We Tested Five Of The Unhealthiest Dishes In The Fast Food Universe, Here’s The One Worth Eating

For some people, fast food is an everyday occurrence. It’s cheap and it’s convenient. If you spend most of the day working and get a brief lunch break, have a long commute that carves into kitchen time, or don’t have the space to whip up a meal on the regular (like sexy pasta), fast food can get you fed and do it fast. But that isn’t everyone’s reality. Whether you’re on a strict diet, love to cook, or live for the meal prep, you might see fast food as a special treat.

A once-a-month (or week) occurrence where you put sensible eating behind for one big indulgent flavor bomb of salty, greasy taste-bud-tingling sensations.

We respect that, but with so much fast food out there we imagine it’s incredibly hard to choose where to spend all your calories and cash. That’s why we’re breaking down five of the most popular and unhealthiest menu items in all of fast food to reveal which are actually worth all the extra calories and sodium. Our food lineup is as follows:

  • Burger King’s Triple Whopper With Cheese
  • KFC’s Famous Bowl
  • McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese
  • Taco Bell’s Nachos BellGrande
  • Wendy’s Baconator

These dishes are popular, calorically dense, and full of fat and sodium. But god damn are they good. So we broke down their nutritional stats and ranked them from least worth it to most, to help you find the greatest fast food indulgence your money can buy. Let’s start with the least worth it of the bunch.

5. Burger King — Triple Whopper With Cheese

Unhealthy Fast
Burger King


Calories: 1,220

Fat: 82g

Sodium: 1,470mg

Tasting Notes:

Dry city. The Triple Whopper slips three quarter-pound charbroiled beef patties inside a sesame seed bun with three slices of ultra-thin cheese that strangely doesn’t melt, tomatoes, watery lettuce, mayo, thick-cut pickles, and sliced white onions. Biting into this thing is hard — you need to have a gigantic mouth — and aside from that it doesn’t deliver the indulgent experience you might be hoping for.

Instead of a big juicy mouthwatering burger, you get a mealy texture that requires a laborious chew and has a burnt, dirty grill flavor. The bun doesn’t help — it’s big and bready, structurally sound enough to hold the ingredients, but since it’s such a big bun it only adds to the dryness. The mayo on the top bun wants to be some sort of lubricant to the whole experience but there isn’t nearly enough.

I’ve never eaten a burger and thought “needs more mayo,” but this burger is just built different, I guess.

The Bottom Line/ What You Should Order Instead:

A Bacon and Cheese Whopper. If you love that Whopper char, this burger adds some extra crunch and smokey flavors to the mix (satisfying your craving for a lot of meat) while still allowing space for the other ingredients, like the spicy white onions and briney pickles, to shine. It’s a better burger in every way and while I wouldn’t go as far as calling it healthy, it’s significantly less insane than the Triple Whopper.

The Bacon and Cheese Whopper clocks in at 790 calories, 51 grams of fat, and 1,560 milligrams of sodium. Yes, that’s more sodium, we didn’t say it was a perfect option, just a more delicious one.

Find your nearest Burger King here.

4. Taco Bell — Beef Nachos BellGrande

Unhealthy Fast
Taco Bell


Calories: 730

Fat: 35g

Sodium: 1,140mg

Tasting Notes:

You know how Taco Bell makes watered-down Mexican food for the masses? I’m not criticizing the brand for this, Taco Bell scratches a certain itch but let’s be real, it is what it is. Well, no single menu item botches the core idea behind Taco Bell like the Nachos BellGrande. The dish features crumbles of beef, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, beans, and tomatoes. All of these ingredients are scattered over a bed of stale chips and it’s impossible to experience all of them with every bite. You spend most of your meal navigating how you’re going to get a sufficient amount of beans, beef, and tomatoes on a single chip.

And there is no payoff — the chips are stale, the beans are weirdly powdery and flavorless, the tomatoes are never ripe, and the cheese sauce and sour cream are a salty mess. Have you ever had real nachos from a taqueria? You get house-made chips, cilantro, onion, tomatoes, beans, layers of melted cheese, meat, salsa, and guacamole — you don’t even need f*cking sour cream, but you can have that too! Nachos BellGrande comes across as slightly elevated movie theater nachos. It’s edible, but is this how you really want to spend your money at Taco Bell? You could close your eyes and pick a better dish at random.

The Bottom Line/ What You Should Order Instead:

Get the Beefy Melt Burrito. With beef, rice, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, a three-cheese blend, and fiesta strips. it has almost all of the same flavors and thanks to the fiesta strips you get almost the same textural mouthfeel while avoiding those truly awful beans. Also, you can get it grilled, who doesn’t love a grilled burrito?

The Beefy Melt has 620 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 1,190 milligrams of sodium, again, yes, that’s more sodium, but there is an easy workaround to this that’ll give you a better burrito. Ditch the sour cream and nacho cheese sauce.

Thanks to the three-cheese blend you’re still getting cheese in your burrito, but it’s much better tasting and more complex, and I know it might be hard to ditch sour cream but you can always get a cup of hot red sauce on the side and be left with a more flavorful burrito. And if you truly don’t care about the nutritional stats, you can add fries into this baby!

That’s right, fries inside the burrito. This is the kind of stuff Taco Bell should be selling, I shouldn’t have to dream it up for them.

Find your nearest Taco Bell here.

3. KFC — Famous Bowl

Unhealthy Fast


Calories: 590

Fat: 23g

Sodium: 2160mg

Tasting Notes:

For people who have never been to KFC (they’re out there) I always advise them to order a Famous Bowl. It is a collection of all of KFC’s best foods (chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, and gravy, corn with some shredded cheese for good measure) in a single bowl. If you don’t like the Famous Bowl, it’s safe to say you don’t like KFC. Even if you haven’t had a Famous Bowl in a minute, it might be worth a trip to KFC, since the bowl has been slightly reworked and is better for it.

The OG famous bowl featured bits of popcorn chicken on top, but now that KFC has launched Original Recipe nuggets, they just toss those into the mix instead. The nuggets are incredibly well seasoned with a mix of black pepper, garlic, onion, thyme, paprika, and oregano — it’s earthy, herbal, and has quite possibly the juiciest chicken in all of fast food. The nuggets alone are worth it, but then to be able to dip each one in a scoop of buttery mashed potatoes and savory gravy? Come on, it rarely gets better than this!

The Bottom Line/ What You Should Order Instead:

You can’t top the Famous Bowl!

Why would you want to? Oh right, the insane amount of sodium. 2,160mg of sodium is a lot of sodium, more than most people should consume in a single day. If you ditch the gravy and shredded cheese you’re looking at 490 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 1,460 mg of sodium — it’s still a lot of sodium and the change up causes you to lose out on a lot of flavor so we say: f*ck it. Go big or go home!

Find your nearest KFC here.

2. McDonald’s — Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese

Unhealthy Fast

Calories: 740

Fat: 42g

Sodium: 1,360mg

McDonald’s best cheeseburger on the menu?

Yeah, we don’t even have to get to the bottom line, this is a buy. The Double Quarter Pounder sports two delicious beefy and juicy meat patties, two slices of American cheese, ketchup, pickle slices, onions, and mustard, and offers savory bite after savory bite of beefy perfection.

The onions are bright and crisp, the ketchup and mustard combination is a McDonald’s staple flavor, part tangy, part sweet and bright, and the way it all comes together is a proof of concept for why McDonald’s is the biggest fast food chain of all time. Burger King please take note, this is how you make a burger!

The Bottom Line/ What You Should Order Instead:

Look, I love the Double Quarter Pounder, but hear me out for a second. Get the OG Quarter Pounder instead. Sure you’re getting one less meat patty, which drops the nutritional stats to 520 calories, 26 grams of fat, and 1,140mg of sodium, but you’re still getting two slices of cheese which offers a better meat-to-cheese ratio than the Double, making each bite come across as just a bit saltier. In a good way.

Plus it’ll make you feel a lot less guilty about getting that side order of fries, and let’s be real, are you really going to go to McDonald’s and not get fries?

Find your nearest McDonald’s here.

1. Wendy’s — Baconator

Unhealthy Fast

Calories: 960

Fat: 66g

Sodium: 1,540mg

Tasting Notes:

Against all of the giant national fast food chains, the Baconator is the best burger. Equal parts beefy and smokey, this burger features two layers of beef and two layers of perfectly cooked smokey bacon. It’s a savory flavor bomb, offering rich beefy notes and a slightly sweet pork flavor. Because the beef isn’t frozen, it’s so juicy and tender you honestly don’t even need the mayo or ketchup to cover up the dryness. The sauce mixture adds a hint of tang and umami flavor which truly helps to elevate this simple but perfect burger.

Wendy’s just does beef and bacon better than all of the big fast food brands, and while this burger lacks the typical accouterments like onions or pickles, it puts emphasis on the complex flavors of its well-prepared meats allowing them to shine in a way few burger chains are brave enough to do.

The Bottom Line/ What You Should Order Instead:

I can’t sing the praises of the Baconator enough but, I’m going to be real with you, the Baconator is too big. Double quarter-pound beef patties and double bacon? It’s a lot. So I’m going to suggest you order that Son of Baconator. The build is exactly the same, you’re still getting two beef patties and two layers of bacon, all the cheese, and ketchup and mayo, but the meat patties and bun are both smaller.

The result is all of the same flavors with 630 calories, 40 grams of fat, and 1,210 mg of sodium. The only reason to get the Baconator over the Son of Baconator is an intense level of hunger. If that’s what you got, you’re going to be happy with the Baconator, but if you struggle to finish this behemoth of a burger, the Son of Baconator gives you everything you need with a change-up that doesn’t feel like a compromise.

Find your nearest Wendy’s here.