Bannan says they come with a hefty dose of cholesterol and sodium as well. Like Applebee's A1 Steakhouse burger at 1,190 calories or Denny's Western Burger, with 30 calories less at 1,160. Both have a day's worth of saturated fat and almost an entire day's allotment of sodium.
Keep in mind, those stats don't count the fries.
"This is the battle where, well how can I make my burger bigger and better? Well let's add a bigger piece of meat, let's add more cheese, let's add more bacon," Bannan said. "It's a binge meal, really and your body can only digest so much at once."
Nutrition facts show both Wendy's Bacon Deluxe Triple Burger and Chili's Classic Bacon Burger have the same amount of calories at 1,140. Both also exceed the day's quota for artery-clogging fat. Wendy's has more sodium than you should have in a day, along with a day and a half's worth of saturated fat (31 grams).
"For a 2,000-calorie diet, you need about 65 grams of total fat, and about 20 grams of those are saturated fat, and that's a maximum you actually don't need any saturated fat in your diet," Bannan said.
Burger King's Steakhouse XT is 30 calories shy of 1,000 calories, and the Carl's Jr. Six Dollar Burger is just 10 calories short of 900. McDonald's is last at 750 calories for their Angus Deluxe - certainly lower than the rest but not exactly lean cuisine.
However, all the restaurants have good alternative options.
"There are days you really want a burger, most of these chains have burgers for about 300 calories, just the basic burger, about three-and-a-half grams of saturated fat," Bannan said.
So pile on the lettuce, tomato and low-cal toppings, and order the petite one. Perhaps the food chains will take the hint that good things really do come in small packages.
Nutrition facts for the seven burgers
- Applebee's A1 Steakhouse Burger 1,190 calories (total fat n/a) 25 g saturated fat, 1,900 mg sodium
- Denny's Western Burger 1,160 calories, 65 g fat, 21 g saturated fat, 1,820 mg sodium
- Wendy's Bacon Deluxe Triple 1,140 calories, 71 g fat, 31 g saturated fat, 300 mg cholesterol, 2,470 mg sodium
- Chili's Classic Bacon Burger 1,140 calories 72 g fat, 22 g saturated fat, 2,150 mg sodium
- Burger King Steakhouse XT 970 calories,(total fat n/a) 23 g saturated fat
- Carl's Jr. $6 Burger 890 calories, 54 fat, 20 sat fat, 130 cholesterol, 2,040 mg sodium
- McDonald's Angus Deluxe 750 calories, 39 fat, 31 g saturated fat, 136 cho, 1,700 mg sodium
Food for thought: A Junior Burger at Wendy's - 230 calories/ 8 g fat / 3 saturated fat/ 500 mg of sodium.
You'll find most chains offer nutrition facts on their Web site or posted on menus or boards at the restaurants in California, so if you don't see the facts, ask!