The Most Nutritious White Castle Burger, According To A Dietitian

As McDonald's, Burger King, and other big-name fast-food joints show up on everything from commercials on TV to the radio in your car, it's easy to forget some of the smaller — but no less deserving — chain restaurants that dot the United States. One of these comparatively little guys is White Castle

The chain doesn't have a goofy royal jester as a mascot or a recognizable brand figure like Ronald McDonald. Still, among fans, White Castle is revered with as much grace and awe as one might afford a real castle. The company is, after all, America's oldest hamburger stand and the very first fast-food burger chain, according to the company's official timeline.

While you may associate White Castle with tiny sliders cooked on a bed of onions or imagine Harold and Kumar on a wacky adventure, it's safe to say you've probably never considered White Castle's offerings "healthy." But there is something you can order at White Castle that will both keep your diet in check and satisfy your cravings.

The most nutritious burger is the Original Slider

No, this isn't a trick. The most nutritious burger you can get at While Castle is the classic Original Slider. As Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD explains to Mashed, the burger is only 140 calories with 7 grams of fat, 380 milligrams of sodium, 6 grams of protein, and 16 grams of carbohydrates. "It is relatively low in carbohydrates at 16 grams compared to most other fast-food hamburgers, and the serving is so small that it can easily be paired with a side salad or other nutrient-dense side item," she says.

But what about White Castle's Veggie Burger? Wouldn't a burger made of vegetables be healthier than one of meat? Best explains that this is just an illusion. The veggie burger contains 190 calories, 10 grams of fat, 22 carbohydrates and 5 grams of protein, making it a less healthy choice than the Original Slider. (If you're a vegetarian, Best adds, the Veggie Burger is still a solid option.)

Unlike most fast-food burgers, White Castle's burgers are steamed rather than grilled, perhaps playing a part in their relatively low fat content. In fact, White Castle commissioned a "study" in 1930 to prove its burgers' supposed healthiness. The experiment consisted of a University of Minnesota medical student eating nothing but sliders and water for 13 weeks, and he completed the experiment with no physical or mental issues, per Gothamist.