5 Worst Fast Food Drinks To Avoid Right Now – Eat This, Not That

Nothing goes better with a side of fries than a soda. Or a milkshake. Or even a smoothie, depending on how adventurous you feel. A large paper cup filled with liquid is an essential part of any fast food order. But that doesn’t mean it’s nutritious.

While there are many options for drinks when it comes to fast food, not all options are built equally. As with any order category, there is a range of healthy products to choose from. While it’s good to indulge if you’re looking for that, we were more concerned about how to handle ordering drinks when you’re not.

We consulted Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Handbook, and member of our advice from medical experts on the five least nutritious fast food drinks on the market today. She ranked the top five average offenders and also shared health tips on how to make a more informed choice about what to sip.

Then, for more fast food ordering tips, here are the 8 worst fast food burgers to avoid right now.

Courtesy of McDonald’s

620 calories, 16g fat, 10g saturated fat, 300mg sodium, 81g sugar

Anything bigger than a little chocolate shake, it seems, could spell a setback with your health goals. As Goodson explains, plain flavor can be deceiving – without any additions or blending, how bad can it really be? Take a look at the nutritional information and you will see.

“While a plain chocolate shake might seem like a decent option, the size of this shake contributes to the high sugar and calorie content,” Goodson says. “If you really want chocolate, try drinking chocolate milk instead.”

According to Goodson, even a vanilla ice cream cone at Mickey D’s is a healthier choice than this shake.

Dunkin Donuts' Medium Irish Cream Swirl Iced Coffee with Cream
Courtesy of Dunkin Donuts

850 calories, 31g fat, 17g saturated fat, 360mg sodium, 128g sugar

We know, we know: the novelty here is almost worth it for the insalubrity. A swirl of Irish cream! This drink has got to be one of the most fun ways to start your day. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most unhealthy.

Goodson explains that most of the calories in this drink come from the cream. She specifically points to saturated fat in cream and notes that Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting calories from saturated fat to less than 10% of your total calorie intake for the day, from both food and drink. With 17 grams in this drink alone, you might run into some issues.

The sugar content, she adds, is also alarming.

“That provides you with about 32 teaspoons,” she says. “Needless to say, it’s more than you need!” »

But don’t be afraid! For Irish cream lovers, Goodson recommends Medium Irish Cream Swirl Iced Cappuccino with Skim Milk as a much healthier option (although skipping the cream and milk altogether is even better).

King's Smoothie 20 oz Hulk Strawberry
Courtesy of Smoothie King

890 calories, 32g fat, 16g saturated fat, 390mg sodium, 91g sugar

“Smoothie” can be a bit of a misleading word. It conjures up images of fresh fruits and vegetables, painting the picture of a healthy snack more than a dessert.

“This smoothie has nutrient-dense ingredients, including strawberries and bananas, but the addition of pecan butter ice cream and turbinado sugar (a hidden ingredient that most people don’t catch) helps more sugar than recommended in a day,” Goodson says.

Of course, she adds, ice cream definitely increases the calorie and fat content. Even the “Hulk Blend”, which is a combo of protein and carbs, can’t call this order healthy. Instead, she says, opt for the 20-ounce Strawberry Slim-N-Trim, which contains strawberries, Gladiator® Protein Vanilla, Lean1™ Vanilla Protein, Protein Blend, Stevia Plant-Based Sweetener and Fiber Blend Enhancer.

For better smoothie orders, here’s the best fast food smoothie for belly fat loss, says dietitian

Five Guys Oreo Crème Malted Milkshake with Oreo Chunks
Five guys / Facebook

845 calories, 42g fat, 25g saturated fat, 534mg sodium, 105g sugar

An order like this will remind you of what Goodson calls a “huge” 845 calories and 105 grams of sugar.

“The scary thing is you can keep adding toppings…and calories! »

Looking for a healthy drink to go with your bag of Five Guys fries? Unfortunately, you’ll have to stray completely from milkshake territory. According to Goodson, there is simply nothing nutritious about this section of the menu.

Sonic's Medium Oreo and Reese's Peanut Butter Master Shake
Courtesy of Sonic

1130 calories, 67g fat, 33g saturated fat, 740mg sodium, 75g sugar

This milkshake tops the list of the unhealthiest drinks you can order at a fast food restaurant. The ice cream in it is the first red flag and contributes a lot of the fat content. However, add the extra peanut butter (a healthy fat), and suddenly you increase the fat content to 67 grams. As Goodson points out, higher fat content also means higher calorie content.

“This shake is loaded with Oreos,” she says, “and there are 53 calories in just a Oreo !”

If you’re at Sonic and in the mood for a must-have milkshake, opt for the mini caramel or fresh banana shake instead. They contain nearly a third of the calories and less than half the amount of fat.

READ MORE: 9 Worst Fast Food Drinks You Should Never Order

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