Just because a food is vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s healthier. This is especially true when it comes to fast food restaurants, where options for vegetarians are often limited.
Vegetarians may find themselves ordering fries or a milkshake because there simply are no other choices. They may also find themselves missing out on essential nutrients or protein when faced with options like a small side salad, according to registered dietitian-nutritionist Sharon Palmer.
Although there are many restaurants that offer healthy vegetarian fare, the choices at popular fast food joints can easily contain more calories than items on the menu containing meat.
“Restaurants make food to taste good,” Palmer told INSIDER. “Even if you’re ordering a veggie burger, you have to consider that it might be deep-fried or covered with cheese.” She added that knowing what’s in your food can help you make healthier choices the next time you’re at a drive-through.
Here’s a look at some of the vegetarian fast food options that have more calories than their non-vegetarian counterparts.
1. Taco Bell’s 7-Layer Burrito packs more calories than a chicken or steak Burrito Supreme.
When it comes to fast food options, Taco Bell is one of the better choices for many vegetarians. But not all of the restaurant’s meatless options are lower calorie.
The vegetarian 7-Layer Burrito contains 440 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 14 grams of protein.
A Burrito Supreme contains only 380 calories if it’s made with chicken, 390 calories if it’s made with steak, or 400 calories if it’s made with beef. Plus, it contains 17 to 20 grams of protein, depending on which meat you choose. All three options contain 12 grams of fat.
2. White Castle’s Veggie Slider with ranch contains 100 more calories than a Cheese Slider.
White Castle gained attention for their vegetarian options when they started serving a meatless burger that “bleeds” at several locations. But their good-old (less bloody) veggie burger can be found at all locations.
White Castle’s original Veggie Slider with ranch contains 270 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 5 grams of protein, while their Cheese Slider only contains 160 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 8 grams of protein.
3. McDonald’s Hotcakes with syrup and butter contain twice as many calories as an Egg McMuffin.
Considering how popular McDonald’s restaurants are across the globe, there are surprisingly few vegetarian options. One of the only meatless options that would constitute a meal is the Hotcakes platter (without sausage).
The Hotcakes with syrup and butter contain 600 calories, 16 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein, and 45 grams of sugar (nearly an entire day’s worth).
An Egg McMuffin contains 300 calories, 12 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein, and only 3 grams of sugar.
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Source:: Business Insider