Food Showdown: Which DQ Entree is the Bigger Calorie Bomb?

By , SparkPeople Blogger

Summer is winding down, which means that many of us are hitting the outdoor ice cream stands for one last hurrah. But many ice cream establishments, like Dairy Queen, offer more than just ice cream. Some have full menus with burgers, sandwiches, fries, and chicken strips. How many calories would it set you back to grab some dinner with your ice cream?

DQ's Bacon Double Cheeseburger packs two beef patties, cheese, and bacon strips between its buns. The 4-Piece Chicken Strip Basket with Country Gravy comes with buttered Texas toast, creamy gravy, and deep-fried chicken. Neither of these meals is a healthy choice—both are heavy on the fat and calories. However, one of these meals is significantly higher in calories than the other one. Can you guess which of these meals is relatively "lighter"?

The Winner: Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Let us reiterate that neither of these choices are "healthy" choices. The purpose of this comparison is to make an educational point, and we in no way encourage ordering either one of these foods on a regular basis. Oftentimes, people perceive chicken as being the "lighter" choice in any situation since it is a leaner meat than beef. However, this is probably one of the only cases where the Bacon Double Cheeseburger would be the "winner" in terms of calories, fat and sodium. The burger packs 720 calories, 41 g fat, and 1,560 mg of sodium. The burger contains 21 g saturated fat—the middle of your upper limit recommended for one day. It also contains one gram of trans fat—the worst kind!

Although chicken is usually a better choice than beef, deep frying it and serving it with gravy seriously bumps up the fat and calories. Just four strips of chicken, plus the accompaniments, weigh in at 1,030 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 2,780 mg of sodium! (That's more than twice the calories of a small chocolate chip Blizzard!) The chicken basket has only 9 g of saturated fat, but the total fat and calories are near what some people eat in a day! 

If you want to enjoy one last food hurrah this summer, skip out on the deep-fried, fatty meats and grill up some chicken or veggie kebabs at home. You'll still get that summer flavor while saving your arteries! If you must venture out to Dairy Queen for one last seasonal treat, stick with a small vanilla ice cream cone for just 230 calories and 7 grams of fat.

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BONNIE1552 6/27/2020
Sometimes I crave a good burger. Report
GHDSPORTS1 6/27/2020
The content of your article page is very good, I find the content quite good and helpful to me, thank you for
os/ Report
ARNETTELEE 5/15/2020
thanks Report
SPINECCO 4/24/2020
Thanks. I only eat fresh and organic food. Report
FISHGUT3 4/23/2020
thanks Report
PATRICIAAK 4/18/2020
:) Report
RAPUNZEL53 2/18/2020
Great Report
7STIGGYMT 2/17/2020
Burger King no longer has grilled chicken. Another reason NOT to go to Burger King! Report
PATRICIAANN46 11/23/2019
Thank You...………. Report
HEDSTS58 8/31/2019
Every time I see commercial for the chicken strip basket, I wonder in amazement that people actually eat it Report
MAREE1953 8/17/2019
Sugar, and not (most) fat, is the REAL culprit when it comes to chronic disease and the obesity epidemic. This obsession with low fat content in foods coincides with the rise in obesity--duh, not hard to figure out that we were duped by industries which are motivated solely by profits. IMHO Report
#techsupport some of the links are broken in this article. Report
Cooking from a recipe is the best way to stay on track. Report
Cooking at home is always better. Report
thank you Report
To be honest, I no longer eat in fast-food restaurants any longer, but it was fun and interesting to read. Report
I don’t know why are complaining we burn more calories in fast food restaurants while then eating. So for me might a be different experience. Report
I like DQ. Report
I appreciate DQ having their nutritional data readily available. I try to stick with a mini Blizzard ONLY. Report
Ha! I remember the time - the ONLY time - I ever bought their Blizzard ice cream thing. When I looked it up - it was like - fortylevendyundredbillion calories. I love me some ice cream but ... uh ... not that much. Thanks for checking on this for us. Report
Calories in small chocolate shake Report
People eat things other than the ice cream at DQ? That's surprising to me. Report
Actually, there is a healthy choice at DQ- The grilled chicken salad isn't bad at all. Just watch your dressing. Gives me something to eat when the rest of the family wants to eat there. And if you are talking just calories, the small cone might look like a bargain, but nutritionally it has very little to offer. Report
When I see articles like this, I think, "Who cares???" They both look disgusting and are obviously unhealthy. Report
Well, I got it wrong!! However I did know that neither is good for me. Tracking calories especially fast food and restaurant food has taught me a lot. My husband thinks I spend way too much time researching calories online but at least if I do go out I am aware of what I'm going to eat. The last time I was at PC Chang's I couldn't let myself get the Great Wall of Chocolate. I really do love it. But at 1800 calories, that is about 300 more calories than I am allowed in a whole day! I can't bring myself to go to Red Lobster because of the calories. If I know in advance I am going to eat out I plan accordingly all day. I wish I could say I look for "healthy" choices but truthfully if I'm going to spend the time getting dressed, going out, and spending money I'm going to eat what I want. I think the people who can eat light when out are to be commended and I wish I could. I would rather stay at home. Report
Thankfully I was never a deep frying fan. I was just not the way my mom cooked. Porbably my only serious weakness is fish and chips with good cod. But, I think I have had deep fried food once in over a month. I am trying to figure out how to bake my few deep fried favorites. It is a work im progress. Report
wow! thanks for the info- preparation is important Report
I don't eat junk food. Report
There is no way a bacon cheeseburger could ever be a winner in my book. Report
Blah, blah, blah. Another challenge chock full of things I would never eat anyhow. I agree with the comments above. Can we have more challenges with healthier foods? Like which fruits have the most vitamins or something? Report
Why not have a food showdown using healthier foods. This article is a waste of my reading time.

DQ also has a grilled chicken sandwich for under 400 calories and about 10 grams of fat. Why not use that for a showdown?

It's not the chicken that has become unhealthy in the chicken strip basket. It's what's been done to the chicken and what's served with the chicken. Report
If you go to the Dairy Queen website and look at their nutrition guide, you will find much healthier and lower calorie choices than the two used in the showdown. If SP really wanted to help Sparkers find good alternatives there, they would highlight those foods - the grilled chicken salad is a good choice, as is the grilled chicken wrap, or even the chilli dog. And you would still be lower in calorie than the choices gave in the article if you added a Fudge or Orange Vanilla bar to the choices I just mentioned. Report
Since I seldom eat at DQ, when I DO go there I enjoy the Blizzard. It isn't a daily thing so I "treat" myself. We had a DQ in Coulterville and one in Sparta when I was growing up in the 50's and my father would take me and my brother there to get a cone when we were in town, so I always remember the good times about it. He liked the Hot Fudge Sundae. And my father always made us laugh. Report
I rarely eat fast food and now I know why I feel so awful when I do!
#1 - It's not real food (think pink slime chicken and burgers)
#2 - There is loads of fat in it and flooding your body with that much fat stresses ALL of your organs including (but not limited to) your gallbladder, liver, stomach and heart.
#3 - There's enough sodium in this food to cause quite a bit of water retention or water weight gain.
#4 - Not much nutrition, if any at all.

In other words 4 fabulous reasons to pass up fast food for real food. Report
Wow, I love DQ's cheese burgers with bacon :( And their poutines!
This article certainly makes me rethink about eating there as regular as we do.
Thanks for sharing this article. Report
Good to know. Thanks Report
Why a double burger. the single and a cone is a great treat once in awhile. also can have the chicken salad without the extra cheese, etc. I enjoy eating dq once in awhile. Since I am struggling now I tend to be more understanding than some of those who post here. they must have powerful wills. Report
no bk for me Report
I have to agree with BUBBLEJ on this one. Sure we shouldn't eat this stuff every day - that's what got alot of us in the shape we were in but I also am not about to totally restrict myself and say NEVER will eat this or that again. If i feel like it I will eat certain things then cut other things out the rest of the day. I once lost 90 pounds and I had one cheat day a week where I would let myself eat most anything I wanted - in moderation - by the time that day came I didn't feel like over eating anyway. Anyone that says NEVER is destined to fail or be miserable, take your pick. Report
I think some people need to look outside the square. Just because YOU wouldn't dream of eating it and YOU think that it shouldn't be on spark doesn't mean that you're entirely correct. The purpose of spark is teaching people how to live in the real world, and for a lot of people fast food is part of that real world. If it isn't part of yours then you are a better person than I. Congrats, I guess. There may come a day when everyone wants to go to DQ and a sparker gets dragged along. They now know that the chicken is not the healthy choice it appears to be, and will order a burger and a diet coke instead. In this instance the article has helped someone!

I eat fast food. I'm an imperfect person and I'm OK with that. These articles help me to make better choices when I am in a fast food eating situation. Heck, I think this article is relevant and we don't even have a DQ in New Zealand! Report
It always strikes me as odd that SP does comparisons of foods that nobody in their right mind should even consider eating. Just reading the descriptions here makes my stomach turn! Report
I never eat at DQ, for this reason. There ARE no healthy options there. They have nothing that could even be considered a "lighter" option... it's all fat-soaked and deep-fried.

No thanks. I'll get Arby's instead, if I just HAVE to have fast food. Report
It actually sounds very unappealing on all fronts, since I haven't had that stuff in quite awhile. If I ate it now I would probably feel ill. Report
The chicken strip dinner was always my favorite at DQ....not now Report
Thanks for providing a comparison to help me be only moderately wicked on those times when I decide to go crazy. I don't do DQ often, so temptation can get out of hand when I do. Report
Neither sounds appealing. I never eat at DQ. Not the most helpful article. Report
the best part of DQ is the soft serve ice cream and better is it is swirl!!!!! Report
Not blaming the industry for providing options and neither am I afraid to eat a fat-base food once and again. Loved the Tasty Burgers DQ used to sell when I was a child. I would, however, rather have the chicken this time because it sounds good. If I were dieting, counting calories, I beleive I would arrange the balance of my week's meals to allow for this one chicken and gravy meal. Report
Thankfully, NEITHER of the food options appeals to me. If I was going to indulge in a high calorie & fat meal, I'd much rather spend "invest" in a nice meal at the local martini bar. :-)

I have a coworker who keeps trying to talk a DQ Blizzard. Sure, a healthy lifestyle might include the *occasional* Blizzard now and then, but while I'm working on reducing it's best if I just stay away. Report