Entering a fast-food joint when you’re on a strict diet is like stepping into a battle zone. It’s just dangerous, and your diet can easily just fall out on the wayside while you’re enjoying the options. That’s certainly true at A&W, which isn’t a place that most health fanatics recommend.
The good news is that it’s entirely possible that you can visit A&W and still get by nicely even when you’re on a diet. The first thing you need to do is to avoid the landmines, and here are the biggest dangers:
Bacon Double Cheeseburger
It can be a bit disheartening to see the Bacon Double Cheeseburger on this list because it’s certainly delicious and definitely filling. You have 2 beef patties along with 2 cheese slices, plus the usual suspects: lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mayo.
Then to really make things a lot better, you also have bacon. For many of us, it’s hard to resist. How can you say no to that?
Well, you have to, if you’re on a low-calorie diet and you want to lose weight. That’s because it comes with 647 calories. That might not be so bad, considering that there are other bacon cheeseburgers out there with lots more calories.
But still, this is one of the worse options you can get from the A&W menu. It’s not as if it’s the only thing you’ll order, right? Everything adds up.
This also comes with 16g of saturated fat, 11g of sugar, and a whopping 1,923mg of sodium. The American Heart Association says that you shouldn’t go past 2300mg of sodium per day, and with this burger, you’re likely to go past this recommended limit. Ideally, you’re actually supposed to limit your sodium intake to just 1,500mg!
This is not really a good choice, even with the 29g of protein. You’re better off with the regular burger with its 342 calories.
Coney Cheese Dog
Yes, this is a great treat when you’re at home watching the game on TV, or you want a snack to sate your cravings between lunch and dinner. It’s a great option for your taste buds to be sure, with the hotdog loaded with the chilli, cheese and onions. Each bite is just yummy.
It doesn’t even seem all that bad with the 380 calories. But if you have this for lunch, the problem is that it may not be enough to make you feel full. You might order another one to feel satisfied, so you actually end up with 760 calories.
Even a single coney cheese hotdog may be inadvisable, considering that you also get 1,100mg of sodium along with the 9g of saturated fat. That’s a lot of salt for a single treat. And if you get two of these, you’re really in trouble.
Large Cheese Curds
Sometimes you want sides other than the plain, boring fries, and that’s understandable. It’s also not surprising if you’re considering getting the cheese curds instead. These lightly breaded bites of 100% real Wisconsin cheese, fried until they’re golden-brown, sure are delicious.
It’s why a large order is quite common, as you keep getting another bite-sized piece. It doesn’t hurt that you also get 54g of protein.
The thing is, this large order also loads you up with 1,140 calories, along with a massive dose of 42g of saturated fat. You can already imagine your arteries clogging up with cholesterol. If you’re on a normal diet of 2,000 calories a day, then you should be limiting your saturated fat intake to just 16 to 22g a day.
And if that’s not bad enough, the sodium level is just too darn high at 2,440mg. This alone gives you your daily allowance of sodium!
Large Chocolate Milkshake (32 oz.)
In the entire A&W menu, this contends for the “unhealthiest” title. First off, you have 1,322 calories—and that’s just for dessert. Then you also get 24g of saturated fat, which goes your daily limits. And then there’s the sodium level of 1,045mg.
It’s already a nightmarish list of bad stuff, but the worst is that it also comes with an astronomical 188g of sugar! That’s about 47 teaspoons of sugar. In other words, you’re swallowing down almost enough sugar to fill up an entire cup!
Large Vanilla Milkshake (32 oz.)
What, you thought by avoiding the chocolate and going with vanilla, you’re safe? That’s not entirely true. You still get 1,182 calories, 24g of saturated fat, and 825mg of sodium. And the sugar level is still shockingly high at 174g, which is about 43½ teaspoons of sugar.
These milkshakes may be delicious, but they’re monstrous when it comes to your health.
Avoid the items on this list when you pick out your orders (view A&W menu here), and you just might be able to follow your diet rules. Better yet, get in and buy a root beer float, and enjoy a healthy salad back home!