Walking Guide

Food on the Run: Jack in the Box

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I recently read that Jack in the Box is planning to open its first Ohio restaurant this summer near my neighborhood. I didn't know much about the fast casual chain except that they faced national scrutiny once because of an E. coli outbreak. I decided to do a little research and found the hamburger chain has more than 2200 restaurants in twenty states spanning the U.S. from coast to coast. With a recent opening in Indianapolis, Indiana and another 25 to 30 restaurants projected to open later this year, I decided to take a closer look at how the chain stacks up nutritionally.
Jack in the Box has an expansive menu, featuring the first fast casual 100% Sirloin Burger as well as lighter appetizers and real fruit smoothies. For the nutrition conscience, there are whole grain pitas, entrée salads, and grilled chicken. Here are some of the best choices I will be looking for when the new restaurant opens down the street.

Calories – 290 (330 with cheese)
Fat – 12 grams (15 grams with cheese)
Sodium – 550 mg (760 mg with cheese)
Carbohydrate – 32 grams
Fiber – 1 gram
Protein – 14 grams (17 grams with cheese)
Hamburger Deluxe
Calories – 340 (420 with cheese)
Fat – 16 grams (23 grams with cheese)
Sodium – 540 mg (950 mg with cheese)
Carbohydrate – 33 grams (34 grams with cheese)
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 15 grams (19 grams with cheese)
Chicken Fajita Pita with whole grain pita and salsa
Calories – 330 (320 without salsa)
Fat – 11 grams
Sodium – 990 mg (870 mg without salsa)
Carbohydrate – 35 grams (33 grams without salsa)
Fiber – 4 grams
Protein – 24 grams
Chicken Sandwich
Calories – 410
Fat – 21 grams
Sodium – 880 mg
Carbohydrate – 42 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 15 grams
Grilled Chicken Strips – 4 pc
Calories – 250
Fat – 7 grams
Sodium – 1,070 mg
Carbohydrate – 5 grams
Fiber – 0 grams
Protein – 43 grams
Jack's Spicy Chicken
Calories – 530 (610 with cheese)
Fat – 21 grams
Sodium – 910 mg (1,200 mg with cheese)
Carbohydrate – 60 grams (61 grams with cheese)
Fiber – 3 grams
Protein – 27 grams (32 grams with cheese)
Sourdough Grilled Chicken Club
Calories – 540
Fat – 26 grams
Sodium – 1,490 mg
Carbohydrate – 38 grams
Fiber – 3 grams
Protein – 39 grams
Chicken Club Salad with Grilled Chicken Strips without dressing or crunchy toppings
Calories – 370
Fat – 20 grams
Sodium – 970 mg
Carbohydrate – 13 grams
Fiber – 4 grams
Protein – 38
Grilled Chicken Salad without dressing or crunchy toppings
Calories – 250
Fat – 10 grams
Sodium – 660 mg
Carbohydrate – 15 grams
Fiber – 5 grams
Protein – 28 grams
Side Salad without dressing or crunchy toppings
Calories – 20
Fat – 0 grams
Sodium – 10 mg
Carbohydrate – 4 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 1 gram
Southwest Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken Strips without dressing of crunchy topping
Calories – 350
Fat – 15 grams
Sodium – 1,010 mg
Carbohydrate – 29 grams
Fiber – 7 grams
Protein – 34 grams
Low-Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Calories – 35
Fat – 1.5 grams
Sodium – 480 mg
Carbohydrate – 5 grams
Fiber – 0 grams
Protein – 0 grams
Breakfast, Smoothies and Value Menu
Breakfast Jack
Calories – 280
Fat – 11 grams
Sodium – 780 mg
Carbohydrate – 30 grams
Fiber – 1 gram
Protein – 16 grams
Smoothie – 16 fl oz of Mango (M), Strawberry (S), or Strawberry Banana (SB)
Calories – 290 (270 for S)
Fat – 0 grams
Sodium – 70 mg (75 mg for M)
Carbohydrate – 180 grams (210 grams for SB)
Fiber – 1 gram (0 for M)
Protein – 2 grams
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Calories – 330
Fat – 16 grams
Sodium – 800 mg
Carbohydrate – 34 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 11 grams
What are your favorite nutrition conscious favorites? Where would this restaurant chain rate in your book compared to other fast casual options?

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USMAWIFE 6/23/2017
their food makes me ill Report
Thank you for including the sodium. So many of us need that information. Report
"For the nutrition conscience..."

I read that and laughed. If you are worried about nutrition, and you are eating at Jack in the Box, you need to re-examine your priorities. It's like someone who is concerned about catching on fire grabbing for the lighter fluid and matches. Report
I don't have one near me but i would have the 3 grilled chicken choices. less fat then all the other choices Report
I remember JIB back when I was in high school. Super Tacos, made with something that resembled beef, greasy as all get out, and oh so wonderful tasting. I'd love to have one of those today, but the nearest JIB is 50 miles away. Probably a good thing! Report
We have a jack in the box down the street from us.
I used to like going to pick up some of their side orders, but now I don't go to fast food restaurants much anymore.
The sodium content in these foods is outrageous and so unhealthy.
If you want some fast foods, learn to make them at home and cut down on all the bad additives and salt. Report
fast food is addictive and nutritionally a nightmare. Report

When I first starting reading the nutritional information, it looked good. Then I hit the sodium count and was instantly bummed. Thanks for the research, you saved me some time. Report
I sad to admit but I love JIB tacos they are my most fav fast food treat. I use to eat them all time (which could be one of the contributors to being overweight). We recently had a JIB open in my area and I am proud to say I have not gone there because I would have to eat my tacos and I just know I'm not strong enough for that yet. Someday I'll try and eat one again. I guessing when I do I won't like them anymore. Report
I like fast food once in a great while and JIB is good, but if I my others I would go to Carl's Jr. so glad there is not one real close to where I live Report
i have grown up with JIB's all around. Safest health conscious items on the menu are really the fajita pita, salads, and maybe one item (at a time) from their dollar menu. That said, my favorites are Jack's Spicy chicken sandwich, 2 tacos (comes as a pair) and eggrolls with sweet and sour sauce. Definitely will put a cramp in any diet. Report
We still haven't gotten a Jack-in-the-box in our part of Kansas and I've known about them ever since trips to California in the 1970's & 1980's. Two of my siblings lived in So Cal for over a decade, and at one point, some of the establishments were inadvertaintly part of the cocaine distribution whereupon law enforcement and emergency medical personally like one of my siblings would call it "Crack-in-the-Box". The food was never healthy back then so I didn't eat there often, if at all. I only lived in there a year myself, but made fairly frequent trips, and always wondered when we would get a Jack-in-the-Box. Kinda glad we didn't, but does sound like there are a few healthier items!! Report
When I lived in California and had less than modest means...Jack in the Box was a treat during the week I got paid as a lunch experience. Always crowded, noisy and tasty! Report
I remember JIB, in the Chicago area, when I was a kid. Not sure why they left, but I liked the food. It's nice to see that they are trying to have some "healthy" choices. But, you can really not expect a fast food restaurant to be diet friendly. That's like buying a conversion van & wanting it to be sporty convertible. No surprise, you knew what it was, all along. Report
These items look to be the same as other fast food places (like the "new" Burger King menu). It's not something I'd be looking to indulge it. Report
I agree the sodium is too high for me to consider a meal at Jack in the Box. Report
I agree with nahzeejune - sodium is crazy high on some of these low calorie choices... when reading labels we are hoping for a 1 to 1 ratio - meaning for every 100 calories we hope not more than 100 mg sodium. We can tolerate 2 to 3 x as much occasionally but after that it is just not healthy for us. Fast food tends to be high in salt regardless of calories. And the food industry knows we crave salt, fat and sugar and if they take one out they load it with another... sad but true.
I love JIB, and have since my early teens. They were the first fast food restaurant to go beyond just burgers and fries (in our area), and they had a wider variety of burgers. That said, as a more health conscious person, almost all fast food is off my list because of the high levels of sodium. If I must, a small hamburger, side salad with low fat dressing or a lemon wedge, and plenty of water to help flush the salt. Report
I remember loving Breakfast Jacks about 40 years ago (yes, the West Coast had Jack-in-the-Box in the 1960s). Since I don't do fast food now because of health issues, none of this look appealing, but thanks for the walk down memory lane. Report
I'm so glad to see this article! A Jack in the Box just opened in my neighborhood and we have very few good choices (Braums, Waffle House, Burger King). Report
I had no idea how low the calories could be at jack in the box. Report
The sodium content is high, for me, that almost negates the positive. Report
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