What to Order at Burger King, According to a Registered Dietitian

Eating healthy at a fast-food restaurant like Burger King can be challenging. This guide will outline some of the best choices at Burger King and some top menu items to avoid.

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by
Isabella Buchter
— Signos
Health Writer
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Reviewed by

Isabella Buchter
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Updated by

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Science-based and reviewed

Published:
July 19, 2024
June 19, 2024
— Updated:

Table of Contents

With burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, onion rings, and shakes, Burger King has everything you could want from a fast-food burger joint. It has approximately 19,000 locations worldwide, and 6,600 are in the United States, making Burger King a popular restaurant.1 However, as with many fast food restaurants, many items on the menu can contain ingredients that could be better for your overall health or glucose levels. Burger King meals are often highly processed, high in carbohydrates and saturated fats, and low in nutritional value. 

Despite this, you might not want to cut Burger King from your diet entirely, and that’s ok! The occasional Burger King meal won’t derail your health journey if you keep your health goals in mind while ordering. Here at Signos, we’re all about adding in healthy items rather than restricting and in this guide, we’re sharing with you how to navigate Burger King’s menu for healthier choices.

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6 Foods to Order at Burger King

1. Hamburger

burger-king-hamburger
  • Calories: 250kcal
  • Fat: 10g
  • Sodium: 560mg
  • Carbs: 29g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 7g
  • Protein: 13g

Average glucose spike: 35mg/dL

Benefits: The regular hamburger can be a good option since it has fewer calories than many other burger options and lower fat and sodium. 

2. Impossible Whopper

burger-king-impossible-whopper
  • Calories: 630kcal
  • Fat: 34g
  • Sodium: 1,350mg
  • Carbs: 62g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugars: 14g
  • Protein: 29g

Average glucose spike: 45mg/dL

Benefits: The Impossible Whopper has less sodium than the normal Whopper, less saturated fat, and zero cholesterol. 

3. Whopper Jr.

burger-king-whopper-jr
  • Calories: 330kcal
  • Fat: 19g
  • Sodium: 560mg
  • Carbs: 30g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 7g
  • Protein: 15g

Average glucose spike: 49mg/dL

Benefits: The Burger King Whopper's calories are considerably higher than those in the Whopper Jr. The Whopper Jr. is also relatively lower in sodium than other menu items, making it a healthier option.

4. Royal Crispy Wrap

burger-king-royal-crispy-wrap
  • Calories: 310kcal
  • Fat: 17g
  • Sodium: 790mg
  • Carbs: 28g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 15g

Average glucose spike: 34mg/dL

Benefits: This chicken wrap is one of the best Burger King wraps. Compared to other chicken options, it has the lowest amount of carbohydrates and sugar and is lower in calories and fat, especially saturated fat.

5. Chicken Fries

burger-king-chicken-fries
  • Calories: 260kcal
  • Fat: 13g
  • Sodium: 780mg
  • Carbs: 20g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 15g

Average glucose spike: 30mg/dL

Benefits: Burger King's chicken fries are relatively high in protein and lower in carbohydrates, sugar, and calories than many other options. For example, the medium Burger King Fries have 370 calories, 54 grams of carbohydrates, and only 5 grams of protein. While the fries are a Burger King gluten-free option, the Chicken Fries will likely be much kinder to your glucose levels if you don't have this dietary restriction. 

6. Unsweetened Iced Tea

unsweetened-ice-tea-burger-king
  • Calories: 0kcal
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

Average glucose spike: 0.3mg/dL

Benefits: The unsweetened iced tea or diet and zero-calorie soft drinks are great options. When looking for a drink, options with no added sugars are best since liquid calories are an easy way to consume excess calories and spike blood glucose.

<p class="pro-tip"><strong>Also Read: </strong><a href=does-tea-dehydrate-you>Proven Reasons Why Tea Does Not Dehydrate You</a>.</p>

4 Foods to Avoid

1. Double Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit

double-sausage-egg-and-cheese-biscuit-burger-king
  • Calories: 853kcal
  • Fat: 66g
  • Sodium: 2,526mg
  • Carbs: 34g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 4g
  • Protein: 33g

Average glucose spike: 42mg/dL

Processed meats such as sausage often contain high fat, saturated fat, and sodium. These ingredients are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.2 The Burger King Double Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit is high in all three ingredients. It has an especially high sodium content, which is more than the recommended intake for an entire day.

If you still want to enjoy a breakfast biscuit, stick with the regular Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit, which has a considerably lower sodium, fat, and saturated fat. 

2. Triple Whopper

tripple-whopper-burger-king
  • Calories: 1,170kcal
  • Fat: 80g
  • Sodium: 1,300mg
  • Carbs: 56g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 14g
  • Protein: 73g

Average glucose spike: 51mg/dL

With 80 grams of fat and 27 grams of saturated fats, the Burger King Triple Whopper is not attempting to be heart-healthy. It has been widely shown that consuming saturated fats increases your risk of coronary heart disease, and the Triple Whopper has a very high amount of saturated fat.3 

When visiting a fast-food restaurant like Burger King, it can be tempting to go “all-out.” However, paying attention to portion sizes and ingredients is still best. If you are craving a burger instead of the Triple Whopper, try the Whopper Jr. to enjoy a burger while avoiding excess fats, sodium, and processed meat. 

3. Bacon King

bacon-king-burger-king
  • Calories: 1,200kcal
  • Fat: 81
  • Sodium: 2,270mg
  • Carbs: 58g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 16g
  • Protein: 66g

Average glucose spike: 53mg/dL

The Bacon King has even more sodium and saturated fat than the Triple Whopper. It contains 32 grams of saturated fat and over the recommended amount of sodium for an entire day. If you’re looking for an item with bacon and cheese, try one of the Burger King melts, such as the Bacon Melt. Even better, go for the Bacon Cheeseburger or the Whopper Jr. with Bacon & Cheese. These options have significantly lower fat and sodium.

4. Strawberry Shake

strawberry-shake-burger-king
  • Calories: 610kcal
  • Fat: 14
  • Sodium: 420mg
  • Carbs: 110g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 92g
  • Protein: 12g

Average glucose spike: 73mg/dL

The Strawberry Shake has the highest sugar out of all the dessert options at Burger King. At 92 grams of sugar, it contains over triple the recommended daily amount. Added sugar can increase your risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes.4 If you want a cold, sugary treat, try a Burger King soft-serve cone with only 22 grams of sugar instead.

Whopper Copycat Recipe

Many of the Burger King burgers, such as the new Burger King Candied Bacon Whopper, are high in unhealthy nutrients. By making your burger at home, you can create a healthier version and still get your burger fix without the excess Burger King calories, fat, and sodium. 

Ingredients: 

  • Sesame Hamburger Bun
  • 1/4 LB Lean Ground Beef
  • Pinch Salt
  • Pinch Pepper
  • Avocado Oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1/3 Cup Iceberg Lettuce
  • Sliced Tomato
  • Sliced Onion
  • Sliced Dill Pickle
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Ketchup

Instructions:

  1. Preheat Your Barbecue.
  2. Toast the Sesame Seed Bun Facedown on the Grill.
  3. Roll the Ground Beef Into a Ball and Flatten It Into a Patty.
  4. Grill the Meat for 2-3 Minutes per Side.
  5. Salt and Pepper Each Side.
  6. Place the Bun on a Plate, and Spread the Mayonnaise and Ketchup in Each Bun.
  7. Stack the Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, Pickle, and Beef Patty on the Bun. 
  8. Serve Warm.

A Quick Review

Making food at home will allow you to monitor the ingredients you’re consuming and adjust recipes to make healthier meals. However, sometimes we rush and decide to pick up some fast food. In these cases, indulging while keeping your health goals in mind is still possible. Here are some tips to navigate eating out at Burger King.

  1. Choose Smaller Portions: Many menu items have varying sizes, and by choosing smaller sizes, such as the small fry instead of the large fry or the Whopper instead of the Triple Whopper, you can reduce your intake of unhealthy ingredients like saturated fat and sodium. 
  2. Choose Lean Meats: Menu items with beef and bacon are generally higher in fat, including saturated fat. Chicken can often be a healthier option.
  3. Avoid Sugary Drinks: Burger King's shakes and sodas are packed with sugar. Instead, you can easily reduce the amount of calories in your meal by choosing water or zero-sugar alternatives like diet Coke or unsweetened iced tea.
  4. Watch the Sauces: By only looking at the Burger King nutrition information for a certain menu item but not the sauces you add, you can easily add high amounts of hidden sugars, sodium, and fat to your meal. Pay attention to the nutrients in the sauces and opt for low-sugar sauces.
  5. Check the Menu Beforehand: If you want to keep track of the ingredients you’re consuming, pick out something on the online Burger King menu before you go. This way, you can easily look for options with a healthier nutritional profile, and you won’t feel time-pressured to pick something randomly.

Learn More About Health Nutrition With Signos

Interested in learning more about nutrition and adopting healthy eating habits? You can learn all about a nutritious diet, how to make healthy eating a habit, and tips for reaching your health goals with Signos’ expert advice.

The Signos program shows you how the foods you eat, workouts, and lifestyle affect your glucose levels. With the Signos CGM and Signos’ expert advice, you can achieve weight loss and improve your health. Want to get started? Head to Signos’ blog, where you can learn about nutrition and healthy habits. Find out if Signos is a good fit for you by taking a quick quiz.

<p class="pro-tip"><strong>Learn More: </strong><a href=eating-at-subway>What to Order At Subway, According to a Licensed Dietitian</a>.</p>

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References

  1. Burger King | HasData. Accessed May 30, 2024. https://hasdata.com/brand-reports/burger-king 
  2. Iqbal R, Dehghan M, Mente A, et al. Associations of unprocessed and processed meat intake with mortality and cardiovascular disease in 21 countries [Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) Study]: a prospective cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021;114(3):1049-1058. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqaa448
  3. Zong G, Li Y, Wanders AJ, et al. Intake of individual saturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: two prospective longitudinal cohort studies. BMJ. 2016;355:i5796. doi:10.1136/bmj.i5796
  4. Rippe JM, Angelopoulos TJ. Relationship between Added Sugars Consumption and Chronic Disease Risk Factors: Current Understanding. Nutrients. 2016;8(11):697. doi:10.3390/nu8110697

About the author

Isabella Buchter is a scientific writer and Marketing Content Coordinator at Signos with a degree in biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular biology.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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