6 Diet Expert-Approved Orders at Wendy’s
Famous redheads throughout the years have been known for many things, but healthy eating doesn’t seem to be one of them.
There was the chocolate-loving Lucy, Lizzie Borden (we just won’t go there) and Emma Stone, who’s constantly the subject of too thin claims in the media. And then there’s Wendy. But she gets a bad rap (alond with her peers like McDonald’s). Though it’s easy to associate her with kid-approved picks like pigtails and Frosties, there’s a lot for a healthy adult to love on the menu, too. Here, five nutritionists on what they like they eat–or what they would order–when a quick stop at the redhead’s restaurant is necessary. Follow their lead!
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
“I’d go for the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. At only 370 calories and a whopping 34 grams of protein, it’s decently filling, and the fresh veggies on top add a bit of healthfulness. The honey mustard dressing makes it surprisingly flavorful, too!” — Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, Neily on Nutrition
Grilled Chicken Wrap and Side Salad
“We like the Grilled Chicken Wrap with extra lettuce, tomato, red onion and no ranch dressing, with a Garden Side Salad. This meal packs in veggies along with protein from the chicken. It’s satisfying–with a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber–but doesn’t make us feel weighed down if we’re eating this on a road trip (or even if you’re not and just want to be energized for the rest of your day!)” — Willow Jarosh, MS, RD, and Stephanie Clarke, MS, RD, co-owners of C&J Nutrition and co-authors of the upcoming book, The Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook
“I’d probably order the Grilled Chicken Wrap (honey mustard or mayo on the side, and I’d use little of either) and a Garden Side Salad with tomatoes and cucumber–Caesar dressing on the side. I’d dip my fork in the dressing to use it sparingly. The meal provides protein from the chicken, some calcium (and a little more protein) from the cheddar cheese, fat for flavor in the mayo and Caesar dressing and ever-important fiber and phytochemicals from veggies such as lettuce, tomato and cucumber.” — Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and author of Younger Next Week
Baked Potato and Chili
“The Baked Potato with Broccoli and reduced-fat sour cream (we skip the cheese sauce) and a small Rich and Meaty Chili is one of the more nutritious fast-food meals we’ve come across. The potato in this meal provides an excellent source of potassium, which helps balance out some of the sodium in the chili. It can be difficult to get less refined carbohydrates in when eating at fast-food restaurants, and a baked potato is a great way to do so. The chili provides a good source of protein as well as fiber–another nutrient that tends to be hard to come by in fast-food meals. The meal has a balance of high fiber carbohydrate, protein, fat and veggies, which is important for making it satisfying, and a total of 500 calories with only 8.5 grams of fat.” — Jarosh and Clarke
“We would grab a Junior (kid size) Frostie as a treat in addition to a healthier menu item. That wouldn’t necessarily be our ‘healthy’ choice… but it would be a balance of a treat and a healthier choice.” — Jarosh and Clarke
Chili and Fries
“My order at Wendy’s would be a small Rich and Meaty chili and a Kids’ Natural Cut Fries. This way, my total meal would be only 390 calories and provide 7 grams of fiber, 18 grams of protein and less than 5 grams of saturated fat. Considering I get to enjoy fries, I am happy with these numbers!” — Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet
Junior Hamburger and Side Salad
“We would go for a Junior Hamburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard or ketchup, as well as a garden side salad with pomegranate vinaigrette and spicy cashews and apple slices, all clocking in at 460 calories in total. We like this meal because it’s still a burger, but adding the salad and apples rounds out the nutrition, providing more fiber and a meal that is lower in sodium than most fast food meals.” — Jarosh and Clarke