While estimates tend to vary, Americans eat roughly 45 billion sandwiches a year, with the average person enjoying around 200 a year. Of course as with most things, not all sandwiches are created equal when it comes to how healthy they are to eat. If you’re not careful, ordering the wrong sandwich could result in a diet disaster, with you consuming half of your daily calories in just one meal.
Trying to count calories can be especially difficult when ordering from your favorite local fast food restaurant. With that in mind, here are some of the worst and best sandwich bets you can eat at some of the nation’s most popular chains.
Arby’s Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon Market Fresh Sandwich- Turkey sandwiches have become notorious for containing high calories add-ons, and this Arby’s menu item is no exception. The sandwich contains turkey, lettuce, cheese, tomato, ranch dressing, and bacon, which combined together brings the calorie count up to an impressive 810, with 36 grams of fat and 10 grams of saturated fat. The sandwich also contains a stunning 2,270 milligrams of sodium, which is only 30 mg less than the recommended daily maximum of 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
Arby’s Regular Roast Beef Sandwich- When you leave off the cheese, mayo, and horseradish sauce, this Arby’s sandwich contains a slim 360 calories, 14 g of fat, 6 g of saturated fat, and a still somewhat high 960 mg of sodium. If you think a plain roast beef sandwich sounds boring, feel free to add some of Arby Sauce to the mix, as it contains zero grams of fat and only 15 calories per packet.
Burger King’s Tender Crisp Chicken Sandwich- While fried chicken slathered in mayo can make most mouths water, this tempting sandwich contains a robust 800 calories, an impressive 46 g of fat, 8 g of saturated fat, and a slug shriveling 1,640 mg of sodium. Certainly a case where white meat isn’t better for you than red, the Tender Crisp sandwich contains more calories and fat than a Whopper with cheese.
Burger King’s TenderGrill Chicken Sandwich- Grilled chicken offers much fewer calories than its friend cousin, while still offering delicious flavor. Topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo, the TenderGrill sandwich contains 470 calories, 18 g of fat, 7 g of saturated fat, and 1,100 mg of sodium. However, ditch the mayo and the calorie count drops to a very manageable 370, with less fat.
McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich- While tame when compared to its competitor’s fried chicken sandwich, McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Club contains 620 calories, 29 g of fat, 7 g of saturated fat, and 1,200 mg of sodium. The sandwich’s fried chicken, bacon, and mayo are off set somewhat by the honey wheat bun, lettuce, and tomato. If you replace the mayo with mustard and sub grilled chicken for fried, you can drop the calories count for this sandwich below 400, a reasonable number for any fast food menu item.
McDonald’s Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken Wrap- A grilled tortilla that contains grilled chicken, lettuce, and shredded cheese, this wrap only contains 250 calories, just 8 g of fat, 3.5 g of saturated fat, and 650 mg of sodium.
Timothy Lemke blogs about healthy eating tips for Dr. Jason Peacock, a dentist in Olympia WA at Smiles Dental.