The Best & Worst Menu Items at Shake Shack
While you can't find a Shake Shack in every state, for those who are fortunate enough to have one in town, it's important to know which of your favorite menu items veer on the side of healthy and which ones kill a whole day's worth of calories, fat, and sodium.
To help us determine which menu items are better than others, we called on expert, Kelli McGrane MS, RD for food tracking app Lose It! She picked the best and worst options from seven different categories on the Shake Shack menu.
See which meals you're better off staying far away from and which Shake Shack options got some praise.
Worst: Triple Lockhart Link Burger
"The Triple Lockhart Link Burger has more than half your daily calorie needs, nearly twice the recommended daily sodium limit, and a whopping 40 grams of saturated fat—the same amount as two orders of bacon cheese fries," says McGrane.
For the few locations that whip up this triple-decker, you may want to consider splitting this burger with a friend or maybe just skipping ordering this all together. This burger is loaded in saturated fat because not only does it comprise three beef patties and a few slices of cheese, but there is also a generously sized smoked jalapeño cheese sausage sandwiched between that buttery bun too. If you must order this burger, opt for the single patty Lockhart Link Burger for 810 calories and 24 grams of saturated fat.
Best: Single ShackBurger
"Your best bet is the single hamburger, as it's one of the lowest in calories, saturated fat, and sodium, while still being high in filling protein," says McGrane.
The Single ShackBurger actually has about the maximum amount of protein that you're supposed to eat in one meal at 29 grams. It's still relatively high in saturated fat at 14 grams considering you should limit consumption to 22 grams a day.
Worst: The Chick'n Shack
Out of the four chicken options you can choose from at Shake Shack, the Chick'n Shack sandwich is least healthy of the group due to it's saturated fat and sodium contents.
"It contains half of your daily sodium needs, and that's before you add in a side of French fries," says McGrane.
If you add a side of regular fries to go alongside this sandwich, you tack on an additional 740 milligrams of sodium. The recommended daily allowance of sodium is 2,300 milligrams so this meal combo would put you just beneath that at 1,910 milligrams.
Best: The Chick'n Bites (six pieces)
The Chick'n Bites (six pieces) has just 300 calories and is the lowest in sodium and saturated fat of the chicken options. However, it's still rather high in sodium with 780 milligrams.
Worst: Sausage Breakfast Sandwich (With Double Egg)
"By far the least healthy option is the Sausage Breakfast Sandwich Double Egg, which has as much total and saturated fat as many of the burgers on the menu," says McGrane. "Plus, at 1,310 milligrams of sodium, you're more than 50 percent through the recommended sodium limit for the day."
Yeah, we'll pass on this breakfast sandwich.
Best: Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich
"Stick with the classic Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich, which provides 17 grams of filling protein for less than 400 calories," McGrane advises.
Keep in mind that this breakfast sandwich will eat up half of your day's worth of saturated fat though so plan the rest of your meals wisely!
Worst: Shack-cago Dog
"The Shack-cago Dog is the worst choice that's available at most locations, as it contains as much total fat as two tablespoons of butter," says McGrane. "It also has more than 50 percent of the daily sodium recommendation. However, select locations are offering the Publican Pork Sausage, which has as much fat and sodium as most of the burgers, but with significantly less protein."
That's something to keep in mind!
Best: Chicken Dog
"Go for the Chicken Dog, as it's the lowest in calories, total and saturated fat, and sodium of [all] the Flat-Top Dog options. However don't be fooled by the Chicken Shack-cago Dog, which has a similar amount of calories and fat, but 700 milligrams more sodium," says McGrane.
Worst: Double Down Fries
"The Double Down Fries have more calories, total and saturated fat, and sodium than any of the entrées on the menu. Plus, one order also has as many carbs as 11 slices of bread," says McGrane.
This menu item is nearly equivalent in calories to what most people eat in an entire day. If you're going to chow down on these loaded fries, make sure to split with at least four other people—especially if this is just a side dish.
Best: Regular French Fries
McGrane says ordering the regular, plain French fries is the best move under the fries category and for obvious reasons—there aren't any additional caloric toppings piled on top!
"However, with over 400 calories—as much as an entree—you're better off splitting an order with a friend," she advises.
Shakes and Floats
Worst: Loaded Chocolate Cookies & Cream Shake
"The Loaded Chocolate Cookies & Cream Shake has more than half a day's worth of calories, more total and saturated fat than a cheeseburger, and a surprising 108 grams of sugar—the same as 24 Oreo cookies," says McGrane.
You're going to want to look somewhere else on the menu to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Best: Root Beer Float
"While still high in sugar, the Root Beer Float is the lowest sugar, calorie, and fat option out of all of the milkshakes and floats," says McGrane. "Still, with over 400 calories and 69 grams of sugar—as much as six glazed donuts—sharing is the best way to go."
Cups & Cones of Ice Cream
Worst: Double Chocolate Cone
"A good rule of thumb is to avoid any of the doubles," says McGrane. "However, the worst of the doubles is the Double Chocolate Cone, which has more calories than a cheeseburger."
The dietitian also points out that the ice cream treat packs as much added sugar as about five glazed donuts.
Best: Single Chocolate Cup
McGrane says that the best ice cream option at Shake Shack is either the single scoop of chocolate or vanilla in a cup. Why? They both have 29 grams of sugar and less than 12 grams of saturated fat, a significant improvement from any other item on this section of the menu.
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