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Help, I'm at a Fast Food Chain!

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WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

When we are desperate to grab something fast and we only have a 5-spot in our pockets, many of us gravitate toward the nation's top 5 fast-food places. As a nutritionist, I have to say that we couldn't do a worse thing for our weight or our health. But I'm also an American, and unfortunately it's the American thing to do. I do it, you do it, we all do it. Here's Elaine's "Golden Arch" Rule in case it helps you: Don't let yourself eat fast food more than once a week.

But when we do find ourselves under the golden arches or walking into Wendy's, don't despair. With our help, you can go "fast fooding" knowing how to choose wisely.

Actually, uncovering the most and least healthful fast food selections is easy because many of the chains, like the ones below, provide nutritional analysis on their menu items.

You'll notice the better choices listed below have 10-15 grams of fat or less and the worst choices have 25-30 grams of fat or more. We want to have some fat in each meal to keep it appealing, satisfying, and slowly digested so we don't feel hungry right away, and 10-15 grams gives us some fat without giving us too much.

Here are some of Fast Food's best and worst offerings:


McDonald's Best
Lowfat Apple Bran Muffin 3 grams fat and 300 calories
Grilled Chicken Deluxe without mayo 5 grams fat and 300 calories
Hotcakes, plain 7 grams fat and 310 calories
Their smallest hamburger 9 grams fat and 260 calories
Grilled Chicken Salad Deluxe with 1 pkg Red French Reduced Calorie dressing 9.5 grams fat and 280 calories
Egg McMuffin 12 grams fat and 290 calories
Their smallest cheeseburger 13 grams fat and 320 calories

McDonald's Worst
Sausage Biscuit with Egg 37 grams fat and 550 calories
Big Mac 31 grams fat and 560 calories
Sausage Biscuit 31 grams fat and 470 calories
Quarter Pounder with Cheese 30 grams fat and 530 calories
Fish Filet Deluxe 28 grams fat and 560 calories
Sausage McMuffin with egg 28 grams fat and 440 calories
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit 28 grams fat and 470 calories
Large size french fries 26 grams fat and 540 calories
Chicken McNuggets, 9 pieces 26 grams fat and 430 calories
Crispy Chicken Deluxe 25 grams fat and 500 calories
Sausage McMuffin 23 grams fat and 360 calories

Burger King's Best
BK Broiler Chicken Sandwich without mayo 9 grams fat and 370 calories
Chicken Tenders, 4 pieces 11 grams fat and 180 calories
Whopper Jr. Sandwich without Mayonnaise 15 grams of fat and 320 calories
Chick N Crisp without mayonnaise 16 grams fat and 360 calories

Burger King's Worst
Double Whopper with Cheese Sandwich 67 grams of fat and 1010 calories
Double Whopper Sandwich 59 grams of fat and 920 calories
Whopper with Cheese Sandwich 48 grams of fat and 760 calories
BK Big Fish Sandwich 43 grams fat and 720 calories
Chicken Sandwich 43 grams fat and 710 calories
Biscuit with sausage, egg & cheese 43 grams fat and 620 calories
BK King Sandwich 42 grams fat and 640 calories
Croissan'Wich with sausage, egg, & cheese 41 grams fat and 530 calories
Whopper Sandwich 40 grams fat and 660 calories
Bacon Double Cheeseburger 38 grams fat and 620 calories
Double Cheeseburger 36 grams fat and 580 calories
Croissan'Wich with sausage & cheese 35 grams fat and 450 calories
Biscuit with sausage 33 grams fat and 490 calories
King Size French Fries 30 grams fat and 590 calories
King Size Onion Rings 30 grams fat and 600 calories
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