Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Is In-N-Out Bad For You?

Also Known As: In-N-Out Burger



Short answer

A number of positives work in its favor to make having an occasional meal at In-N-Out a better choice than many other fast food options.



Long answer

Although established in 1948, In-N-Out Burgers has fewer than 300 locations which are primarily concentrated in the American Southwest. This fast-food eatery professes that a lack of franchising is what has allowed it to maintain control over the quality of its food, as well as helping it to uphold the family-owned feel upon which it built its reputation. Well known for taking good care of its employees and for being committed to charitable endeavors, In-N-Out is affectionately referred to as “food with integrity”. This coupled with a simple, consistently tasty, unchanging menu has earned it a cult following which includes celebrity chefs Julia Child, Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain.

Despite the fact that this burger chain promotes its use of fresh and natural ingredients, its offerings suffer from the same concerns as those found at other eateries of this kind. The famous Neopolitan Shake, which weighs in at 590 calories, should be avoided at all costs, and all burgers and fries are high in both fat and sodium. However, when compared to other fast food alternatives, In-N-Out does have some advantages.

The ingredients used are delivered and used fresh, and the meat in burgers is 100% pure beef – no fillers, preservatives or additives. Potatoes are cut in house, and fries are freshly prepared in 100% vegetable oil. A small menu consisting of 3 basic burger choices and fries makes it easy to eliminate certain elements of a meal and save on both fat and calories.

In addition, the portions at In-N-Out are not huge – unless you’re dipping into the secret menu and ordering a triple or quadruple patty burger. A standard hamburger can be had for 390 calories, and with a few tweaks can be whittled down even further.  All burgers can be ordered Protein Style – wrapping your meat in lettuce instead of a bun will get you down to 240 calories.  The special sauce which burgers are normally slathered with is mayonnaise based and trading it in favor of ketchup and mustard is another way of keeping calories and fat content in check.

In-N-Out is by no means health food. Fat and sodium are the biggest concern, and a double burger with cheese will cost you 650 calories. Add fries and you’ll be well in excess of 800 calories, but as a dietary splurge, you can satisfy yourself that the food is fresh and contains a minimal number of additives.

Possible short-term side effects

  • water retention
  • dehydration

Possible long-term side effects

  • coronary heart disease
  • stroke
  • kidney disease
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • obesity

Ingredients to be aware of


  • preservative free
  • fresh ingredients used

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Healthy Living 35
Published on: 01-07-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Healthy Living 35
Published on: 01-07-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

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