By now, anyone eating fast food knows they are not making a healthy diet choice – but some items at your favorite chains are shocking even by these standards
Several burgers at McDonald’s, Burger King, Five Guys and others contain around 1,000 calories in one sitting.
But the Pretzel Bacon Pub Triple from Wendy’s has a whopping 1,530 calories, 44 grams of saturated fat and 1890 milligrams of salt.
That is the calorie equivalent of three McFlurry’s or 15 Snickers bars, and are three quarters of an entire adult’s daily allowance.
Consuming too many calories, too much fat, and high amounts of sodium can lead to a host of health issues, from heart disease to cognitive decline to cancer.
‘It is fairly obvious from a calorie standpoint alone why this burger earns the title worst Wendy’s meal by providing nearly the full amount of calories most individuals need in a day at over 1500,’ dietitian Lisa Richards told Mashed.
The burger launched in 2020 and then went through a short absence before returning to menus nationwide in September 2022. The triple version has three beef patties, pickles, crispy onions, muenster cheese, beer cheese sauce, bacon, and smoky honey mustard.
The Pretzel Bacon Pub Triple has a staggering amount of calories, cholesterol, saturated fat, and salt. All of these can have several adverse health effects
According to the Wendy’s website, the Pretzel Bacon Pub Triple clocks in at 1,530 calories, not including fries or a drink. Adding a medium order of fries and medium Coke, for example, would bring it up to 2250.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adult women consume anywhere from 1600 to 2400 calories per day depending on age, and men should get anywhere from 2000 to 3000 calories per day depending on age.
The USDA said that a 2000-calorie diet should be standard for most Americans.
This burger would account for more than three-quarters of that intake, leaving little room for the rest of the day’s meals.
It’s also loaded with salt, coming it at 1890 milligrams.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming less than 2300 milligrams of sodium per day. This is about one teaspoon.
However, about 90 percent of Americans over two years old consume too much salt- 3400 milligrams on average- according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Nearly 500,000 US deaths each year are attributed to high blood pressure, which has long been linked to overconsumption of salt.
Additionally, too much sodium can lead to a host of other diseases, including heart disease and stroke.
It could also raise the risk of certain cancers. One review of more than 268,000 participants, for example, suggested that those who consumed an average of 3000 milligrams could have a 68 percent higher risk of developing stomach cancer.
The burger is also high in saturated fat, coming in at 44 grams.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends aiming that no more than than 5-6 percent of calories from saturated fat. If you’re eating 2000 calories per day, that is about 13 grams of saturated fat.
This means that the Pretzel Bacon Pub Triple has more than three times the amount of recommended saturated fat.
High saturated fat can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol, a primary risk factor for heart disease.
It can also lead to conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, lupus, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Some studies have also linked too much saturated fat to inflammation and mental decline, though results are largely inconclusive.
In terms of cholesterol, this burger has about 250 milligrams, more than 80 percent the USDA’s recommended limit of 300.
Finally, the Pretzel Bacon Pub Triple contains 89 grams protein.
The USDA recommends the average sedentary adult consume 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For example, if someone weighs 165 pounds (75 kilograms), they should consume about 60 grams of protein per day.
While protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and bone health, getting too much can have detrimental effects.
One 2016 study, for example, found that when people replaced carbs with protein, they were significantly more likely to gain weight.
Studies have also shown that certain high-protein diets, mainly from red meat-based protein, like a burger, are linked to increased risk of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer.
Less calorie-dense options on the menu include the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, at 370 calories, and the Double Stack, at 410 calories.