What to Eat at In-N-Out Burger: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

In-N-Out Burger

Verywell / Christian Alzate

In-N-Out Burger is a well-known burger restaurant which offers burgers, fries, shakes, and malts. It's also known to provide a "Super Secret Menu" that includes such notable favorites as Flying Dutchman" (two patties and two cheese slices without buns or condiments). But it doesn't provide options such as grilled chicken or salads that are offered at many other burger joints.

In-N-Out Burger has a reputation for offering a fresh, delicious burger experience, but those following a special diet (such as a vegetarian or vegan diet) may have a hard time dining here. Those trying to reduce their fat or sodium content may also find this menu challenging. However, if you enjoy a traditional burger and fries meal once in a while, this restaurant is likely to satisfy you.

What Experts Say

In and Out Burger’s menu is simple—burgers, French fries, and milkshakes. There are no vegetable, salad, or meatless options (excluding fries). These types of foods are very low in filling fiber and rich in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, so they should be consumed less frequently. For the lowest calorie burger option, choose a plain hamburger, and avoid the sugary beverages.

Barbie Cervoni, RD, CDE

Navigating the Menu

The limited menu at In-N-Out Burger makes ordering simple because there are just a few main categories of food. The restaurant provides nutritional information and ingredient lists for their basic menu items on the In-N-Out Burger website.

You can customize your food if you choose, such as removing certain condiments or choosing a hamburger without a bun. But nutritional information is not available for most of the customized foods.

What to Order & Avoid at In-N-Out
 Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
Protein Style Hamburger with Onion (Burgers) Not-So-Secret 4x4 Burger (Burgers)
Small French Fries (Fries) Roadkill Fries (Fries)
Small Vanilla Shake (Shakes) Extra Large Strawberry Shake (Shakes)
Iced Tea (Beverages) Barq's Root Beer (Beverages)

Most Nutritious Option

The healthiest choice on the basic menu at In-N-Out is the "Protein-Style" hamburger, which does not include a bun, and is lower in calories, fat, carbohydrates, and sodium.

Burgers

There are many different ways to customize a hamburger at In-N-Out. You can add or subtract meat, cheese, special sauce, or condiments. You can also ask to have your hamburger cut in half. If you like a traditional burger with a bun, this may be your best bet.

But keep in mind that the serving size will be much smaller than the next healthiest choice on the menu, which is the Protein-Style hamburger—a traditional In-N-Out hamburger (with one patty and no cheese) that is wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.

✓ Protein-Style Hamburger with Onion

The Protein-Style hamburger with onions provides 240 calories, 17g fat, 4g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrate, 13g protein, and 370mg sodium. Removing the bun eliminates substantial calories, carbs, and sodium.

While the nutrition information doesn't specifically provide data for the bun, if you calculate the difference between the burger with the bun and without the bun, you can estimate that the bun adds 150 calories, 2g fat, 1g saturated fat, 28g carbohydrate, 3g protein, and 280mg sodium,

✗ Not-So-Secret 4x4 Burger

The Not-So-Secret 4x4 Burger is also called a "Quad Quad." In-N-Out Burger does not provide specific nutritional information for this item. Basically, it is two Double-Doubles with one bun—or a Double-Double with a Protein Style Double-Double. It includes four beef patties, lettuce, tomato, spread, and four slices of American cheese (with or without onions) on a bun.

While the nutritional information isn't exact, an estimate based on the numbers provided would indicate that it has roughly 1,190 calories, 80g fat, 35g saturated fat, 50g carbohydrate, 70g protein, and 2,600mg sodium.

Fries

While the basic menu only provides one option for french fries, there are ways to customize them. However, customized fries aren't really any healthier than the basic ones.

For instance, you can request that your fries be cooked light (softer) or well done (crispier) or anything in between. You can also add cheese or meat to your fries which will add fat, calories, and sodium.

✓ Small French Fries

If you order the basic french fries, a single order provides 370 calories, 15g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 52g carbohydrate, 6g protein, and 250mg sodium. If you are interested in cutting back on your sodium or fat content, you can easily split these with a friend. The 125-gram serving size is big enough to share. As a basis for comparison, a small serving of fries at McDonald's is about 75 grams.

✗ Roadkill Fries

One popular menu hack at In-N-Out is to order foods "animal style." While this menu option usually applies to burgers, it has also become popular as a way to order fries. Animal-style means that the fries are topped with extra spread, a slice of melted cheese, and chopped grilled onions. If you order Roadkill Fries, you get a Flying Dutchman on top of your animal style fries. That is, you get two burger patties separated by cheese, on top of fries that have spread, a slice of melted cheese, and grilled onions.

Again, nutritional information is not provided for this popular menu hack, but if you estimate the nutrition information for fries, topped with two burger patties and two slices of cheese (protein-style cheeseburgers), you're already at 1,030 calories, 65g fat, 17g saturated fat, 74g carbs, 42g protein, and 1,690mg sodium.

Shakes

In-N-Out is well known for its shakes made from real ice cream. They come in three basic flavors: vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. You can also blend any combination of flavors to make your own personalized blend. There is only one size shake listed on the basic menu which is 15 ounces.

But it is well-known that you can order large or extra-large sizes and your shake will come in the larger cups provided for soft drinks.

✓ Small Vanilla Shake

A regular (15-ounce) vanilla shake provides 570 calories, 30g fat, 19g saturated fat, 65g carbohydrate, 10g protein, and 360mg sodium. Changing the flavor to strawberry or chocolate only modifies the nutritional information slightly, so if you choose to indulge in this creamy treat, it's best to order the flavor that you most enjoy.

✗ Extra Large Strawberry Shake

While specific information is not available for the larger sizes, it is fairly easy to estimate based on the larger-size cups. A large cup is 20 ounces (which is the medium soft drink size without ice). An extra-large milkshake cup at In-N-Out is 30 ounces (which is the large soft drink size without ice), or double the size of a regular shake. An extra-large strawberry shake would provide 1,140 calories, 60g fat, 28g saturated fat, 130g carbohydrate, 20g protein, and 720mg sodium.

Beverages

In-N-Out offers the same soda fountain choices offered by many other fast-food restaurants. Of course, you can always just choose to drink water, as well. In fact, one popular menu hack is to order water and then squeeze lemon wedges into the cup along with sweetener or sugar to make a lightened lemonade.

✓ Iced Tea

Even if you order the largest size of unsweetened iced tea (29 ounces), the beverage provides 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 0mg sodium. Be careful to specify that you want unsweetened tea, however, as sweet tea is also on the menu and provides up to 260 calories.

✗ Barq's Root Beer

Large sugary soft drinks provide substantial calories and added sugars. You can order your drink with or without ice. If you order an extra-large Barq's root beer without ice (42 ounces) you'll consume 580 calories, 0g fat, 158g carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 70mg sodium.

Diet-Specific Options

The restaurant is well known for accommodating guest requests, and offers some options for those who follow special diets, specifically gluten-free, low-carb, low-FODMAP, diabetes-friendly, low-fat, low-sodium, vegetarian, and vegan diets.

Gluten-Free

In-N-Out provides a list of foods that do not contain wheat or gluten. However, they do not state that any of their food is gluten-free. That is, while a certain food may not contain gluten-ingredients, if it is prepared near a gluten-containing food (such as a bun) there is always the risk of cross-contamination.

The following foods do not contain wheat or wheat gluten:

  • Protein-style hamburger
  • Protein-style cheeseburger
  • Protein-style double-double, 3x3, or 4x4
  • French fries
  • Shakes (all flavors)

The restaurant also indicates that the hot cocoa does not contain wheat, but has not been specifically tested for wheat gluten. If you follow a gluten-free diet, speak to the staff at your local restaurant to get more information about the possibility of contamination.

Low-Carb

In-N-Out Burger was one of the first fast-food restaurants to accommodate people who follow a low-carb eating style with the introduction of their protein-style burgers. The other menu items, however, contain substantial starch (french fries) or sugar (shakes).

These are the best choices for low-carb customers:

  • Protein-style hamburger
  • Protein-style cheeseburger
  • Protein-style double-double, 3x3, or 4x4
  • Yellow chili peppers (available upon request at many locations)

Low-FODMAP

Since beef, cheese, and potatoes are usually compliant on the low-FODMAP diet, those who follow this eating plan will have plenty of options at In-N-Out Burger. But you may want to skip the onions. In addition, dairy does not usually sit well with those on this eating plan, so you may want to skip the shakes.

  • All burgers (regular or protein style) without cheese and without onions
  • French fries
  • Tea (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • Coffee

Diabetes-Friendly

Since you can order several different low-carb options at In-N-Out, those who are trying to regular blood sugar levels will have some choices here. These are not necessarily foods recommended for a diabetes diet, but they are higher in protein and lower in carbs.

  • Protein-style hamburger
  • Protein-style cheeseburger
  • Protein-style double-double, 3x3, or 4x4
  • Yellow chili peppers (available upon request at many locations)

Low-Fat

Those who are watching their fat intake may have a harder time putting together a meal at In-N-Out. But you can order customized foods that are not on the basic menu. Some of the best options are not necessarily low in fat, but rather lower in fat than other menu options.

Also, remember that you can order any of the burgers "cut-in-half" so that you can take part of your meal home for later or share it with a friend.

  • Protein-style hamburger
  • Veggie burger (aka the "wish" burger)

In-N-Out Burger does not offer a veggie patty, but you can order a bun that is stuffed with veggies (tomato, grilled onions, lettuce, and cheese if you choose). By eliminating the meal patty, you eliminate 10 grams of fat (but also 13 grams of protein).

Low-Sodium

Surprisingly, one of the lowest sodium foods on the In-N-Out menu is the french fries with 250 milligrams. Each of the burgers provides 370 milligrams of sodium or more with many providing 700 milligrams or more. But again, In-N-Out is known for customizing their foods and you can request that your hamburger patty be cooked with no added salt.

Vegetarian and Vegan

As mentioned above, you can get a veggie burger (wish burger) at In-N-Out that would be compliant with some vegetarian diets. You can also order a grilled cheese—which is essentially a cheeseburger without the meat patty.

But the buns contain eggs, so vegan diners and those who don't consume eggs on their vegetarian diets would not be able to choose these options. Instead, the best choice would be to ask for a protein-style meatless burger that you fill with grilled onions, tomatoes, peppers (if available), pickles and cheese (if you eat dairy).

French fries would also be compliant on a vegetarian or vegan diet since they are fried in 100% sunflower oil.

Food Allergies and Safety

In-N-Out Burger provides an allergen list on its website. According to the company, its food does not contain peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish, or fish.

If you have any questions about allergens or possible contaminations, speak with an employee before ordering.

A Word From Verywell

In-N-Out Burger is well known for its fresh, high-quality food and willingness to accommodate customer requests. But its menu is rather limited. If you enjoy an occasional traditional burger-and-fries meal made with fresh, simple ingredients then you'll enjoy the food here. Remember to customize your order as needed to meet your individual preferences.

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Article Sources
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  1. In-N-Out Burger Nutrition Facts. In-N-Out Burger website. December 2020

  2. In-N-Out Burger Allergen Information. In-N-Out Burger website. 2020