In-N-Out is one of the perennial contenders for the top fast-food burgers in the world. Lots of people consider themselves lucky if their city or town has their own In-N-Out location, as the brand doesn’t appear anywhere near the East Coast.
The thing is, you might feel a twinge of guilt when you come in, especially when you’re on a diet. Most doctors frown upon frequent visits to fast-food joints, as these places aren’t exactly temples of healthy food.
The good news, though, is that some items in the In-N-Out menu aren’t all that bad for your health. The trick is to make the right choices.
Regular Hamburger Protein Style, with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, ½ Sauce
Going “Protein Style” means replacing the standard burger bun with large lettuce leaves instead. You can do that without a fuss at In-N-Out, since the place allows guests to modify the burgers in just about whatever way they want.
Just make sure you have the lettuce, tomato, and onion in your burger. They make the burger taste a lot better, plus they also sate your appetite a lot more quickly. That means you’re less likely to still feel hungry after eating the burger.
Ask that they only put in half the sauce as well. This also saves with the calories. Reducing the sauce by half doesn’t really cut down on the flavor either, since most places put in too much sauce on their burgers to begin with.
By replacing the bun with the lettuce leaves, you reduce the calorie intake by 100 calories, so now you have only 240 calories. That’s great when you’re trying to lose weight on a low-calorie diet.
You do have 4g of saturated fat and 7g of sugar to deal with, although the 370mg of sodium is quite low for a fast-food option. This also works nicely for those on a low-carb diet.
Regular Cheeseburger Protein Style, with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, ½ Sauce, Cheese
This is just like the Protein Style burger listed first, except now you have the cheese. It’s not a bad option when you’re used to cheeseburgers, plus you increase the protein from 13g to 18g. Protein also helps to make you feel full.
Again, you have the lettuce, tomato, and onion, and they give you some nice extra nutritional benefits. All in all, you get only 330 calories, which isn’t too much. You do have to contend with the 9g of saturated fat, but the 720mg of sodium isn’t really all that high. You also get 7g of sugar, but replacing the bun with the lettuce leaves still cuts down on the carbs.
You can get a Cheeseburger under 3 dollars, which sure saves a lot of money. What’s more, you get your appetite satisfied, you get to enjoy that legendary In-N-Out yumminess, and the nutritional content isn’t all that bad.
Regular Cheeseburger, with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, ½ Sauce, Cheese
Now we get to a more standard cheeseburger, with the buns instead of the lettuce leaves. That gets you extra carbs along with 10g of sugar. With the cheese added to the burger, you also get 10g of saturated fat.
The whole thing gives you 480 calories, since the slice of cheese (innocuous as it may seem), also adds about an extra hundred calories. But when you consider how many calories come with other burgers out there, you might consider yourself lucky.
This may not be a good idea for those with hypertension issues, since it comes with 1,000mg of sodium. Still, there are burgers out there with lots more salt.
You also get 22g of protein, which can help you feel full so you won’t need an extra sandwich to tide you over.
Double Meat Protein Style, with Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, ½ Sauce
Yes, this has 2 patties, which comes with pros and cons. That means you increase the calories and sodium, though using the lettuce leaves in lieu of the buns does help out somewhat.
But even with the 2 patties, you only get 520 calories and only 7g of sugar, along with a whopping 33g of protein. That’s good, although it also comes with 1,160mg of sodium that might not be best for those with high blood pressure. It also comes with 17g of saturated fat.
Small French Fries (No Sauce)
It may be too much to ask you to forego the French fries, since they’re generally part of the burger experience. Still, it adds 370 calories to the tally. At least you only get 1.5g of saturated fat and 250mg of sodium.
This may also not be good for those on a low-carb diet, as it comes with 52g of carbs. At least it has zero sugars, so that’s nice. It even adds 6g of protein.
That’s it. Pick one of the listed burgers here, and get the small French fries if you really need a side dish. Then sit back and thank your lucky stars that you have an In-N-Out near you!