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The Best and Worst Diet Foods at Dairy Queen

Enjoy a DQ meal for less than 500 calories, including a treat!

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Updated August 13, 2014

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Order diet-friendly food at DQ

Daniel Grizelj/Stone/Gett Images

Did you know that you can eat off the Dairy Queen menu for 500 calories or less? It's true. The DQ menu isn't the healthiest menu around, but if you find yourself heading to the soft serve mecca while you're on a diet, you'll want to know your best and worst foods to order.

The Best Treats to Eat at Dairy Queen

If you are trying to cut fat and calories,  your best bet is to eat at home and visit DQ for a post-meal treat. That way you can prepare a low calorie, high protein dinner to balance out the high sugar and high fat treat that you'll probably enjoy at Dairy Queen.

Once you're at the ice cream counter, order without looking at the menu. It's easy to get distracted by some of the photos of sundaes and Blizzards posted on the walls. Know what you're going to eat before you get inside the door and keep your eyes on the scenery (or your companions) instead.

As you might imagine, the best low-calorie snacks on the Dairy Queen menu come in smaller serving sizes. Each of the treats listed below has less than 300 calories and less than 10 grams of fat. Some are even fat-free. Keep in mind, however, that the sundaes and Blizzard treats come without whipped topping or other additions. Whipped topping adds 90 calories and 7 grams of fat.

Low Calorie Dairy Queen Items
  • Cherry StarKiss Bar: 80 calories, 0 grams fat
  • Stars & Stripes StarKiss Bar: 80 calories, 0 grams fat
  • Fudge Bar: 50 calories, 0 grams fat
  • Vanilla Orange Bar: 60 calories, 0 grams fat
  • Kid's Vanilla Cone: 170 calories, 4.5 grams fat
  • Arctic Rush (small): 210 calories, 0 grams fat
  • Lemonade Chiller (small): 250 calories, 0 grams fat
  • DQ Sandwich: 190 calories, 5 grams fat
  • Banana Sundae (small): 230 calories, 7 grams fat
  • Cherry Sundae (small): 240 calories, 7 grams fat
  • Banana Split Blizzard (small): 290 calories, 8 grams fat

The Worst Treats to Eat at DQ

If none of those treats seems enticing, there are other options that are slightly higher in calories that might not ruin your diet if you eat a small portion size and eat a low-calorie lunch or dinner. But there are some DQ treats you'll want to avoid altogether. These items have shockingly high calorie and fat counts. Check this list for your favorite treat. You might be surprised what's on (and not on) the list.

  • Turtle Pecan Cluster Blizzard (large): 1470 calories, 82 grams fat
  • Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard (large): 1450 calories, 83 grams fat
  • French Silk Pie Blizzard (large): 1320 calories, 62 grams fat
  • Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzard (large): 1340 calories, 58 grams fat
  • Peanut Butter Shake (large): 1230 calories, 71 grams fat
  • Peanut Butter Malt (large): 1350 calories, 72 grams fat

Are you surprised that the Peanut Buster Parfait isn't on the list? It's one of the most popular menu items and contains 710 calories and 31 grams of fat. So, if you're going to fall off the wagon and indulge, it's not the worst option.

Complete DQ Meals for 500 Calories or Less

If you find yourself at Dairy Queen for a full meal, it is possible to dine for 500 calories or less. But again, your options are limited. Here are a few combinations that will get you out the door with minimal damage.

  • Grilled Chicken Wrap: 280 calories
  • Side Salad (lemon wedge instead of dressing): 20 calories
  • Kids Vanilla Cone: 170 calories
  • Total: 470 calories
  • Corn Dog (yep, a corn dog!): 260 calories
  • Kids French Fries: 190 calories
  • Fudge Bar: 50 calories
  • Total: 500 calories
  • Iron Grilled Cheese Sandwich: 420 calories
  • Vanilla Orange Bar: 60 calories
  • Total: 480 calories
One of the best tips for eating at Dairy Queen was posted on the About.com Weight Loss Facebook page. A smart Facebook friend reminded readers that taking the kids to Dairy Queen and watching them eat their cones contains 0 calories and 0 grams of fat. It also creates zero guilt. For a dieter, this may be the best option.

Sources:

DQ 2012 Nutrition/Allergy Brochure Food & Treats U.S.

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