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Help, I'm at a Fast Food Chain!

WebMD's motto: Be prepared.
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 Muffin3 grams fat and 300 calories
Grilled Chicken Deluxe without mayo5 grams fat and 300 calories
Hotcakes, plain7 grams fat and 310 calories
Their smallest hamburger9 grams fat and 260 calories
Grilled Chicken Salad Deluxe with 1 pkg Red French Reduced Calorie dressing9.5 grams fat and 280 calories
Egg McMuffin12 grams fat and 290 calories
Their smallest cheeseburger13 grams fat and 320 calories

McDonald's Worst
Sausage Biscuit with Egg37 grams fat and 550 calories
Big Mac31 grams fat and 560 calories
Sausage Biscuit31 grams fat and 470 calories
Quarter Pounder with Cheese30 grams fat and 530 calories
Fish Filet Deluxe28 grams fat and 560 calories
Sausage McMuffin with egg28 grams fat and 440 calories
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit28 grams fat and 470 calories
Large size french fries26 grams fat and 540 calories
Chicken McNuggets, 9 pieces26 grams fat and 430 calories
Crispy Chicken Deluxe25 grams fat and 500 calories
Sausage McMuffin23 grams fat and 360 calories

Burger King's Best
BK Broiler Chicken Sandwich without mayo9 grams fat and 370 calories
Chicken Tenders, 4 pieces11 grams fat and 180 calories
Whopper Jr. Sandwich without Mayonnaise15 grams of fat and 320 calories
Chick N Crisp without mayonnaise16 grams fat and 360 calories

Burger King's Worst
Double Whopper with Cheese Sandwich67 grams of fat and 1010 calories
Double Whopper Sandwich59 grams of fat and 920 calories
Whopper with Cheese Sandwich48 grams of fat and 760 calories
BK Big Fish Sandwich43 grams fat and 720 calories
Chicken Sandwich43 grams fat and 710 calories
Biscuit with sausage, egg & cheese43 grams fat and 620 calories
BK King Sandwich42 grams fat and 640 calories
Croissan'Wich with sausage, egg, & cheese41 grams fat and 530 calories
Whopper Sandwich40 grams fat and 660 calories
Bacon Double Cheeseburger38 grams fat and 620 calories
Double Cheeseburger36 grams fat and 580 calories
Croissan'Wich with sausage & cheese35 grams fat and 450 calories
Biscuit with sausage33 grams fat and 490 calories
King Size French Fries30 grams fat and 590 calories
King Size Onion Rings30 grams fat and 600 calories

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