Depending on where you live, there is probably a Carl's Jr. or Hardee's close by. Carl's Jr. began as a drive-in burger joint on the West Coast, and acquired Hardee's in 1997 for $327 million. Now, the burger chain stretches from coast to coast, offering a plethora of fast food options.
Some people enjoy their menu regularly, while others only eat the occasional Carl's Jr. burger on a road trip or a late-night snack. Either way, it's important to be aware of which items on the menu are packed with calories, sodium and fat -- and what is slightly healthier.
Using nutrition data, the experts at HealthGrove, a health data site by Graphiq, ranked the menu items at Carl's Jr. and Hardee's based on how many calories each item contains. Items that tied were ranked based on how much fat they contain. If total fat was also equal, ties were broken with sodium levels, with the fattier and saltier items ranking higher. Soft drinks, dressings, dipping sauces and shared meals were not included in the list. If items could be ordered in different sizes, the smallest, most standard size was considered.
There is considerable variety in the Carl's Jr./Hardee's menu. Of course, large hamburgers contain enough calories and fat to equal multiple meals, but other items like the Hardee's Taco Salad with chicken are also packed with calories and fat. Additionally, there are more than just salads to choose from on the healthier side.