When Harry Snyder opened California’s first drive-thru hamburger stand (In-N-Out Burger) in 1948, and later that year invented the first two-way speaker box that allowed customers to place and receive their orders without leaving their car, he probably never imagined he was making history by introducing a trend that would grow enormously in the years to come.
In-N-Out Burger, which serves only hamburgers, French fries, and drinks, also prides itself on the quality of its food, as do many fast-food establishments. In-N-Out Burger claims they do not freeze or pre-package their products, nor do they own a microwave or heat lamp – all hamburgers are cooked made-to-order one at a time.
As we know though, fresh food does not always mean healthy and nutritious. Let’s take a look at In-N-Out Burger’s signature menu items and find out how they rank.
Keep in mind the following intake recommendations from the American Heart Association when reviewing In-N-Out’s nutrition information:
- Total fat: limit total fat intake to 30% or less of total calories (for a 2,000 calorie diet, this would be 60 grams of fat per day)
- Saturated fat: limit saturated fat to less than 10% of total calories (for a 2,000 calorie diet, this would be 20 grams of saturated fat per day)
- Sodium: limit to less than 2,400 mg/day
- Cholesterol: limit to less than 300 mg/day
In-N-Out’s signature menu item, the Double-Double with Onion, contains 670 calories, 41 grams of total fat, 18 grams of saturated fat, 1440 mg of sodium, and 120 mg of cholesterol – this not only just about meets the recommended daily saturated fat limitations for many people, but comes close to meeting the recommended daily sodium limitations as well. Add some French fries to your order, and that’s an extra 395 calories, 18 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, and 245 mg of sodium (their fries have no cholesterol) you’re consuming.
In-N-Out Burger does give you the option of ordering your hamburger Protein Style (replacing the bun with lettuce) – this does reduce the calories to 520 and the sodium to 1160 mg, but does not reduce the amount of fat or cholesterol.
In-N-Out Burger’s two other hamburger items (the Hamburger with Onion and Cheeseburger with Onion) contain considerably less calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol than the Double-Double with Onion – a much better choice, especially if you can’t resist the craving for French fries.
In-N-Out Burger is also known for its tasty shakes, available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors. The shakes are made from 100% pure ice cream, but contain the calories, saturated fat, and sugar that go along with that. Each shake contains almost 600 calories, almost 20 grams of saturated fat, and between 57-67 grams of sugar, depending on which flavor you order. Instead of having a shake, a much healthier beverage option would be a diet soda, iced tea, or light lemonade.
So if you need to have your Double-Double with Onion, French fries, and shake, you might want to add some extra time on to your exercise workout the next day!