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Worst drive-through foods

Time and money are two things Americans can't afford to waste. So it's not surpring (though slightly disappointing) that the drive-thru is condered one of the greatest inventions of all time. There's even a study to prove it. In 2005 and 2006, researchers asked 600 adults and teens why they eat so much fast food. Three of the top four responses? It's quick, easy, and affordable. Taste came in third, with only 69 percent of respondents listing flavor as a factor in their fast-food love.

Drive-thru foods may be convenient and easy on the wallet, but they're loaded with unhealthy fats, added sugars, carbohydrates, and sodium. Translation: They're no bargain at all when it comes to your health. But jam-packed schedules and a dismal economy make the occaonal drive-thru meal a part of life. That's why Eat This, Not That! studied the open-air menu boards and compiled a list of the worst items out there, plus better alternatives. Avoid these dietary land mines and save more than a few minutes and a couple of bucks—how does up to 20 pounds in a year sound?

WORST MILKSHAKE McDonald's Large Triple Thick Chocolate Milkshake 1160 calories 27 g fat (16 g saturated fat) 168 g sugar 510 mg sodium

You'd be better off eating two Quarter Pounders than sucking down one of these belt-breaking shakes. Steer clear of milkshakes at the golden arches. If you have to have a frozen dessert, order a vanilla ice cream cone to save more than 1,000 calories. Make swaps like that every week and watch the pounds melt off!

Eat This Instead! Vanilla Reduced-Fat Ice Cream Cone 150 calories 3.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat) 18 g sugars 60 mg sodium

Check out our list of the 20 worst drinks in America to see other equally atrocious beverages. It's posble to lose more than 30 pounds of fat a year--just by focung on what you drink!

WORST VALUE-MENU ITEM Burger King Spicy Chick'n Crisp Sandwich 450 calories 30 g fat (5 g saturated fat) 810 mg sodium

Lean economic times make the value menu more appealing than ever. And that's fine—most dollar menus have a few senble items. But if you eat this sandwich often, saving a few bucks will quickly result in a surplus around your waistline.

Eat This Instead! Whopper Jr. without mayo 290 calories 12 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat) 500 mg sodium

WORST MEXICAN ENTRÉE Taco Bell Grilled Stuft Beef Burrito 680 calories 30 g fat (10 g saturated fat) 2120 mg sodium

Ditch this and order two grilled steak soft tacos (or any menu item) "fresco" style, and the Bell boys will replace cheese and sauces with a chunky tomato salsa, helping to cut calories in half and fat by at least 25 percent.

Eat This Instead! Two Grilled Steak Soft Tacos, Fresco Style 320 calories 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat) 1100 mg sodium

WORST HOT SANDWICH Sonic Chicken Club TOASTER Sandwich 742 calories 46 g fat (11 g saturated, 0.5 g trans) 1,742 mg sodium

How can a chicken sandwich pack so much fat? Start with a fried chicken breast, add bacon, cheese, and mayo, and you're there. Add to that the sodium equivalent of 53 saltine crackers, and you're looking at a serious dietary disaster. Ditch the chicken for beef and save 10 grams of fat.

Eat This Instead! Sonic Burger with Mustard 540 calories 25 g fat (9 g saturated fat) 730 mg sodium

WORST CRISPY CHICKEN SANDWICH Hardee's Big Chicken Fillet Sandwich 800 calories 37 g fat (6 g saturated fat) 1890 mg sodium

A general rule: Avoid sandwiches with words like "big" and "monster" in the name. Hardee's Monster Thickburger is another example—it comes in at 1,420 calories, 108 grams of fat, and more saturated fat than you want in 2 days.

Eat This Instead! Charbroiled BBQ Chicken Sandwich 415 calories 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat) 1175 mg sodium

WORST ROAST BEEF SANDWICH Arby's Roast Beef and Swiss Market Fresh Sandwich 810 calories 42 g fat (13 g saturated fat) 1780 mg sodium

The unwholesome trinity of mayo, Italian sub sauce, and processed Swiss cheese make this sandwich the clear loser in the battle of the beef. The Super Roast Beef replaces mayo with a low-cal spicy pepper sauce and totals 370 fewer calories.

Eat This Instead! Super Roast Beef 440 calories 19 g fat (7 g saturated fat) 1061 mg sodium

WORST DRIVE-THRU KIDS MEAL Burger King Kids Double Cheeseburger and Kids Fries with Small Coke 950 calories 42 g fat (17 g saturated fat, 4.5 g trans fats) 1,410 mg sodium

BK's dubious double burger earns the distinction of being the fattiest meal for an on-the-go kid, with nearly a day's worth of saturated fat for the average 8-year-old.

Eat This Instead! 4-piece Chicken Tenders with Strawberry-Flavored Applesauce and unlimited water 280 calories 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat) 440 mg sodium

WORST CHICKEN STRIPS Dairy Queen 6-Piece Chicken Strip Basket 1,270 calories 67 g fat (11 g saturated fat) 2,910 mg sodium

These strips deliver more grams of fat than four DQ Homestyle Burgers, and nearly 300 more calories than a Large Strawberry CheeseQuake Blizzard.

Eat This Instead! Grilled Chicken Salad with Fat-Free Italian Dresng 280 calories 11 g fat (5 g saturated) 1,550 mg sodium

WORST DRIVE-THRU BREAKFAST SANDWICH Jack in the Box Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit 740 calories 55 g fat (17 g saturated fat) 1430 mg sodium

Skip biscuits at all costs. This one contains nearly a full day's worth of saturated fat (check out the 12 worst breakfast foods in the supermarket for other must-have tips on starting your morning right--rather than with a rude awakening!). Instead try the Bacon Breakfast Jack--16 grams of protein makes it a surpringly good way to start your day.

Eat This Instead! Bacon Breakfast Jack 300 calories 14 g fat (5 g saturated fat) 730 mg sodium

WORST DE Arby's Large Mozzarella Sticks 849 calories 56 g fat (26 g saturated fat) 2730 mg sodium

Anything with as much saturated fat as a Triple Whopper should not be called a de. If it's cheese you crave, order the French Dip ‘N Swiss or Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich instead to save more than 500 calories.

Eat This Instead! Martha's Vineyard Salad with Light Buttermilk Ranch Dresng 389 calories 14 g fat (5 g saturated) 923 mg sodium

WORST POTATO DE Jack in the Box Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges 720 calories 48 g fat (15 g saturated fat, 12 g trans fats) 1,360 mg sodium 48 g carbohydrates

You probably don't need us to tell you that bacon, cheese, and fried potatoes are not a healthful trio. What's worse, though, is that Jack in the Box cooks in trans-fatty vegetable shortening, which has been linked to heart disease. It's no secret that French fries can ruin an otherwise senble meal, but these things take destruction to another level entirely.

Eat This Instead! Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (3) 240 calories 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 2 g trans fats) 420 mg sodium

WORST SALAD Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dresng 800 calories 60 g fat (12 g saturated fat) 1745 mg sodium

With 17 more grams of fat than Taco Bell's Fiesta Taco Salad, this is the worst salad from any drive-thru. The dresng alone sets you back 42.5 grams of fat.

Take a look at our list of the worst salads in America and see how this one compares.

Eat This Instead! Chick-fil-A Southwest Chargrilled Salad with Fat-Free Honey Mustard Dresng 360 calories 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat) 1170 mg sodium

WORST DESSERT Dairy Queen Large Strawberry CheeseQuake Blizzard 990 calories 39 g fat (24 g saturated fat) 114 g sugars

This creation combines ice cream, strawberry syrup, and hunks of cheesecake for a high-fat dairy dessert. If you're set on a Blizzard, go bananas. A small Banana Split Blizzard has 7 fewer fat grams than the small Oreo, Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Cup, or Strawberry Cheesequake flavors. Or stray from the Blizzard and satisfy your sweet tooth with a small chocolate sundae instead to save major calories and fat.

Eat This Instead! Small Chocolate Sundae 280 calories 7 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat) 42 g sugars

WORST FISH SANDWICH Burger King BIG FISH Sandwich with Tartar Sauce 640 calories 32 g fat (5 g saturated fat) 1540 mg sodium

Fish is only healthy when it's not breaded and fried in partially hydrogenated oil. Here, the fry treatment translates into a bunch of unhealthy fat and 108 grams of carbohydrates.

Eat This Instead! Whopper Jr. without mayo and Garden Salad 365 calories 12 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat) 1230 mg sodium

WORST CHEESEBURGER Hardee's Monster Thickburger 1,420 calories 108 g fat (43 g saturated fat) 2,770 mg sodium 230 mg cholesterol

This burger is called "Monster" for a reason. It's got the caloric equivalent of almost x McDonald's hamburgers, the saturated fat equivalent of 43 strips of Oscar Mayer bacon, and the sodium equivalent of 84 saltine crackers. You'll almost satisfy your entire day's worth of calories in one tting, so opt for the gnificantly less monstrous Low-Carb Thickburger, instead, and save 1,000 calories that you can allocate to more deserving and nutritious fare.

Eat This Instead! Low Carb Thickburger 420 calories 32 g fat (12 g saturated fat) 1.010 mg sodium

WORST "HEALTHY" FOOD Arby's Roast Turkey and Swiss Market Fresh Sandwich 708 calories 29 g fat (8 g saturated fat) 1,676 mg sodium

Avoid any sandwich made on honey wheat bread: Two slices contain a staggering 361 calories and 68 grams of carbs. Cut those in half by sticking to a sesame bun.

Eat This Instead! Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwich (grilled) 488 calories 18 g fat (4 g saturated fat) 1,560 mg sodium

WORST GRILLED CHICKEN Jack in the Box Chipotle Chicken Ciabatta 690 calories 28 g fat (9 g saturated fat) 1850 mg sodium

Unlike many other fast food restaurants that have made the shift away from trans fats, Jack in the Box's menu has a number of items with more than 5 grams of the stuff—and some with up to 13 grams of it! There's no"safe" level of trans fats, but the recommendation is that you don't eat more than 2 grams of the heart-harming junk per day. Add fries to this sandwich, and you'll take in three and a half times your daily limit.

Eat This Instead! Chicken Fajita Pita 300 calories 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat) 1090 mg sodium

THE WORST DRIVE-THRU MEAL IN AMERICA Carl's Jr. Double x Dollar Burger with Medium Natural cut Fries and 32 oz Coke 2,618 Calories 144 g fat (51.5 g saturated fat) 2892 mg sodium

Of all the gut-growing, heart-stopping, life-threatening burgers in the fast food world, there is none whose damage to your general well-being is as catastrophic as this. Conder these heart-stopping comparisons: This meal has the caloric equivalent of 13 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donuts; the saturated fat equivalent of 52 strips of bacon; and the salt equivalent of seven and a half large orders of McDonald's French fries!

Eat This Instead! Famous Star with de Salad with Low Fat Balsamic Dresng and 32 oz Iced Tea 685 calories 38 g fat (10.5 g saturated fat) 1520 mg sodium
Horror Domain - Cursed Evil Overlord Tuesday 4/21/2009 at 09:12 PM | 43570
Bridge Tuesday 4/21/2009 at 09:29 PM | 43572
Funny you mention these books. I was at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago and picked up all 4 of these books. My "little" bro is a friggen fry eating machine and I swear he would bang the burger king if he could have free fast food forever. So I bought him these books in hopes he would slow down before he gets really fat and ck.... But they are pretty surpring and give you quite a realization of what you are eating.
Swimming~In~Blood Tuesday 4/21/2009 at 09:34 PM | 43574
I bet not many people would even attempt to eat McDonald's burgers if they really knew what they feed their cows on. Chicken shit mixed with other crap. It's no wonder the majority of people that eat that garbage on a daily bas look inbred!
Sourfacedbastard Thursday 4/23/2009 at 02:37 PM | 43716
Yesterday I ate Wendys... then Rallys later that night. No vegetables... just fried food. I came home, went to bed, woke up at about 4 in the morning and got ck. I've been seeing a lot recently about what not to eat (more than usual)... so I'm taking that as a gn and cutting back on the fast food before my heart explodes. ;)
Myers31TKD Thursday 4/23/2009 at 03:19 PM | 43719