The Best & Worst Menu Items at Arby's
We're just going to put this out there and say it: Arby's dishes up some of the nation's favorite roast beef sandwiches. The perfect meal combination of the roast beef sandwich with cheese, paired with a small order of curly fries, and a Jamocha shake to wash it all down brings on all the nostalgia, doesn't it? Unfortunately, like many fast food items, a handful of Arby's menu items are chock-full of calories, sodium, and saturated fat. We chose to showcase some of the healthiest and least healthy items on the menu so that you can be more conscious of what you're putting into your body.
Check out our breakdown of the best and worst Arby's menu items!
Worst: Half Pound French Dip & Swiss and Au Jus
Arby's has long been known for its roast beef sandwiches, and the half pound French dip with Swiss and au jus falls under that category. It also happens to be the worst sandwich you can get on the menu. Why? There are a whopping 3,400 milligrams of sodium in this sandwich, which is well over the amount you should consume in one day alone. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat no more than 2,300 milligrams daily, and this sammie will take you over the daily limit by 1,100 milligrams. It also has 16 grams of saturated fat, and, according to the Cleveland Clinic, you should only consume 22 grams of saturated fat per day, so eating one of these will already wipe out more than two-thirds of your daily allotment. In short, we recommend you choose another menu item or opt for this order very sparingly.
Worst: Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon Sandwich
The roast turkey ranch and bacon sandwich also costs you a lot of sodium—just over 2,400 milligrams to be exact—which also very clearly exceeds the daily recommended amount. Between the roasted turkey, pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, and parmesan peppercorn ranch, it makes sense as to why the sodium content is as high as it is. On top of that, this sandwich comes in at 800 calories, which is nearly half of your daily needs if you're following a 2,000-calorie per day diet–and that's without getting a side. Split this sandwich in half to cut down on the calories and slash the sodium content.
Worst: Three Cheese
While this sandwich has less sodium than the two that precede it, it has a great amount of total fat, not to mention 1.5 grams of which is trans fat. Trans fat is the byproduct of hydrogenation, which involves the manual injection of hydrogen atoms to unsaturated oils. Food manufacturers do this to prevent foods from spoiling as quickly, and it can also lurk in fried foods, which, as you can see, this sandwich has, thanks to crispy onion strings. However, trans fat is linked to increased risk of heart disease, so consuming this regularly could potentially pose a threat against your heart health. The battle to officially ban trans fat has been a long one, but Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE, shared in a former article that the end is nearing.
"January 1, 2021, is the final date for these trans-fat-containing products leftover to work their way through distribution," she said.
OK, we get it. This sandwich looks totally delicious, but again, you have another sodium bomb on your hands. For perspective, 1 ounce of Frito's chips (about 32) costs you 170 milligrams of sodium. You would have to eat approximately 455 of these corn chips to consume as much sodium as what's in Arby's Reuben sandwich. Yikes.
Best: Classic Roast Beef
One of the healthier sandwiches you can order off the menu is Arby's classic roast beef. At just 360 calories, this sandwich has half of the calories and only about a quarter of the sodium that the half-pound French dip with Swiss and au jus has. When in doubt, stick to the classics.
Best: Turkey Gyro
Arby's offers three different types of Gryos: turkey, traditional, and roast beef. The turkey version is the most health-conscious choice of the three, with less than 500 calories and 3.5 grams of saturated fat, compared with the traditional, which houses a whopping 710 calories and 13 grams of saturated fat, and the roast beef, which contains 550 calories and 7 grams of saturated fat.
Best: Buttermilk Crispy Chicken
Another healthier sandwich option at Arby's is the buttermilk crispy chicken, a much more sensible choice than the buttermilk chicken cordon bleu sandwich, which contains 150 more calories, double the amount of saturated fat, and 600 more milligrams of sodium.
Salads, Sides, and Desserts
Worst: Chopped Farmhouse Salad With Crispy Chicken
Arby's only offers two different kinds of salads, and the crispy chicken variety is slightly less healthy. If you choose the buttermilk ranch dressing, you tack on an additional 210 calories and 330 milligrams of sodium.
Best: Chopped Farmhouse Salad With Roast Turkey
If you're watching your carb intake, this may be the best meal you can order at Arby's. Ideally, the sodium content could be lower. However, 940 milligrams is far less than a majority of items on this list. Add the dijon honey mustard dressing, and you'll only add 230 more milligrams to that sodium count.
Worst: Mozzarella Sticks (6-piece)
A 6-piece mozzarella stick order nearly costs you your full day's worth of sodium, and that's without the marinara dipping sauce. If you need to satisfy that craving for something fried, try ordering the two potato cakes for just 250 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 430 milligrams of sodium.
Best: Chopped Side Salad
If you ordering one of the healthier sandwiches above, skip the side of curly fries and order the side salad for less than 1oo calories and five grams of protein.
Worst: Ultimate Chocolate Shake (Large)
How tempting is it to order one of Arby's decadent milkshakes along with your sandwich and fries? But, let's just say you go there for the shake and order a large. This one sets you back nearly 1,000 calories and costs you about a day's worth of saturated fat. Even worse, this shake houses a whopping 140 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to eating exactly 4 2/3 bags of M&M's (1.69 ounces).
Best: Vanilla Handcrafted Shake (Snack size)
The healthiest dessert you can order at Arby's is the snack size of the vanilla shake at just 250 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat. The sugar content is still high at 37 grams, but it is significantly better than ordering the large vanilla shake, which clocks in at a whopping 115 grams of sugar. Still, this snack size shake contains fewer calories and sugar than the apple turnover, which contains 430 calories and 39 grams of sugar.