Burgers aren’t always a bad choice for lunch or dinner. Depending on the sauce and toppings used, they can sometimes be healthier than takeaway salads. (No, really.)
However, some options are obviously worse than others – and the potential damage to your waistline is considerable.
The following burgers from McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Oportos and Grill’d pack in more kilojoules than any other from their respective chain.
The burgers are ranked based on total kilojoule count. Hungry Jack’s was the worst offender, with the Ultimate Double Whopper tipping the scales at 4860 kilojoules – and that’s before you add a soft drink and chips.
It’s important to note that a burger’s kJ count doesn’t tell the entire story – so we’ve also included a breakdown of fats, carbs, sodium and sugars along with the amount of protein contained in each product.
If you’re trying to cut down on the amount of junk you eat (without going cold turkey), you can find alternative menu choices that are slightly less bad for you below.
Chicken BLT Burger: 2690 kilojoules
“With two fresh-grilled 100% chicken breast fillets, sizzling bacon, fresh tomato, fresco lettuce mix, cheese and creamy mayo.”
Available in WA & SA only.
The Chicken BLT Burger packs in 2690kJ of energy, 37.5g of fat, 40g of carbs, 6g of sugars and 1612mg of sodium. It has 33.8g of protein.
What to eat instead: Most Oporto burgers are pretty healthy (as far as burgers go.) You can also opt for single fillets, which brings the energy down to well under 2000kJ for every burger on the menu.
Zinger Stacker Burger: 3013 kilojoules
"Try our Zinger Stacker. If you’re looking for a hunger busting spice sensation, here it is. With two juicy Zinger Fillets, two slices of melted cheese, lettuce, spicy supercharged sauce and chilli relish. Oooh yeah!"
The Zinger Stacker Burger packs in 3013kJ of energy, 37.2g of fat, 55.7g of carbs, 12.9g of sugars and 2285mg of sodium. It has 54.9g of protein.
What to eat instead: All of KFCs burgers are pretty out there - their patties are battered and deep fried with no grilled chicken options to choose from. Our choice would be the Kentucky Burger - at 2749kJ it's not much healthier, but the addition of coleslaw, crispy onions, two slices of cheese and bacon means you're getting better bang (and flavour) for your buck.
Black With The Lot: 3430 kilojoules
"We didn’t burn it. It’s activated charcoal. There’s a bit of a difference. And that difference is health. Black crumb chicken schnitzel with crispy trim bacon, tasty cheese, sour cream, baby cos, tomato & sweet chilli mayo."
The Black With The Lot packs in 3430kJ of energy, 42.1g of fat, 64.3g of carbs, 9.9g of sugars and 1530mg of sodium. It has 44.7g of protein.
What to eat instead: Grill'd prides itself on providing menu choices that are healthier - and better tasting - than the competition. There is a range of bread crumb free options that contain less carbs and fat than the Black. If chicken burgers are your bag, go for the Zen Hen, Hotbird or Simon Says.
McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder: 3570 kilojoules
"Satisfy your ultimate hunger. Take two quarter pounds of 100% Aussie beef, then complete the tasty picture with cheese, onions, tangy mustard and pickles."
The Double Quarter Pounder packs in 3570kJ of energy, 53.6g of fat, 34.3g of carbs, 7.4g of sugars and 1440mg of sodium. It has 57.9g of protein.
What to eat instead: If you're craving a Quarter Pounder, we advice eschewing the Double and going for the original, sane serving size. Alternatively, the Gourmet Creations range has plenty of options that are decedent but slightly less naughty.
Ultimate Double Whopper: 4860 kilojoules
"Hold onto your taste buds, this Whopper has got the lot. Two flame grilled 100% Australian beef patties, two slices of cheese, premium eye bacon, hand-cut tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, onion, mayo and tomato sauce on a toasted sesame seed bun."
The Ultimate Double Whopper packs in 4860kJ of energy, 75.6g of fat, 56.4g of carbs, 9.9g of sugars and 1910mg of sodium. It has 64.2g of protein.
What to eat instead: Like the Double Quarter Pounder, taking this monstrosity down to a single patty would be a good start. Despite being larger and infinitely tastier, the Grill Masters range somehow manages to pack in slightly less energy: our pick would be the Angus, Bacon And Cheese.