Years ago I was in California on a business trip and ate at an amazing fast food stop called In-N-Out Burger. What I can say is that it was truly one of the most amazing burgers I’ve eaten. It was fresh, made to order and of course, the potato wedges were incredible.
Now of course there are In-N-Out Burger chains across the US (258 locations in fact)
But, how healthy are the burgers? Let’s find out….
Normally in my Fast Food Fix pieces I’d list my 3 best choices from the restaurant menu. But due to the simplicity of the In-N-Out offerings, it’s not really possible. Basically, you’ve got three choices of burgers when eating at this famous stop. But unlike anyplace else I’ve come across, the burgers can be served Protein Style, sans the bun, and wrapped in lettuce instead. Additionally you can replace the special spread with mustard and ketchup and save even more calories. Here’s how they’ll break down.
1. Hamburger: The In-N-Out burger has 240 calories with 10 grams of fat, so it’s about 30% fat, which is great by fast food standards. It also has 16 grams of protein and about as much sodium as ½ a can of tuna, with 370 mg.
To be fair, adding the bun back into the equation only adds an additional 70 calories of mostly carbohydrates. That’s not so bad, but skip the special spread that’s used as topping, it adds an additional 80 calories. By simply skipping the bun and spread, you can reduce the calories by 150!
2. Cheeseburger: Served Protein Style, this burger will have an additional 90 calories from the cheese, ending up at a total of 330. But unfortunately, most of those added calories are by way of fat, as it adds 8 grams of the sludgy stuff. Plus it also doubles the sodium to 720 mg. So I’d suggest asking for half a slice of cheese, it’s what I would do!
3. Double Double: As the name implies, it’s two burgers and consequently has twice the calories. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that makes 520 calories and nearly 40 grams of fat. The sodium also jumps to over 1,000, coming in at 1,170 mg.
So that’s the basic menu – but what about the bad stuff?
The rest of the menu comprises of sodas, shakes, and French Fries. I don’t need to tell you that a 600 calories ice cream shake is a poor choice, or that 200 calories worth of corn syrup in a soda, or that 400 calories and 20 grams of fat in fries are not the greatest choices do I? Come on, we’ve been down those roads before.
So in all, I’d go with the plain burger, served Protein Style, and ask for cheese on the side, but only use half. And of course, I’d order the fries, eat a few and toss the rest. And truthfully, all those years ago in LA, that’s exactly what I did. But I did load the burger up with mustard, onion and pickles.
See the In-N-Out Burger facts here
But what do you think of my suggestions? Do you have a different recommendation? Fire away…