I can’t tell you definitively what the “healthiest” option at Wendy’s is, because we all have different definitions of what healthy means.
For you, eating fast food may not be healthy at all, and that’s fine! But just because it’s fast food, that doesn’t mean there are not some decent options.
Let these guides help you choose next time you find yourself hungry and/or conveniently at Wendy’s! Let’s break it down a little bit…
There are quite a few burger options at Wendy’s, and I couldn’t quite fit them all on this graphic, but I included most of ’em.
When it comes to burgers, most of the options at Wendy’s have cheese. How many calories can you save by leaving the cheese off? Let’s figure it out.
Since we know the nutrition for a Jr. Hamburger as well as a Jr. Cheeseburger, we can do some quick math to figure out the nutrition for the slice of cheese (since that is the only difference in these burgers).
When you find the difference, you’ll see that one slice of cheese at Wendy’s is 40 calories, 3g fat, 1g carb, and 2g protein.
If you want to go for a Dave’s Triple, which has 3 slices of cheese, you can save yourself 120 calories & 9g fat by asking for no cheese. That monster of a burger still would have nearly 1,000 calories, but I’m not judging.
And while it’s tough to say exactly how many calories are added by condiments, we can always estimate how many there are. But if you want to definitively save some calories, ask for condiments on the side!
Something like mustard won’t be adding a ton of calories, but mayo can end up adding 100s of calories to your burger. Asking for it on the side allows you to control how much you’re using, but you can of course just leave it off all together.
Ahhh, Wendy’s chicken. In my humble opinion, the best chicken sandwiches in the fast food game.
The spicy chicken has long been one of my favorite options out there! Note that I mean the spicy chicken sandwich and not the “spicy crispy chicken sandwich”. They are very similar when it comes to flavor, but the crispy chicken sandwiches are a bit smaller or utilize a chicken patty, similar to one you’d find in a cafeteria.
Similar to the burgers, the nutrition here is mostly dependent on the cheese and condiments, because the chicken stays the same throughout. The homestyle and spicy chicken patties always end up the same, with grilled chicken giving you some slightly more favorable options.
If you’re looking to lower the calories and up the protein a bit, getting any sandwich grilled is definitely the way to go!
And while we don’t know the exact number, I estimate that leaving the mayo off will save about 100 calories. When I order the spicy chicken sandwich without mayo, I estimate that the sandwich comes in at just about 400 calories. Not bad!
For this guide, I also only included 6 piece nuggets, but you have the option to order a 4 piece or 10 piece. I was going to include those, but I figured we could just go math instead.
Based on the nutrition above each nugget (regular, not spicy) is:
42 calories, 2.5g fat, 2g carbs, 2g protein.
Checking their menu, that math works out for the 10 piece nuggets:
420 calories, 27g fat, 24g carbs, 22g protein (some very slight rounding, but close enough)
I was really surprised when I first tried Wendy’s salads- they always test pretty fresh!
My favorites are when they release their seasonal summer salads, which always have some kind of fruit in them. but since they are only seasonal, I stuck with the staples here.
One thing that is great about Wendy’s salad options are the ability to order half salads. As you can see by the nutrition, they’re not EXACTLY half of the full salad, and the size is still decent.
If you’re looking to save some calories, getting a half salad instead of fries can be a great option, and much more filling.
The nutrition for these salads does not include dressing- the dressing always comes on the side in packets, which you can see above. A full salad will come with 2 packets, and a half salad will come with one packet.
When I order salads, I never add the dressing right on top. Instead, I keep it on the side, dip my fork into the dressing, then eat the salad with that. It helps me to use less dressing while still feeling like I’m getting plenty of flavor.
If you want to use dressing, I have nothing against it! At 60-80 calories, using a packet of dressing is surely not going to ruin anything you’ve got going.
Do Frosty’s count as sides? They do now.
If you’ve never tried it, get yourself some fries and a Frosty and dip the fries right into it. I’ll admit, I thought that was really strange, but it is damn good.
There are a few things I left off this graphic, so I’ll mention them here: both Frosty’s and fries come in junior sizes.
A junior sized fry will be 220 calories, 10g fat, 28g carbs, and 3g fat.
A junior sized vanilla Frosty will be 190 calories, 5g fat, 32g carbs, and 5g protein.
At less than 200 calories, a junior Frosty can be a great option if you’re craving something sweet. Granted, they’re quite small- only 6 ounces. But they can still hit the spot!
The nutrition listed is also for vanilla Frosty’s, not chocolate. We all know vanilla is the superior flavor, but the nutrition is very comparable regardless of the flavor. Note that the chocolate Frosty’s may have an extra 20-30 calories, though.
Wendy’s also has a few different options for baked potatoes and loaded fries. Although not listed above, you can also get a Sour Cream & Chives Baked Potato, and a Bacon Cheese Baked Potato.
For fries, you also have the option to get Baconator Fries or Bacon Jalapeno Fries.
And if none of these sides tickle your fancy, there are a couple fruit options as well! You can get a side of apple slices or strawberries, which will only be 35 or 30 calories, respectively.
All of this being said, it’s okay to put calories and macros aside and enjoy a meal at Wendy’s. Even if that means eating a 1000+ calorie Baconator. Enjoy it!
But if you do want to save some calories, I always recommend being careful with the condiments and dipping sauces. Getting mayo on your sandwich or dipping chicken into various dipping sauces can end up adding 100s of calories to your meal, so it’s definitely something to be conscious of if calories are a concern.
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