The USDA recommends adults consume between 1,200 and 2,000 calories and no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium daily, but based on fast food chain offerings, said establishments tend to disregard the USDA's suggestions. Instead, fast food vendors capitalize on the country's food culture by introducing gratuitous entrees and desserts. The unifying factor in most of these novelty food items is the salty, fatty favorite: bacon.
And as much as we love to hate fat-filled, sodium-saturated things, it's hard not to take interest in just how bad they are for you.
Here's a roundup of some fast food menu items to avoid if you're keeping the summer body svelte -- or if you're generally a common-sense person. But, hey, you never know when you'll reach the point of no return. The point when you've had one too many drinks and a late-night greasy fix is all your mind desires. The point when you decide to start your diet "tomorrow." But next time you're sitting in the drivethru, maybe keep this list in mind.
6.The Waffle Breakfast Sandwich from Jack in the Box:
Coming in at a "moderate" 479 calories, slapping a sausage patty, plastic-like cheese and an egg in between two waffles may not be the worst way to start a morning. But those 983 milligrams of sodium and 271 milligrams of cholesterol could bog you down more than wake you up.
5. The Bacon Sundae from Burger King:
To quote our critic Besha Rodell, bacon is dead. Part of its downfall came at the hands of Burger King, which decided to pull out all the bacon stops and sell a savory, sweet cup of regret. For a nice balance, maybe start with a garden salad and then move onto greasier pastures: 510 calories and 670 milligrams of sodium.
4. The Son of Baconator from Wendy's:
The chain's latest union of bacon and burger is called the "son" of the Baconator, but the caloric difference is minuscule. Boy, they grow up fast.
The son contains 700 calories versus papa's 970 calories and 1,760 milligrams of sodium versus 2,020.
3. The Carolina Whopper Sandwich from Burger King:
Bacon, pepper jack cheese, barbecue sauce and more bacon -- voilà, Burger King gives you the Carolina Whopper. Is this really what food is like in Carolina? Enjoy those 760 calories, 65 carbs and 1,620 milligrams of sodium.
2. The Cantina Burrito with steak from Taco Bell:
Ads for Taco Bell's revamped "gourmet" menu are everywhere, and seeing chef Lorena Garcia chop up fresh ingredients for a few seconds could nearly trick you into making a trek to Taco Bell, but stay away from the "gourmet" burrito. Sodium intake is more than 75 percent of recommended daily levels -- 2,040 milligrams. Not to mention the 750 calories and 28 grams of fat.
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1. The Double Amazing Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger from Carl's Jr.:
There's really room left to top this gooey concoction of dairy, protein, salt, carbs, oils and just about any other thing ingredient that needs to be consumed in moderation. But what's moderation to a place that tops burgers with deep fried onion rings and endless dollops of barbecue sauce? The 1,030 calorie-sandwich is made with two pieces of sourdough bread, two beef patties, two pieces of Swiss cheese, two pieces of American cheese and two slices of bacon (why not four?). Oh, and don't forget the mayo. Also: 1,770 milligrams of sodium, 640 calories from fat.
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