Forget variety—cheeseburgers are the spice of life.
It might feel sinful to approach the register at Wendy’s when you’re trying to eat healthy, but tons of fast-food joints are stepping up their game when it comes to nutritious eats. From guac-topped salads to loaded potatoes to—wait for it—Frosties (!), these R.D.-approved orders make a case for swapping your sad desk sandwich for a bite at Wendy’s.
“I would recommend ordering the grilled chicken sandwich and losing the bun. This is a great source of lean protein without the added fat of fried chicken. Omit the bun to reduce processed carbohydrates, which can spike blood sugar. The grilled chicken sandwich is a quick, easy way to get some lean protein and veggies while on the go.” —Lauren Cadillac, R.D. at Dr. Ditzell Psychiatry
Per sandwich (no bun): 200 cal, 7 g fat (1.5g sat), 5 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 510 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 28 g protein
“This option contains complex carbohydrates, fiber (especially if you eat the potato skin), vitamins A and C, plus potassium, which naturally counterbalances sodium intake.” —Sarah Hortman, R.D.
Per potato: 360 cal, 6 g fat (2.5 g sat), 68 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 300 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 12 g protein.
“If you want a burger, practice portion control and go for the Jr. Cheeseburger, which has just 280 calories and 16 grams of filling protein. Skip the fries, and pair your burger with a side garden salad with raspberry acai vinaigrette dressing.” —Jessica Ivey, R.D.N.
Per cheeseburger: 280 cal, 13 g fat (6 g sat), 26 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 530 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 16 g protein.
Per garden side salad: 200 cal, 11 g fat (3.5 g sat), 18 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 460 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein.
Per vinaigrette serving: 100 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 23 g carbs, 20 g sugar, 240 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 0 g protein.
“This salad contains a variety of food groups, like fruit from the apples, vegetables from the lettuce, healthy fat from the pecans, protein from the grilled chicken, and dairy from the blue cheese. I recommend getting the dressing on the side and dipping your fork in it since adding all the dressing can increase the calories significantly.” —Amy Goodson, R.D.
Per salad: 570 cal, 26 g fat (9 g sat), 51 g carbs, 40 g sugar, 1090 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 36 g protein
“If you’re not all that hungry, try the grilled chicken wrap paired with apple bites.” —Jessica Ivey, R.D.N.
Per grilled chicken wrap: 260 cal, 10 g fat (3.5 g sat), 34 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 640 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 19 g protein.
Per apple bites package: 35 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 8 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 0 g protein
“I make these types of salads at home all time. Love the combo of fruit from berries mixed with veggies. The protein from chicken is not a lot but just enough. And I’m nuts about nuts so I’m glad they include some almonds.” —Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., creator of BetterThanDieting.com and Read It Before You Eat It
Per salad: 470 cal, 19 g fat (6 g sat), 40 g carbs, 29 g sugar, 980 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 39 g protein
“I especially love the chili at Wendy’s because it’s something most people wouldn’t assume is healthy and yet it is. Three hundred calories for a meal is quite low, depending on if the person snacks. In addition, most people are aiming for more fiber, more protein, and less saturated fat, and these numbers add up to a healthy amount.” —Melissa Joy Dobbins, R.D.N.
Per large chili: 270 cal, 8 g fat (3 g sat), 28 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 1260 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 23 g protein
“Skip the ranch dressing and use the avocado to flavor. Avocados are loaded with heart-healthy fats and keep you full for hours.” —Deanna Wolfe, R.D.N.
Per salad: 590 cal, 41 g fat (12 g sat), 18 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 1190 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 41 g protein
“Treats are okay in moderation! Choose the junior size to satisfy your sweet tooth craving with just 190 calories. As a bonus, the junior vanilla Frosty contains five grams of protein and gives you 15 percent of the calcium you need for the day.” —Jessica Ivey, R.D.N.
Per serving: 200 cal, 5 g fat (3.5 g sat), 32 g carbs, 27 g sugar, 100 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 5 g protein.
Source: Read Full Article