What to Eat at Whataburger: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

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Known for its mouthwatering burgers, fries and standard sauces and all the fixings, Whataburger is the popular fast food joint known for its eye-catching orange and white exterior that populates city strip malls throughout the country.

Although dining at a greasy burger joint doesn’t exactly fit with a healthy diet, you can take steps to make Whataburger’s menu offerings more nutritious and mitigate consuming its highly caloric foods. This includes dining inside when you can and chewing slowly, as well as eating with friends to share the French fries and save calories. 

What Experts Say

“Whataburger is a fast food chain specializing in burgers, sandwiches, and an all-day breakfast. Lighter fare menu items include salad, junior burgers, taco wraps, and egg sandwiches. Keep in mind though that these lighter fare menu choices still contain a considerable amount of calories, fat, and sodium. If you do eat here, it’s best to do so seldomly.”
Barbie Cervoni, RD, CDE

Navigating the Menu

The majority of Whataburger’s menu items contain high amounts of fats and carbs; the burgers are cooked with large beef patties and the condiments include high-calorie sauces such as jalapeno ranch and honey BBQtwo of the most popular options with customers.

If you do want a burger, as opposed to their healthier chicken or fish sandwiches, you’re better off ordering from the junior burger menu to stave off calories and still get your carnivorous fix.

What We Like
  • Double Meat Whataburger Junior (Burgers)

  • Green Chile Double Jr. (All-Time Favorites)

  • Egg Sandwich (Breakfast)

  • Grilled Cheese (Kids)

  • Chocolate Chunk Cookie (Dessert)

  • Simply Orange Juice (Beverages)

What We Don't Like
  • Triple Meat Whataburger (Burgers)

  • Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich (All-Time Favorites)

  • Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit (Breakfast)

  • Whatachick'n® Bites 4 Piece Kids Meal (Kids)

  • Chocolate Malt (Dessert)

  • Sweet Tea (Beverages)

If you’re looking for the healthiest meal at Whataburger, the Garden Salad’s fresh vegetables make this the most appropriate choice, as this item contains nothing fried or greasy. However, you should avoid high-calorie dressing like Ranch and instead, drizzle Whataburger’s herb dressing over your salad (that contains a mere 35 calories). For a little extra cost to the Garden Salad, you can add jalapenos, grilled onions, and peppers (that add only 25 total calories to the salad). For no extra cost, you can add matchstick carrots and grape tomatoes (that add only 25 calories, plus loads of vitamin A.)

If Whataburger's Garden Salad is a little plain for your tastes, the restaurant also offers an Apple & Cranberry Chicken Salad that includes a grilled chicken filet, shredded cheese, apple slices, cranberries, and matchstick carrots for a total of 385 calories and 33 grams of protein. You can also skip the chicken to create a vegetarian salad and lessen the calories by 130 (but only get eight grams of total protein).

Burgers

Whataburger is known for its variety of burgers (as you can probably figure out from the name). However, the burgers are the unhealthiest options on the menu. To eat healthily, you can choose chicken-based sandwiches instead or order junior burgers (which come in a smaller size) to save on calories. If you skip the sauces and order the burgers with no buns, you can create an entree that is lower in carbs and fats.

Most Nutritious Option

There are 310 calories, 11g fat, 3g saturated fat, 36 carbs, 14g protein, 580mg sodium in the Double Meat Whataburger Junior burger. The calories and fat content are still low and you get a sizeable amount of meat for a small burger.

Least Nutritious Option

The Triple Meat Whataburger burger contains more than half the number of calories you should consume in a day. Instead, you should look to a junior size or switch to a chicken or fish sandwich, which have lower calories and fat. There are 1075 calories, 63g fat, 20g saturated fat, 62 carbs, 65g protein, 1,720mg sodium per burger.

All-Time Favorites

With only four items to choose from on the All-Time Favorite section, these items represent the most often ordered burgers and sandwiches at Whataburger. All sandwiches come in a junior size to save calories. Consuming the sandwich with water, diet soda, or orange juice and skipping the fries will keep the calorie level and fat content down.

Most Nutritious Option

Any of the menu items on the all-time favorites have a high amount of calories. You might want to skip the all-time favorites and opt for grilled chicken or fish sandwiches instead. If you are craving a Favorite, opt for the Green Chile Double Jr. containing 545 calories, 31g fat, 12g saturated fat, 37g carbs, 28g protein, 1,690mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

You can choose a junior option for the Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich to make it slightly better. Skip the fries and soda to lessen your sodium intake when ordering this 910 calories, 42g fat, 11g saturated fat, 87g carbs, 38g protein, and 2430mg sodium-laden meal.

Breakfast

Available from 11 p.m. to 11 a.m., you can stop by Whataburger for a late night or early morning eat. Try to stay away from the carb-heavy biscuits and look for egg-based options such as the egg sandwich and taquito with cheese (available with extra proteins such as sausage or bacon, though additional meat will alter the nutrition content).

By adding a coffee and skipping the popular hash brown sticks, you don't add any extra calories to the meal. If don't drink coffee, you could order the Simply Orange Juice to create a more traditional breakfast for your morning.

You can adjust other breakfast items to make them healthier as well. The following are examples:

  • Avoid added syrup packets on pancakes—instead, opt for fresh berries if available.
  • If you're craving a biscuit, order it with an egg and omit the cheese. Skip other protein options such as a biscuit with sausage and bacon.
  • Instead of ordering a full breakfast "meal," go for the breakfast sandwich only.
  • There are several taquito options; the least caloric option is the taquito with cheese and bacon.

Most Nutritious Option

On a small bun and one cheese slice, the egg sandwich doesn’t overload you on fat and carbs. It's similar to a burger, but with less calories and healthier fats. It has 310 calories, 12g fat, 5g saturated fat, 34g carbs, 15g protein, and 740mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The butter, sugar content, makes the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit a high-carb option. It has overall 560 calories, 35g fat, 12g saturated fat, 50g carbs, 13g protein, and 990mg sodium. If you must eat a breakfast biscuit, you can find less caloric menu items with a biscuit with sausage and biscuit with egg and cheese.

Try to avoid eating fried chicken, especially for breakfast, as the grease can sit with you all day and make you feel sluggish. Instead, if chicken is your preferred protein, Whataburger has a Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Grilled Chicken Melt on their menu which can taste as delicious at breakfast as it does at lunch or dinner.

Kids

The kids menu contains only four options, and you can order healthy sides that include apple slices and 1% milk instead of the standard fries and soda.

Adults looking to save calories can also order from this menu.

Most Nutritious Option

The Grilled Cheese contains 510 calories, 28g fat, 10g saturated fat, 42g carbs, 16g protein, 1,300mg sodium. Order this sandwich sans fries and soda, which can bring up the total calorie count to 1,070. Drinking milk, juice or water will keep the fat count down.

Least Nutritious Option

The least nutritious option, coming in at 880 calories, 30g fat, 6g saturated fat, 132g carbs, 23g protein, and 1160g sodium is the Whatachick'n® Bites 4 Piece Kids Meal. This kids meal includes small fries and soda. You can choose apple slices and milk to remove almost 300 calories from the meal. 

Dessert

Known for chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry shakes and malts, you’ll save calories looking outside of the ice cream offerings. Whataburger has apple and lemon pies, cookies, and even fruit chews you can add to a meal to satisfy your sweet tooth without the fat grams. The restaurant is also known for offering special drinks for a limited time, such as a Dr. Pepper shake.

Most Nutritious Option

You can't go wrong with a Chocolate Chunk Cookie with just 230 calories, 11g fat, 6g saturated fat, 31g carbs, 2g protein, and 180g sodium. If chocolate isn’t your preferred cookie flavor, the sugar cookie has the same number of calories.

Least Nutritious Option

The chocolate malt has 570 calories, 11g fat, 6g saturated fat, 107g carbs, 9g protein, and 480mg sodium. The strawberry malt also contains 570 calories and the vanilla option has 520 calories.

Beverages

Whataburger offers healthier drink options outside of just soda. You can find unsweetened tea for only 10 calories, orange juice, 1% milk, chocolate milk, and coffee. 

Most Nutritious Option

You can switch up your beverage and get a dose of vitamin C with the Simply Orange Juice, which has just 160 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 37g carbs, 2g protein, and 0mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

For tea enthusiasts, you can order an unsweetened tea with 10 calories rather than sweet tea with 78 grams of sugar. Overall, it includes 440 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 82g carbs, 0g protein, and 25mg sodium.

Diet-Specific Options

Whataburger offers a variety of choices for diners with diet specifications. This includes menu items for Keto-friendly dieters, vegetarians, and gluten-free eaters. You won’t find foods free of preservatives and sodium, as the vast majority of this fast-food restaurant’s offerings aren’t suitable for healthy diets.

Gluten-Free

With Whataburger’s focus on burgers, you might not find gluten-free choices. But the restaurant does offer a couple of healthy, no-carb salad options and beverages without gluten. Be careful, though, as this restaurant doesn’t cook in a gluten-free environment and it’s impossible to ensure that there is no cross-contamination.

Options include the following:

  • Garden Salad
  • Apple and Cranberry Chicken Salad
  • Simply Orange Juice
  • Strawberry Shake
  • Vanilla Shake
  • Chocolate Shake

Vegetarian

While much of their menu centers around meaty burgers, vegetarians can still find some options without meat but include dairy, such as:

  • Garden Salad
  • Apple and Cranberry Salad (order without chicken)
  • Pancakes
  • Biscuit and Cheese
  • Taquito with Cheese

Vegan

You won’t find any strictly vegan items on the menu, as the salads include cheese; however, you can always ask for the salad with no meat or dairy products and omit the dressing.

Keto-friendly

Keto-friendly menu items include the following:

  • Chicken Fajita Taco (skip the tortilla)
  • Grilled Chicken Melt (skip the bun)
  • Garden Salad
  • Apple and Cranberry Chicken Salad
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich No Bun

Food Allergies and Safety

Whataburger cooks items in a gluten-laden environment and a number of menu choices include cheese and egg for those with lactose intolerance. Anyone allergic to soy should also avoid this restaurant.

To make sure an item is safe for your diet and allergy restrictions, be sure to do the following:

  • Ask questions of the staff
  • Look at the website, which includes allergens on the nutritional information for each item
  • Ask for modifications for meals, such as changing out fries for apple slices and soda for water
  • Ask for no bun on burgers and sandwiches, if possible

A Word From Verywell

As with other fast-food restaurants, Whataburger’s menu consists of mostly high-fat burgers complete with condiments such as high-calorie sauces, bacon, and cheese. You can customize items by asking for no bun, apple slices instead of fries, and staying away from soda.

Rather than order from the drive-thru, go inside if you can to slow your eating down and always stop when you feel full. You can even cut your burger in half, and bring the rest home to eat on leftovers night.

If you’re following a special diet or need to avoid certain ingredients that contain wheat, gluten, eggs, or soy, you will find full transparency on the Whataburger online menu, allowing you to create a meal suitable for your needs.

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  • Whataburger. Menu. Updated August 28, 2020.