Summer brings all sorts of seasonal joys: great weather, summer fruits, blockbuster movies, vacations, and new offerings by our nation’s most popular eating establishments.
No one likes the same old thing all the time and fast food venues are always coming up with new and exciting ways of bringing you in.
Here are some of this season’s best unhealthiest new meals you can get at your friendly neighborhood fast food restaurants. As a precursor, keep in mind the following.
Recommended Daily Values:
Calories: 2000 (adult)
Fat: less than 65 grams (g) with less than 10 percent of saturated fats
Sodium: less than 2400 milligrams (mg)
1. Burger King Extra Long BBQ Cheeseburger
An interesting innovation, extending the shape of the hamburger to an oblong rather than a circle, BK can put “extra” in the name and we all know “extra” is better.
The onion rings on top—another extra—actually looks pretty appetizing…until you really think about it.
Calories: 1000, Fat: 46g, Sodium: 1650mg
2. Carls, Jr. Western X-Tra Bacon Thickburger (with Fries)
Carl’s Jr. teamed up with the promoters of X-Men’s new movie “Days of Future Past” (hey, wasn’t that a Moody Blues album? No, that was “passed”, not “past”—this “food” should be passed and past) to market its special X –Tra burger (get it?).
One of the commercials shows X-Man Mystique “manning up” to vanquish the extraordinary Thickburger. (“Thick” doesn’t really have a positive connotation, does it?) Anyway, thick it is (and so will be your arteries).
Calories: 1480, Fat: 81g, Sodium: 3250. (Yes, that’s right.)
3. Dairy Queen Bacon Cheeseburger Lunch
Talk about value: a sandwich, fries, drink, and an ice cream sundae for $5! The food quality must be exceptional. Putting together pigs and cows seem to be on everyone’s agenda—bacon, beef, cheese, and “ice cream”. Farm buddies forever.
Calories: 1170, Fat: 55g, Sodium: 1895mg
4. Denny’s Red, White, and Blue Slam
Let’s hear it for the good ol’ USA! In the interests of patriotism, Denny’s has put together a new all-American meal: blueberry pancakes topped with strawberries and cream cheese glaze. It wouldn’t be a Denny’s Slam without the eggs, bacon, and hash browns, too. Two meals on the same plate—the Founding Fathers would be proud (your cardiologist, not so much).
Calories: 940, Fat: 43g, Sodium: 1900mg
5. KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) $5 Fill-Ups
Another five buck value lunch, you can mix and match your chicken, potato, and biscuit combination choices. With a cookie for dessert, it’s a full meal. Finger-licking’ good, perhaps, but not so good for your blood pressure.
Calories: 870, Fat: 48g, Sodium: 2380mg
6. McDonald’s Premium Crispy Chicken Bacon Clubhouse Sandwich
What makes it “premium” is the “artisan roll” on which all this sexy food sits: “tender and juicy” chicken, “crisp” lettuce, “fresh” tomato, and “thick” bacon (applewood-smoked, another premium touch).
Or it may be that the sandwich is premium because it contains almost all of the calories, fat, and salt you should eat in an entire day right between the halves of the sumptuous bread.
Calories: 1090, Fat: 54g, Sodium: 1910mg
7. Pizza Hut Cheesy Bites Pizza
With just two slices, you get almost all of your daily sodium. Building on the notion that you can’t have too much bread and cheese, they’ve made a pizza inside a pizza on a pizza. Actually a pretty fun idea. But a little over the top nutrition-wise.
Calories: 720, Fat: 28g, Sodium: 1940mg
8. Sonic Cheese and Bacon Cheesy Bread Dog
Nothing more American than a hot dog; add apple pie and baseball, and you’re all set. The new Sonic combination infuses cheese into the roll, inspiring the actor in one commercial to philosophically ruminate, “You know, in this case, it really is what’s on the outside that counts.”
But wait, there’s more. There’s cheese ON the dog as well—hence the merit of putting “cheese” twice in the name.
Then bacon on top of that. Accompanied by one of its twenty-five milkshake flavors and the requisite fries, you’ve got enough fat and sodium for a day and a half, putting you ahead of the old ball game.
Calories: 1970, Fat: 98g, Sodium: 2290mg
9. Subway BBQ Steak and Bacon Melt
Healthy fast food is an oxymoron, even if Subway wants you to believe otherwise. Perhaps marginally better for you than others, processed meat, vegetables laced with preservatives, and—until recently—toxic plastic bread are not components of a healthy diet.
Not wanting to miss any opportunity for market share, this new sandwich is more like something you would get somewhere else.
Typically, however, the calories, fat, and sodium in a regular foot-long cold cut combo sub (an “eat fresh” option) is almost the same: 720 calories (220 of them from fat), 24g of fat, and 2060mg of sodium. Mmmm…all that and a bag o’ chips.
Calories: 1050, Fat: 27.5g, Sodium: 2930mg
10. Taco Bell A.M. Crunchwrap
A meal in a tortilla, Taco Bell might get the prize for the most novel specialty. Eggs, cheese, sausage, and hash browns are all rolled and wrapped snugly in a warm tortilla, reminiscent of the warm, cozy bed from which you recently emerged. Wrapping the other components in a tortilla makes it possible to eat one-handed. Eating this will most definitely make you sluggish.
Calories: 710, Fat: 46g, Sodium: 1150mg