Healthiest Fast Food Burgers

You might be wondering if there are any solutions available if you like fast food but also want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are certain burgers out there that can be considered somewhat healthy, despite the fact that fast food is frequently associated with fatty, unhealthy selections.

Veggie beet and quinoa burger with avocado

The healthiest fast food burgers on the market will be discussed in this article, along with the reasons why they are preferable to some of the more conventional fast food burgers.

There are a few things to think about when it comes to fast food burgers. The first thing that matters is the meat’s quality.

While some fast food restaurants utilize lower-quality, fatty, calorie-dense meat, others use higher-quality, leaner meat.

In terms of calories, fat, and sodium, the toppings and condiments on the burger can also make a significant difference.

The next time you’re at the drive-thru, you may make a better choice if you know what to look for in a nutritious fast food burger.

Understanding Fast Food Burgers

Fast food burgers are a preferred option for many individuals due to their price and convenience.

Vegan chickpeas burgers with arugula, pickled cucumbers and hummus

They are frequently criticized, though, for being unhealthily heavy in sodium, fat, and calories.

We will give a brief summary of fast food burgers in this area, along with some tips for selecting a healthy option.


A beef patty, bread, cheese, and numerous toppings including lettuce, tomato, and onion are the standard components of fast food burgers.

However, there might be significant differences in these items’ nutritional content and quality among various fast food businesses.

While some chains use beef that is of poorer quality, others only use grass-fed or organic beef.

Furthermore, several fast food restaurants offer plant-based burgers prepared with components like black beans, soy, or mushrooms.


When eaten in excess, fast food burgers can cause weight gain and other health problems since they are frequently heavy in calories, fat, and sodium.

However, some fast food restaurants have healthier menu items with fewer calories and fat. For illustration, Wendy’s Jr.

Their Dave’s Triple has 1070 calories and 72 grams of fat, compared to 290 calories and 14 grams of fat in the Cheeseburger.

Tips for Making a Healthier Choice

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind if you want to choose fast food burgers that are healthier:

  • Look for burgers with leaner beef or plant-based options.
  • Choose burgers with fewer toppings and sauces, which can add extra calories and sodium.
  • Opt for smaller portion sizes or share a burger with a friend.
  • Consider skipping the fries and choosing a side salad or fruit instead.
  • Be mindful of your overall calorie and nutrient intake for the day and balance your meal accordingly.

You may make a healthier choice for your body while still enjoying a fast food burger by using these suggestions.

Top Healthiest Fast Food Burgers

You’re in luck if you’re looking for a fast food burger that won’t entirely ruin your diet. These fast food burgers are some of the healthiest you can now order.

Burger King's burgers, french fries with sauces and a cup of drink

Burger King’s Impossible Whopper

The Impossible Whopper from Burger King is a plant-based burger that is a wonderful choice for both vegetarians and meat lovers.

A flame-grilled patty devoid of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives is used to make it.

630 calories, 34g fat, 11g saturated fat, 1080mg sodium, 58g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 12g sugar, and 25g protein make up the burger.

Although it has a few more calories and fat per serving than some of the other burgers on this list, it’s still a better choice than many of Burger King’s other menu options.

McDonald’s Hamburger

The McDonald’s Hamburger has been a staple of fast food for many years.

On a toasted bun, it’s made with a 100% beef patty, pickles, onions, ketchup, and mustard. 250 calories, 9g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 480mg sodium, 31g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 6g sugar, and 13g protein make up the burger.

It’s one of the burgers on this list with the fewest calories and fat, so it’s a perfect choice for anyone who want to enjoy a fast food burger without going crazy.

Wendy’s Jr. Hamburger

Donald Jr. Hamburger is a straightforward burger that’s ideal for anyone looking for a quick and uncomplicated supper.

The ingredients include a warm bread, a fresh, never frozen beef patty, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onion. 250 calories, 10g fat, 4g saturated fat, 390mg sodium, 25g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 6g sugar, and 14g protein make up the burger.

It’s a fantastic option for anyone who want to enjoy a fast food burger but are managing their calorie and fat intake.

Chick-fil-A’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich

An improved version of Chick-fil-A’s renowned fried chicken sandwich, the restaurant now offers a grilled chicken sandwich.

On a toasted multigrain bread, it is made up of a marinated and grilled chicken breast, lettuce, and tomato. 320 calories, 6g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 800mg sodium, 34g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 6g sugar, and 30g protein are found in the sandwich.

For individuals who want a fast food sandwich that’s high in protein and low in calories and fat, this is a fantastic option.

These fast food burgers are among the healthiest dishes you can get overall.

They’re all fantastic options for people who want to indulge without going overboard because they’re all very low in calories and fat compared to other fast food burgers.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Healthy Burger

There are a few things to think about while selecting a healthy burger. The following points should be remembered:

Two delicious homemade burgers of beef

1. Quality of Meat

Your burger’s meat quality is a crucial thing to think about. Choose burgers made from grass-fed beef or lean meats like chicken or turkey.

In comparison to burgers cooked with traditional beef, these alternatives often have less saturated fat and more nutrients.

2. Portion Size

When selecting a healthy burger, portion size is another crucial aspect to take into account.

Oversized hamburgers from many fast food establishments may be high in fat and calories.

In order to limit your intake of calories and fat, look for smaller burgers, like a single patty or a junior cheeseburger.

3. Toppings

Your burger’s overall healthiness might also be impacted by the toppings you select.

Choose healthy toppings like lettuce, tomato, and onion instead of high-calorie alternatives like cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise.

Instead, think about substituting mustard or ketchup for some more taste.

4. Bun

Your burger’s overall healthiness may also be impacted by the type of bun it is served on.

To enhance the amount of fiber and nutrients in your meal, look for burgers that are served on whole wheat buns or lettuce wraps.

White bread buns should be avoided as they frequently contain a lot of processed carbs and few nutrients.

5. Sides

Last but not least, don’t overlook the sides that go with your burger.

The calories and fat in many fast food restaurants’ high-calorie sides, such as fries and onion rings, can quickly mount up.

To assist balance your dinner, think about substituting your side dish for a fruit cup or side salad.

When selecting a healthy burger, keeping these things in mind will allow you to eat a great meal without compromising your health.

Healthy Customization Options

There are ways to make fast food burgers healthier, even though they are frequently linked with high levels of calories, fat, and sodium.

Fresh tasty chicken burger on wood table.

The following healthy customization options are available when ordering a fast food burger:

Choose a Smaller Patty

There are a variety of burger sizes available at many fast food restaurants.

Your calorie and fat intake can be decreased by choosing a smaller patty.

You can, for instance, order a Junior Burger in place of a Regular Burger.

Donald Jr. One of the healthiest fast food burgers you can get has only 290 calories and 14 grams of fat, making it the cheeseburger.

Go Bun-less

By omitting the bun, you may make your burger gluten-free and consume less carbohydrates.

Instead of a bun, you can request a lettuce wrap, which will give your burger more crunch and freshness.

In-N-Out Burger, for instance, sells a “Protein Style” burger that is a burger wrapped in lettuce.

Load up on Veggies

Your burger’s nutritional value and fiber content can be increased by adding more vegetables to it.

To add flavor, texture, and crunch to your burger, you can request extra lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles.

Alternatively, you might omit the cheese and substitute avocado or guacamole.

For instance, the “Paleo Salad Bowl” from Chipotle’s “Lifestyle Bowls” has a lettuce base, carnitas, fajita vegetables, guacamole, and salsa.

Avoid High-Calorie Sauces

Mayonnaise, ketchup, and barbecue sauce are just a few of the high-calorie sauces that are commonly found on fast food burgers.

Your burger may contain a lot of calories and fat if you use these sauces. Choose a healthy option, such mustard or hot sauce, or request that your burger be served without sauce.

For instance, a “McDouble” burger from McDonald’s that only has mustard and ketchup has 380 calories and 18 grams of protein.

Choose a Side Salad

You can get a side salad to go with your burger instead of fries or onion rings.

Side salads from many fast food restaurants are calorie- and nutrient-efficient.

To limit your intake of calories and fat, you can also ask for the dressing to be served separately.

A “Side Salad” with mixed greens, carrots, and cabbage, for instance, is available at Chick-fil-A and only contains 80 calories and 5 grams of fat.

You may enjoy a fast food burger without sacrificing your health objectives by adding these healthy customizing options.

Impact of Consuming Fast Food Burgers Regularly

Your health could suffer if you frequently eat fast food burgers.

thick cheeseburger with american cheese, lettuce tomato and onion

Burgers from fast food chains frequently have high levels of calories, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars, which can cause weight gain, high blood pressure, and a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Up to 1,000 calories—nearly half the daily calorie intake for an adult—can be found in one fast food burger.

This many calories in one meal can cause overeating and long-term weight gain.

Additionally, fast food burgers contain a lot of saturated fat, which raises cholesterol and raises the risk of heart disease.

Up to 20 grams of saturated fat can be found in a single fast food burger, which is higher than the adult’s recommended daily intake of 13 grams.

Additionally, fast food burgers frequently include a lot of sodium, which can raise blood pressure and strain the heart.

Up to 1,000 milligrams of salt, or about half of the adult daily sodium requirement of 2,300 milligrams, can be found in a single fast food burger.

Overall, eating fast food burgers frequently may be harmful to your health.

Fast food burger consumption should be reduced, and if possible, healthier options should be used.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fresh mini burgers on a deerved tray against a brick wall

What makes a fast food burger healthy?

A healthy fast food burger should be made with high-quality ingredients, such as lean meat, fresh vegetables, and whole-grain buns. It should also be lower in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Look for burgers that are grilled or roasted instead of fried, and skip the cheese and mayo.

Are plant-based burgers healthier than meat burgers?

Plant-based burgers can be a healthier option if they’re made with whole-food ingredients, such as beans, lentils, and vegetables. However, some plant-based burgers are highly processed and contain a lot of added sodium, so it’s important to read the labels carefully. Meat burgers can be a good source of protein, but they’re often high in saturated fat and calories.

What are the healthiest fast food burger options?

Some of the healthiest fast food burger options include:
Wendy’s Jr. Cheeseburger: This burger is low in calories and saturated fat, and it’s made with fresh, never-frozen beef.
McDonald’s Hamburger: This classic burger is a good source of protein and low in calories and fat.
Burger King Whopper Jr.: This burger is made with flame-grilled beef and topped with fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion.

Can you make a fast food burger healthier?

Yes, there are several ways to make a fast food burger healthier. You can:
Skip the cheese and mayo
Ask for extra vegetables, such as lettuce, tomato, and onion
Choose a side salad instead of fries
Order a smaller burger or a kid’s meal
Choose water or unsweetened tea instead of soda

Are fast food burgers ever a healthy choice?

While fast food burgers are generally not the healthiest option, there are some healthier choices available. If you’re in a hurry and need a quick meal, a small burger with plenty of vegetables and a side salad can be a good choice. Just be sure to watch your portion sizes and choose lower-calorie, lower-fat options whenever possible.

Sandwich with chicken burger, tomatoes, cheese and lettuce

Key Takeaways

  • There are healthier options available when it comes to fast food burgers.
  • Quality of meat and toppings are important factors to consider when choosing a healthy burger.
  • Regularly consuming fast food burgers can have negative impacts on your health.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.