Sodium Content of Favorite Fast Foods

Mar 20, 2009Updated 4 months ago

Switching to a low-sodium diet is fraught with landmines, pitfalls and traps, and may seem like a lifetime doomed to eating cardboard, never visiting the drive-thru lane of a McDonald's again. It's not true! While the major fast food chains have not even tried to lower the sodium content of their menu items, it's possible for an informed consumer to plan a day's salt-intake carefully and still be able to enjoy an occasional burger and fries.

It would, of course, be even more healthful to substitute lower-sodium items from the menu for those burgers and fries. But most of the choices that one would guess were lower in sodium, like chicken or fish, are equally laden with sodium. Salads, unless eaten dry without salad dressings, are not much better.

The following information comes from each National Chain's website.

McDonald's Menu Sodium Content

  • Big Mac®: 1040 mg
  • Quarter Pounder®: 730 mg
  • Quarter Pounder® with cheese: 1190 mg
  • Premium Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich: 1150 mg
  • Premium Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich: 1190 mg
  • Filet o' Fish®: 640 mg
  • Small Fries (2.5 oz): 160 mg
  • Chicken McNuggets® (4 pc): 400 mg
  • Spicy Buffalo Sauce (1.5 oz packet): 960 mg
  • Honey Mustard Sauce (1.5 oz packet): 170 mg
  • Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken: 1010 mg
  • Side Salad (without dressing): 10 mg
  • Newman's Own® Low Fat Family Recipe Italian Dressing (1.5 oz): 730 mg
Try using the Honey Mustard dipping sauce from McDonald's on the side salad, instead of salad dressing. That's a saving of more than 500 mgs of sodium.

Burger King's Menu Sodium Content

  • Whopper® w/mayo: 1020 mg
  • Whopper®with cheese: 1450 mg
  • Double Whopper® w/mayo: 1090
  • Triple Whopper® with cheese and mayo: 1590 mg
  • Angus Steak Burger®: 1260 mg
  • Flame Broiled® Double Cheeseburger: 1030 mg
  • TenderGrill™ Chicken: 1180 mgs
  • TenderCrisp™ Chicken: 1090 mgs
  • Chicken Tenders® 5 pc: 600 mgs
  • BK Chick'n Fries® 6 pc: 650 mgs
  • BK Big Fish®: 1450 mgs
  • BK Veggie Burger®: 1100 mgs
  • Small Fries Salted: 380 mgs
  • Small Fries w/o Salt: 240 mgs
  • Cheesy Tots® potatoes 6 pc: 650 mgs
  • Small onion rings: 210 mgs
  • Side salad: 0 mgs
  • TenderCrisp® salad (w/chicken): 1080 mgs
  • TenderGrill® salad (w/chicken): 720 mgs
  • Ken's® light Italian dressing (2.0 oz): 440 mgs
  • Ken's® Fat Free Ranch: 740 mgs
Check out Burger King's onion rings instead of fries, for a saving of 30 mgs of sodium.

Wendy's Menu Sodium Content

  • Double w/Everything and Cheese: 1440 mg
  • Double Stack™: 810 mg
  • Baconator®: 1880 mg
  • Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich: 950 mg
  • Homestyle Chicken Fillet Sandwich: 1120 mg
  • Crispy Chicken Sandwich: 680 mg
  • Chicken Nuggets 5 pc: 520 mg
  • Honey Mustard Sauce: 220 mg
  • Baked Potato w/Sour Cream and Chives: 50 mg
  • Small Fries (2.5 oz): 290 mg
  • Side Salad: 25 mg
  • Caesar Side Salad: 170 mg
  • Supreme Caesar dressing: 200 mg
Even with sour cream and chives, substituting a Wendy's Baked Potato for the small order of fries will save a whopping 240 mg of sodium!

By careful planning and judiciously choosing the lesser "evils," an occasional drive-thru trip can happen.


McDonald's Nutritional Information

Burger King's Nutritional Information can be accessed at:

Wendy's Nutritional Information