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The Worst Chicken Wings in America

They might be finger-licking good, but there aren't may redeeming qualities when it comes to these menu options.

When it comes time to eat a meal that gets a little messy and yet is oh so satisfying, there's a good chance chicken wings come to mind. Whether you're a fan of the bone-in or boneless variety, like spicy or mild sauce, or prefer blue cheese instead of ranch as your dipping sauce, there really is no wrong way to order and eat chicken wings. But there are some wing orders that are worse for you than others.

When you're ordering in or picking up a to-go order of chicken wings from one of your favorite chain restaurants, you're going to want to make sure you're not choosing a chicken and sauce combination that is going to completely derail your diet. See, The American Heart Association recommends most adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams a day and most wings orders are true sodium bombs. Big yikes.

Uncover which chicken wings are a total no-go and instead, why not take the time to add The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now to your diet instead?


Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic

buffalo wild wings traditional wings
Courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings
Per 15-piece order: 1,050 calories, 58 g fat (20 g saturated fat, 3 g trans fat), 6,540 mg sodium, 57 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 73 g protein

Clearly, if you're getting food from Buffalo Wild Wings, you're going to eat, well, wings. Just keep in mind portion control. It's far too easy to eat a whole plate of wings if they're in front of you and getting a 15-piece order of the Spicy Garlic wings has two and a half days' worth of sodium. Stick with a 6-count order!


Applebee's Boneless Wings, Classic Hot Buffalo

applebees boneless buffalo wings with dip on white plate
Courtesy of Applebees
Per order: 840 calories, 53 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 4,040 mg sodium, 49 g carbs (3 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 40 g protein

There's a good chance if you're an Applebee's fan, you've taken advantage of the iconic half-priced appetizers special. And that means it's the perfect time for a plate of wings, right? Well, the Classic How Buffalo Boneless batch is coming in at more than 800 calories and has more sodium 356 Lay's Classic Potato Chips. And that's just for an appetizer!


Chili's Loaded Boneless Wings

chilis loaded boneless wings
Courtesy of Chili's
Per order: 1,370 calories, 92 g fat (27 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 3,230 mg sodium, 64 g carbs (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 72 g protein

At Chili's, you can choose to have their spin on the dish and that's the Loaded Boneless Wings. Here, the chicken is smothered in white queso, shredded cheese, bacon, and green onions. "Loaded" is always a red flag on a menu, no matter what the meal is, and these wings are further proof of that theory.

In case you want to try making your own wings at home, this is the easy way to make healthier comfort foods.


TGI Friday's Garlic Parmesan Boneless Wings

buffalo chicken wings
Per order: 1,090 calories, 74 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 3,090 mg sodium, 63 g carbs (6 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 41 g protein

Garlic Parmesan sauce just sounds rather fancy for chicken wings. It's a fairly common option, but at TGI Friday's, it results in an order of wings that comes in at more than 1,000 calories.


Domino's Sweet Mango Habanero Chicken Wings

dominos chicken wings
Per 8-piece order: 620 calories, 40 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,580 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (0 g fiber, 20 g sugar), 30 g protein

Pizza and wings are forever an iconic food pairing (although it's a rather unhealthy duo), so it doesn't come as a surprise that Domino's serves up some chicken to go alongside a pie. But the Sweet Mango Habanero Chicken Wings are the ones you want to skip. Not only are they high in fat and sodium, but one order has as much sugar as two Original Glazed Krispy Kreme Donuts.


Pizza Hut Garlic Parmesan Bone-Out Wings

Pizza hut garlic parmesan wings
Pizza Hut/Facebook
Per 8-piece order: 1,010 calories, 72 g fat (13 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 2,170 mg sodium, 51 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 40 g protein

The Garlic Parmesan wings strike again, this time from Pizza Hut. Their boneless version, or "bone-out" as it's called, is just as high in fat and sodium. If you happen to pair these wings alongside some pizza, you're just asking for trouble, especially if this is something you do often. For example? Well, you might just start packing on the pounds and you could be eating your way to high blood pressure, too.


Outback Steakhouse Kookaburra Wings Hot

outback steakhouse wings
Per regular size: 1,570 calories, 125 g fat (41 g saturated fat, 2.5 g trans fat), 4,960 mg sodium, 44 g carbs (5 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 70 g protein

A regular order of wings at Outback Steakhouse means you're eating chicken that is tossed in the restaurant's secret spices. Somehow, this order manages to come in at more than 1,500 calories, and an astronomically high amount of fat and sodium.


Zaxby's Buffalo Traditional Wings & Things

zaxbys wings and things
Courtesy of Zaxby's
Per meal: 1,550 calories, 98 g fat (17 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 4,130 mg sodium, 88 g carbs (7 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 78 g protein

Zaxby's takes their wings seriously and you can get the best of both worlds with the Wings & Things menu option. That means "you don't have to make a choice between hand-breaded goodness and finger-licking deliciousness," since you get chicken fingers, crinkle fries, and Texas toast alongside those traditional buffalo wings. Talk about overload!

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more