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The Physicians Committee



Unhealthiest 'Gourmet Burgers': Wendy's Tops List

man debates eating a burgerHigh-end “gourmet burgers” at fast-food chains may seem like a cheap way to enjoy a premium meal, but they can pose risks to consumers’ health. With a whopping 1,140 calories and more saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium than anyone should eat in a single day, Wendy’s Bacon Deluxe Triple Burger tops the Cancer Project’s list of the five most unhealthful gourmet burgers sold by national fast-food chains.

Dietitians for The Cancer Project, a PCRM affiliate, analyzed and ranked high-end burgers sold by Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s. They found that all are high in calories and fat, and many contain bacon and high-fat dairy products, which can increase cancer risk.

A growing number of fast-food outlets have introduced gourmet burgers made with more expensive cuts of meat and premium cheese. These premium items cost more than typical fast-food offerings but have gained in popularity during the economic downturn because they are still cheaper than eating at sit-down restaurants. But dietitians say consumers are also trading down on health.

“These pricey burgers could do as much damage to your heart as they do to your wallet,” said Krista Haynes, a registered dietitian with The Cancer Project. “A single high-fat meal like a gourmet burger can cause a dangerous increase in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The large amounts of processed meat, fat, dairy, and sodium in gourmet burgers can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.”

The five worst gourmet burgers are:

Rank

Worst Gourmet Burger

Fast-Food Restaurant

1

Bacon Deluxe Triple

Wendy’s

2

The Guacamole Bacon Six Dollar Burger

Carl’s Jr.

3

Steakhouse XT Burger

Burger King

4

Sirloin Cheeseburger

Jack in the Box

5

Angus Bacon and Cheese

McDonald’s

A 2007 report from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund says that 50 grams of processed meat consumed daily increases one’s risk of colorectal cancer by an average of 21 percent. A 50-gram serving is approximately the size of a typical hot dog—or a little less than the four slices of bacon found on the Wendy’s Bacon Deluxe burger.

Read the complete report at CancerProject.org.



 

PCRM Online, January 2010

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