg sodium; 6 g fibre; 0 g sugar) are a hefty meal combination. 

What should I have instead? How about a plain hamburger? (250 calories, 8 g of fat, (3 g saturated fat + 0.2 trans fats), 510 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 7 g of sugar). Or if you need some cheese on that, opt for the regular cheeseburger (300 calories, 12 g of fat (6 g saturated fat+ 0.4 trans fats), 750 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 7 g of sugar). And if you really need a fry fix, then pick the small fries (200 calories, 11 g of fat (1.5 saturated fats + 0 trans trans fats), 170 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 0 g sugar). If you can skip them, fill up on some antioxidant-rich veggies with a side garden fresh salad (45 calories, 2 g of fat (1 g saturated fat), 3 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 2 g sugar) with a tangy raspberry vinaigrette (60 calories, 3.5 g of fat (0.2 saturated), 120 mg sodium, 0 g fibre, 6 g sugar).

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plate of bacon

Wendy’s Triple Baconator

You feel like: A Baconator Triple-sometimes a girl needs bacon!-and a side of large French fries.

The cost: Sit down for this one. The Baconator Triple packs the most calories and fat of all the menu items in this list (1350 calories; 90 g of fat (40 g saturated fats + 3.5 g trans fats); 2780 mg sodium; 2 g fibre; 10 g sugar) and the fries aren’t much better (540 calories; 25 g fat (4.5 g saturated fats + 0 g trans fats); 460 mg of sodium; 6 g fibre; 0 g sugar).

What should I have instead? Put that Baconator down! Instead, order a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger (310 calories, 16 g fat (6 g saturated fats + 0.5 g trans fats), 1 g fibre, 5 g sugar) or a Baconator Single (610 calories, 34 g fat (14 g saturated fats + 1.5 g trans fats), 1 g fibre, 9 g sugar). And if fries need to go with that, a small fries is a good pick (330 calories, 15 g fat (3 g saturated fats + 0 g trans fats), 4 g fibre, 0 g sugar). But an even better choice is the Sour Cream and Chives Potato (320 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fats + 0 g trans fats), 50 g sodium, 7 g fibre, 4 g sugar).

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pizza

Pizza Hut Pepperoni Lover’s Pizza

You feel like: A large Pepperoni Lover’s Pizza.

The cost: Just a single slice of a large pepperoni pizza plus stuffed crust is pricey (440 calories; 21 g fat (10 g saturated fats + 0.5 g trans fats); 1350 mg sodium; 2 g fibre, 2 g sugar).

What should I have instead? One slice of the large hand-tossed pepperoni pizza is about half the caloric cost (220 calories, 9 g of fat (4 g saturated fats + 0.3 g trans fats), 520 mg of sodium, 1 g fibre and 1 g sugar).

If you can’t stop at just one slice, keep your portion size in check and order the 6-inch personal pan pepperoni pizza (whole thing: 600 calories, 22 g fat (9 g saturated fats + 0.5 g trans fats) 1090 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 2 g sugar).

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donuts

Tim Hortons BLT and donut

You feel like: A BLT sandwich on bun, with a Walnut Crunch donut. There are veggies in there…how bad can it be?

The cost: As Timmy’s most calorically costly sandwich (420 calories; 18 g of fat (5 g saturated fats + 0 g trans fats); 830 mg sodium; 3 g fibre; 4 g sugar), the BLT plus the donut brings the calorie intake of this meal close to 1,000 (360 calories; 23 g of fat (10 g saturated fats + 0.1 g trans fats); 320 mg sodium; 1 g fibre; 19 g sugar).

What should I have instead? Opt for one of the mayo-based sandwiches-an egg salad sandwich (360 calories, 13 g of fat (3 g saturated fats + 0 g trans fats), 760 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 3 g sugar) or a chicken salad sandwich (340 calories, 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated fats + 0.1 g trans fats), 970 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 3 g sugar). And guess what? You can even indulge in a donut. A Blueberry Bloom donut (230 calories, 7 g fat (3.5 g saturated fats + 0.1 g trans fats), 180 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 16 g sugar) or Chocolate Dip donut (210 calories, 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated fats + 0 g trans fats), 190 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 7 g sugar) are your best choices.

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fast-food burrito

Taco Bell Burrito

You feel like: A Volcano Double Beef Burrito finished with a Caramel Apple Empanada.

The cost: Gulp. The Burrito (800 calories; 43 g fat (12 g saturated fats + 1 g trans fats); 1850 mg sodium; 7 g fibre; 4 g sugar) and Empanada (290 calories, 14 g fat (3 g saturated fats + 1.5 g trans fats), 310 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 14 g sugar) rings in this meal at over 1,000 calories.

What should I have instead? You can still have a burrito-just make it a Steak Burrito Supreme (410 calories, 15 g fat (6 g saturated fats+ 0 g trans fats), 1210 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 3 g sugar) or better yet, a Bean Burrito (370 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fats + 1 g trans fats), 1100 mg sodium, 8 g fibre, 2 g sugar). A surprising calorie and fat save comes from ordering the Cinnamon Twists (160 calories, 6 g fat (0.4 g saturated fats), 350 mg sodium, 0 g fibre, 5 g sugar).

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ice cream cone

Dairy Queen Blizzard

You feel like: A large Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard

The cost: 1230 calories, 45 g of fat (30 g saturated + 1.5 g trans fats), 1290 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 145 g sugars

What should I have instead? No need to write off the Blizzard altogether. A small Crispy Crunch Blizzard (500 calories, 17 g of fat (9 g saturated fats + 0.5 g trans fats), 230 mg sodium, 0 g fibre, 64 g sugar) has less than half the calories and fat of its larger Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cousin. Or if you want even more savings, but still need a hit of chocolate, a small chocolate cone (260 calories, 7 g fat (4.5 g saturated fats), 95 g sodium, 29 g sugar) will give you a fix.

Related:
6 foods you thought weren’t healthy but are
The 4 worst foods you can eat
10 healthy foods you’re not eating

For some great Canada Day food and entertaining ideas, check out our partner site, Sympatico.ca.