Aren’t turkey burgers supposed to be healthy? The great Burger King turkey burger scam.

I saw an ad for Burger King the other day showing their new turkey burger. This is good, since turkey burgers are supposed to be healthy, right?

The ad also featured their new Loaded Tater Tots, which are stuffed with bacon and sweet onions. The impression was that you could get a meal consisting of the turkey burger, loaded tater tots, and a drink.

Since I am skeptical about pretty much everything, I wondered if this meal was any better than ordering a Whopper, fries, and drink. So I checked it out.

Actually, I asked one of my students, Amanda, to do it. She recently made the mistake of telling me that she was interested in learning more about nutrition and might like to do a research project with me next year. So naturally, I gave her this assignment. Here is what she found:

Turkey burger with medium loaded tater tots (10 pieces)


Whopper with medium fries


Looking at total calories, grams of fat and saturated fat, and sugar these two meals are virtually identical. The turkey burger alone is lower in calories (100 fewer), fat (9 g), and saturated fat (5 g) than the Whopper, but the loaded tots make up for the difference. And the turkey burger is higher in sodium than the Whopper (1210 mg vs. 980 mg).

Let’s say you are going to Burger King for lunch and you are hungry for a burger and fries. The turkey burger isn’t really the healthiest choice. But there is an option that isn’t quite so bad…a Whopper Jr. with small fries:

Whopper Jr. with small fries


It’s not the healthiest lunch, but it is about 40% fewer calories and almost half the saturated fat of the other options.

Of course, you could skip the burger and order a salad. But be honest, if you really wanted a salad you wouldn’t be considering Burger King, right?

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