While their gravity-defying Blizzards are what Dairy Queen is best known for, its menu is actually stocked with a variety of tasty lunch and dinner options, too. From cheeseburgers to hot dogs to onion rings and fries, you get the full American drive-thru experience. But since many of the menu items have more than a day’s worth of calories, sodium, sugar, and saturated fat, it’s best to make your DQ trips an occasional treat. What’s worse is that many of their dishes also have artery-clogging trans fats. Still, it’s possible to make a less-than-terrible choice if you take the time to examine the menu. Here, I rank worst menu items at Dairy Queen.
Quarter-Pound Bacon Cheese GrillBurger
When you add bacon to burger which is already known for not being a low-calorie or low-fat choice, be prepared to kick the calorie, fat, and sodium counts to skyrocket.
Half-pound Cheese GrillBurger
Increasing the size of the patty on your Cheese GrillBurger will raise the levels of calories, fat, and sodium. I say stick to the smaller version.
Half-pound FlameThrower GrillBurger
Between the double patties, bacon, and extra cheese, it’s no surprise this burger is a monster bomb of calories, saturated fat, and sodium. It’s best to stick to a regular cheeseburger order.
THE WORST SANDWICHES
Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich
While the calories are on the lower end and the solid protein count is a win, the high fat and sodium counts (thanks to the bacon and ranch) make this sandwich a less-than-healthy choice.
Turkey BLT Sandwich
You’d think adding turkey to a BLT sandwich might be an effort to make it healthier, but this sandwich still ranks very high on the fat and sodium charts.
THE WORST CHICKEN OPTIONS AT DAIRY QUEEN
Crispy Chicken Sandwich
It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that a fried chicken sandwich would end up on the unhealthiest list. While the calorie count might not look terrible, this sandwich definitely doesn’t offer the fat and sodium make it one of the worst choices.
6-piece Chicken Strip Basket
The insanely exorbitant calorie, fat and sodium counts on this basket easily make it one of the worst choices, period, on the DQ menu.
THE WORST HOT DOGS
If you’ve opted for a hot dog at Dairy Queen, you already haven’t made the healthiest choice. Adding cheese simply ups the calories, fat, and sodium to even more unhealthy levels.
Chili Cheese Dog
Again, while the calorie count may not seem that high, a hot dog likely won’t fill you up, and you definitely want to stay away from an item like this with that much sodium. Yikes!
Bacon Cheese Dog
If there are any trends with the DQ menu, it’s that any items containing bacon have sky-rocketing amounts of sodium. This hot dog is no exception.
THE WORST SNACKS AND SIDES AT DAIRY QUEEN
Pretzel Sticks with Zesty Queso
While its nutritional value counts, for the most part, aren’t the worst out there, 330 calories is high for a snack, and a not very wholesome one at that.
If you’re on the hunt for a healthy snack, you definitely want to stay away from anything deep-fried, like the onion rings.
No snack item should ever contain over 500 calories and 1,000 mg of sodium. There’s nothing healthy about this pick.
THE WORST FROZEN BEVERAGES
Don’t ever be fooled by thinking that the word “smoothie” implies a beverage is healthy, especially at a fast-food joint. Believe it or not, you’re better off eating a vanilla cone, which offers fewer calories and sugar.
This high-calorie coffee drink might wake you up at the moment, but it’s sure to send you into a sugar crash later in the day.
Midnight Mocha Frappe
Another coffee drink that’s really a dessert sugar bomb in disguise. This one isn’t your best bet if you’re just looking for a caffeine buzz.
Peanut Butter Shake
Even if you opt for a size small, most of Dairy Queen’s shake options are terrible choices that pack in calories, fat, and sugar. Either go for a mini-size, or just a plain ice cream cone to get your fix.
THE WORST DESSERTS
Triple Chocolate Brownie Dessert
540 calories, 24 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 260 mg sodium, 75 g carbs (3 g fiber, 72 g sugar), 9 g protein
If you’re watching what you eat at all, just stay away from this dessert. 72 grams of sugar at the end of the day is not going to do you any favors.
Caramel Funnel Cake
540 calories, 22 g fat (11 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 360 mg sodium, 77 g carbs (1 g fiber, 47 sugar), 9 g protein
Funnel cake is fried carnival food, so are you really surprised it’s on the high end as far as calories, fat, and sugar are concerned? There’s really nothing healthy about this dessert choice, even if it’s not the worst pick on the menu.
Fudge Stuffed Cookie Dessert
This is basically two desserts in one, and it certainly packs in the calories, fat, and sugar that would come in two items. I say just say no to this one.
Peanut Buster Parfait
Peanut butter lovers, prepare to be disappointed yet again. This dessert is way too high in calories, fat, and sugar for it to be a good choice. Again, if you really want a peanut butter fix in the form of dessert, I say opt for a mini-size version of a shake or Blizzard.
Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzard
This one is the worst of the worst on the Blizzard menu. Even in a small size, this dessert packs in an obscene amount of calories, fat and sugar. I say consider other flavors, especially in a mini size.
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