If there’s one fact that’s been drilled into our heads about fast food, it’s that it’s unhealthy. But as with any other restaurant fare, some fast food menu items are a whole lot unhealthier than others. We looked at the menus of 12 of the country’s leading fast food chains, and these are the unhealthiest items on them.

When you’re perusing the menu board at your favorite fast food joint, it’s generally fairly easy to tell which items are unhealthier than others. If something’s loaded with cheese and bacon, it’s unhealthy. If something contains several burger patties (or one “monster” one), it’s unhealthy. If it's got fried chicken in it, it’s unhealthy. Unless you’re looking to add some more plaque to your arteries, we suggest going with something a little healthier.

It’s pretty easy to rationalize just accepting that all fast food is unhealthy and opt for whatever looks good, but the fact of the matter is, some items are healthier than others. And even though it's been proven that posting calorie counts on menus don’t accomplish much, they at least communicate that some options (while they still probably don’t have many healthy attributes) fall within a moderate calorie range.

In seeking out the unhealthiest items at fast food chains, we kept the playing field level by not incorporating breakfast, which not every fast food chain serves. This doesn’t mean that it's a healthy meal by any stretch of the imagination; breakfast at McDonald’s can easily exceed 1,000 calories (Here’s a full ranking of the unhealthiest fast food breakfasts). So read on to learn what the unhealthiest menu items are at 12 of America’s leading fast food chains.

1. Hardee’s/ Carl’s Jr.: ⅔-pound Monster Thickburger

burger and fries

bacon cheeseburger with french fries on a plate (iStock)

Calories: 1,330
Fat: 95 grams
Sodium: 2,820
Cholesterol: 215 milligrams

2. Burger King: Triple Whopper


Hamburger (iStock)

Calories: 1,160
Fat: 75 grams
Sodium: 1,050
Cholesterol: 170 milligrams

3. Subway: Footlong Big Hot Pastrami Melt



Calories: 1,160
Fat: 56 grams
Sodium: 2,940
Cholesterol: 170 milligrams

4. Wendy’s: ¾-Pound Triple with Cheese



Calories: 1,090
Fat: 66 grams
Sodium: 1,990
Cholesterol: 255 milligrams

5. Jack in the Box: Sirloin Cheeseburger with Bacon


*** Local Caption *** Bacon burger with beef patty on red wooden table (iStock)

Calories: 1020
Fat: 71 grams
Sodium: 2,310
Cholesterol: 145 milligrams

6. Panera Bread: Mac & Cheese (Whole)

macaroni and cheese

Delicious mac and cheese made with a smooth, creamy sauce. This macaroni and cheese family favorite is always a welcomed addition for lunch or at dinnertime. (iStock)

Calories: 980
Fat: 61 grams
Sodium: 2,030
Cholesterol: 225 milligrams

Discover the rest of the most unhealthy fast food items in America.

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