When you’re in the mood for something salty, need a quick answer to your hunger pains, or simply want a cheap, portable lunch choice, there’s nothing quite like pulling through the drive thru of your favorite fast food restaurant. Some, however, may not consider their fast food meal complete without their chosen dipping sauce to accompany their burger, chicken sandwich, or handful of nuggets.
While dipping sauces are a great way to add some extra taste to your fast food order, they may also be the downfall if you’re watching your calorie, fat, salt, and sugar intake. We tend to overlook the potential impact of sauces because of their diminutive serving sizes. But, the difference between a good and great fast food meal might be as little as one packet of dipping sauce. Your fast food meal will likely be loaded in calories, fat, and other unhealthy substances regardless of how the nutrition statistics look at first glance.
As luck would have it, not all dipping sauces are created equal in terms of nutritional content, and there are methods to be ready when it comes to making a choice. We’ve compiled a list of the worst fast food dipping sauces and some healthier alternatives so you can make an informed decision. Maybe you should read up on 60 Fast Food Meals That Are Healthy And Have Less Than 500 Calories.
Worst Honey Mustard: KFC
As compared to plain old yellow mustard, honey mustard strikes the ideal balance between sweet and salty. While most fast food restaurants provide some kind of honey mustard, KFC’s is among the worst. The dipping sauce alone has 1.5 grams of saturated fat, which might put you over the daily recommended limit of about 13 grams. This is especially true if you consume many packets or eat a lot of saturated fat at once. Such is to be expected at a restaurant famous for its Kentucky fried chicken.
Worst BBQ Sauce: Culver’s Sweet Baby Ray’s
Adding some tangy sweetness to your chicken sandwich or chicken nuggets with BBQ sauce is a great idea. Nonetheless, Culver’s BBQ sauce is probably best avoided if you’re going to go with this one. The majority of the dip’s sugar content—26 grams—comes from its primary component, high fructose corn syrup.
Chick-fil-Honey A’s Roasted BBQ Sauce has all the smokey flavor of traditional BBQ with a lot less sugar. When compared to Culver’s, which has 28 grams of sugar per serving, its 2 grams will make you feel considerably better.
Worst Buffalo Sauce: KFC
Fast food restaurants often provide classic buffalo sauce as an alternative dipping sauce to spice up your meal. KFC’s Buffalo Ranch is among the worst buffalo sauces available. There are about 300 milligrams of salt and 13 grams of fat in this dipping sauce. When you consider that the daily limit for salt is 2,300 milligrams, 300 milligrams is already quite a lot for only one packet of sauce.
It’s difficult to find a healthy alternative to buffalo sauce, since even the low-calorie versions sold by McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A still contain roughly 600 milligrams of salt per serving. Alternatively, grab some spicy sauce if you want a little heat without all the extra calories and sodium.
Worst Ranch: Popeyes
Let’s face it: ranch is a dipping sauce that is almost always going to be high in total fat, saturated fat, and salt while being tangy, creamy, and oh so wonderful. Fast food ranch is a prime example of where this holds true. The ranch from Popeyes, for example, is one of the worst options because to its high calorie count (150), total fat (15 grams), and saturated fat (3 grams). These figures are in addition to the calorie-dense meal you plan on eating, so it’s easy to see how they may lead to overeating.
We can’t think of any fast food chains that provide ranch dressing that is both healthful and tasty, and the ranch dressings that are available are all pretty much the same. You may try the ranch fajitas if you’re looking for something lower in fat and calories.
Worst Sweet ‘n Sour: Chick-fil-A
Some individuals would rather eat their chicken nuggets with a sweet and sour sauce than one made with cream. Chick-fil-Polynesian A’s Sauce is a unique take on a style of sauce that isn’t often found at fast food establishments. It tastes great, but it has a lot of added sugar from corn syrup, which isn’t essential.
We can’t think of many places where you can get a “healthier” sweet and sour than Chick-fil-A. Although McDonald’s version is fewer in calories, it still contains 10 grams of sugar, all of which come from high-fructose corn syrup.