Order This, Not That: Smashburger
This chain has been popping up throughout the country. The restaurant offers 100 percent all-natural certified Angus beef and vegetarian options, and gluten-free buns are available upon request. However, as with many quick-serve joints, there are not-so-healthy and better-for-you menu options to choose from. Find out what you should order and what you should skip the next time you stop in for a Smashburger.
The black bean burger provides about the same amount of calories as this burger, but sometime you just want the real deal! This 100 percent all-natural certified Angus beef burger is topped with baby spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, balsamic vinaigrette and goat cheese crumbles. Smashburger gives you the option of ordering a small-sized burger and requesting no butter on the bun, which help keep calories and portions in check. The amount of sodium is not ideal, but it is better than the regular version.
Nutrition info: Calories 475; Fat 25 g (Saturated 11 g); Sodium 1,159 mg; Carbohydrate 39 g; Protein 26 g
This bad boy is layered with truffle mayo, sauteed cremini mushrooms and aged Swiss cheese on a buttered egg bun. With 70 percent of your daily max of recommended sodium, 113 percent of the daily fat max and 145 percent of the daily saturated fat max (based on a 2,000-calorie diet), this seemingly healthier burger is way out of calorie, fat and sodium control!
Nutrition info: Calories 975; Fat 74 g (Saturated 29 g); Sodium 1,598 mg; Carbohydrate 38 g; Protein 42 g
Both the multigrain bread and the grilled chicken are buttered, which can be eliminated upon request, dropping the calories by 60. Piled with lettuce, tomato and onion, this is a reasonable choice from their chicken selections.
Nutrition info: Calories 420; Fat 18 g (Saturated 6 g); Sodium 1,290 mg; Carbohydrate 37 g; Protein 33 g
Just because it’s made with chicken doesn’t make it a healthy choice. What’s more, the carbs are 1 1/2 times more than the beef version, and the sodium is close to 90 percent of the recommended daily max (without any fries!).
Nutrition info: Calories 955; Fat 63 g (Saturated 22 g); Sodium 2,028 mg; Carbohydrate 57 g; Protein 42 g
Made with spring mix, red onions, tomatoes, an egg and bacon, this salad has a good variation of veggies and protein. Instead of the ranch dressing, which contains more than 300 calories per serving, request the balsamic vinaigrette. Also, don’t forget to ask for the hard-boiled egg to be unbuttered (apparently they like to butter the proteins).
Nutrition info: Calories 380; Fat 30 g (Saturated 14 g); Sodium 891 mg; Carbohydrate 3 g; Protein 18 g
Made with a spring salad mix, tomatoes, onions and jalapenos, this salad is a seemingly healthy choice. The cheese adds a serving of dairy and 56 calories, while the bacon and guacamole add 115 calories combined. So where do all the calories come from? The chipotle-mayo dressing that is served on this salad contributes a whopping 528 calories! Either select a lower-calorie vinaigrette, or skip this salad altogether.
Nutrition info: Calories 721; Fat 67 g (Saturated 10 g); Sodium 1,362 mg; Carbohydrate 13 g; Protein 7 g
If you’re really trying to watch what you eat, order a side salad. Muster up all your willpower to skip the fries, and choose this low-cal, healthier option instead with balsamic vinaigrette.
Nutrition info: Calories 97; Fat 6 g (Saturated 2 g); Sodium 178 mg; Carbohydrate 4 g; Protein 3 g
Served with Texas Petal Sauce (an orange-yellow sauce made with sour cream, cayenne and horseradish), this side racks up close to 40 percent of the calories for the day (based on a 2,000-calorie diet) and 69 percent of your daily recommended max for sodium.
Nutrition info: Calories 765; Fat 64 g (Saturated 21 g); Sodium 1,379 mg; Carbohydrate 44 g; Protein 5 g
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day .