It’s pretty easy to get sucked into a good marketing pitch. Who are we to question the large corporations and flashy ads? Surely if a whole company is based around the fact that they’re ‘Healthy Burgers’, they couldn’t possibly lie about it – right? Wrong. If you’re clever with your wording and use vague messages – then you can pretty much say whatever you want. What does ‘healthy’ mean anyway?
As we’ve shared on many occasion over on our Instagram, our gym is upstairs from a Grill’d. It is also on the same premises as a Subway, Nandos, Schnitz, Sushi Sushi, Hooked, Groove Train, a frozen yogurt shop, two Italian places and two bakeries. On my way home from the gym, I pass a KFC & a Hungry Jacks and we live a 5 minute walk from a McDonalds. So, understandably, when given the options – we would automatically assume that ‘Grilled – Healthy Burgers’ is the safest convenient option for a burger treat. We are tempted for choice and we try and pick the best alternative.
So, the other night when tucking into my standard Grill’d order, I wondered whether it was really as healthy as it claims.
Something that I found when doing my research is that Grill’d are good at providing alternative options – for example, they have a carb free bun, they provide sweet potato fries & they offer salads. Simply having options, I believe, is a step above the places that don’t (I’m looking at you McDonalds Australia with your overwhelming lack of vegetarian burgers).
For the regular people, when we’re going to get a burger – we don’t necessarily want to go for a vegetable packed, carb free bun type deal. You want a burger. So, for the purpose of this exercise, we’re comparing their standard beef, chicken and vegetarian burgers and their chips with McDonalds, KFC & Hungry Jacks.
So! Here’s what you came here for.
The Chicken Burger
Here, we will be comparing the Sweet Chili Chicken on a Traditional bun from Grill’d with a KFC Zinger Burger, the Hungry Jacks Grilled Chicken Classic and McDonald’s McChicken Burger.
Lowest Calories – Hungry Jacks with 370 Calories
2nd Place – KFC with 425 Calories
3rd Place – McDonalds with 432 Calories
Last Place – Grill’d with 549 Calories
Something to note with this is that while the Grill’d burger has the highest amount of calories, it is also the heaviest burger at 328g where as the Hungry Jacks burger is only 174g.
Highest Protein – Grill’d with 36.9g
2nd Place – KFC with 28.2g
3rd Place – McDonalds with 19g
Last Place – Hungry Jacks with 18.9g
Lowest Carbs – Hungry Jacks with 29.4g
2nd Place – McDonalds with 38.6g
3rd Place – KFC with 43.2g
Last Place – Grill’d with 55.9g
Lowest Sugars – McDonalds with 4g
2nd Place – Hungry Jacks with 4.3g
3rd Place – KFC with 7.9g
Last Place – Grill’d with 15.9g
Lowest Fat – Grill’d with 17.3g
2nd Place – KFC with 18.6g
3rd Place – Hungry Jacks with 19.7g
Last Place – McDonalds with 21.9g
Over All ‘Healthiest’ Chicken Burger – Hungry Jacks!
2nd Place – KFC
3rd Place – McDonalds
Last Place – Grill’d
This surprised me too. I’ve used a points system to determine the ‘healthiest burger’ and they all came out with exactly 10 points. While it is the lowest in fat & the highest in protein, due to the massive portion size, the Grill’d burger also the highest in calories, sugars & carbs. However, often when we go to a burger shop, we’ll get a burger & fries without considering how heavy it is. I don’t doubt if we had the option to order a 179g Grill’d burger that it would be healthier.
The Beef Burger
Lowest Calories – McDonalds with 542 Calories
2nd Place – Grill’d with 640 Calories
Last Place – Hungry Jacks with 693 Calories
Highest Protein – McDonalds with 33.4g
2nd Place – Grill’d with 32.6g
Last Place – Hungry Jacks with 29.6g
Lowest Carbs – McDonalds with 33.7g
2nd Place – Grill’d with 52.8g
Last Place – Hungry Jacks with 53.7g
Lowest Sugars – McDonalds with 7.4g
2nd Place – Hungry Jacks with 8.6g
Last Place – Grill’d with 11g
Lowest Fat – McDonalds with 30g
2nd Place – Grill’d with 31.3g
Last Place – Hungry Jacks with 40g
Over All ‘Healthiest’ Beef Burger – McDonalds!
2nd Place – Grill’d
Last Place – Hungry Jacks
McDonalds won this race in every category! After checking the serving sizes, I thought that perhaps it was another case where the Grill’d burger would be heavier – but it is less than 2og heavier than the McDonalds & Hungry Jacks options.
The Vegetarian Burger
Lowest Calories – Hungry Jacks with 645 Calories
2nd – Grill’d with 654 Calories
Highest Protein – Grill’d with 19.2g
2nd – Hungry Jacks with 16.3g
Lowest Carbs – Grill’d with 64.2g
2nd – Hungry Jacks with 86.8
Lowest Sugars – Hungry Jacks with 11.8g
2nd – Grill’d with 15.4g
Lowest Fat – Hungry Jacks with 25.6g
2nd – Grill’d with 27.8
Over All ‘Healthiest’ Vegetarian Burger – Hungry Jacks!
Again, these burgers are pretty similar in size so this isn’t due to the Grill’d burger weighing more. It’d be great if more places had options for a proper comparison!
Lowest Calories – KFC with 217 Calories
2nd Place – McDonalds with 297 Calories
3rd Place – Hungry Jacks with 334 Calories
Last Place – Grill’d with 617 Calories
Highest Protein – Grill’d with 9.9g
2nd Place – McDonalds with 4.7g
3rd Place – Hungry Jacks with 4.1g
Last Place – KFC wtih 4g
Lowest Carbs – KFC with 32g
2nd Place – McDonalds with 33.9g
3rd Place – KFC with 44.4g
Last Place – Grill’d with 85g
Lowest Sugars – McDonalds with 0.2g
2nd Place – Hungry Jacks with 0.3g
3rd Place – KFC with 0.5g
Last Place – Grill’d with 0.8g
Lowest Fat – KFC with 8.1g
2nd Place – Hungry Jacks with 14.9g
3rd Place – McDonalds with 15g
Last Place – Grill’d 24.2g
Over All ‘Healthiest’ Chips – KFC!
This wasn’t a surprise to me. As KFC have the thickest cut chips, it means that there is more filling and less of the chip touching the calorie dense oil. What did surprise me was how bad the Grill’d Chips are. While their burgers may be ‘healthy’ their chips definitely aren’t.
When Grill’d say that they’re healthy burgers – they don’t mean their standard burgers vs. other takeaway burgers. To me, it simply seems like they have healthy alternatives available. For example, going to Sumo Salad is healthy in comparison to McDonalds – but it’s not fair to compare a salad to a burger. To see whether it’s healthy, you need to compare apples with apples – which has definitely revealed some interesting results!
Depending on what kind of diet you’re currently following, hopefully this will help guide you in your choices.
What did you think of this piece? Were you surprised, or will this impact your decision making in the future? Comment below and let us know!