The Best Jack In The Box Burger, According To A Dietitian

Fad diets come and go — just like the weight loss associated with them, per WebMD. By contrast, plans that approach eating from a reasonable (as opposed to restrictive) perspective and offer some degree of structure without being confining tend to endure. And this is true despite that such plans tend NOT to promise "dramatic results" in "just days," which can sometimes sound like a good idea but isn't one in the long run.

With that in mind, what's a health-conscious diner to do when headed to a fast-food chain? If you're meeting a pal at Jack In The Box later, don't fret. It is, in fact, possible to observe healthy eating habits while still enjoying the occasional burger. With that in mind, we asked registered dietitian Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, for her take on which Jack in the Box burger is the best choice from a dietary and nutrition standpoint.

A moderate portion and relatively healthy toppings give this burger the clear edge

"Hey, we're heading over to Jack In the Box, and we're wondering: is there even one burger on the Jack in the Box menu that won't kill our dietary intentions?" That's the question Mashed posed to registered dietitian Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD. Indeed there is, according to Best: the Jr. Jumbo Jack. Best says this "small but filling" version of the extra-large Jumbo Jack burger has all of the right stuff, nutritionally speaking (and not too much of the wrong stuff, either).

What strikes Best first and foremost is that this burger, which is reasonably sized as opposed to super-sized, is that it's topped only with "nutrient-rich ingredients like pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes" and is therefore "more nutrient-dense than calorie-dense." At "420 calories, with 33 grams of carbs, and 14 grams of protein, along with 2 grams of dietary fiber," this combination helps make the Jr. Jumbo Jack a "filling alternative" to the other burgers on the Jack in the Box menu, especially those that are larger in size and topped with cheese and bacon. 

Although Jack In The Box claims on its website that the Jr. Jumbo Jack burger comes with a "just-right" amount of ketchup and real mayonnaise, without more specificity, it's really impossible to know what the "just-right" amount is. Best's advice is that "if you're looking to cut the calories and fat even further, you can bypass the condiments as well."