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Wendy's Nutrition Guide

Wendy's Nutrition Guide - Some truly respectable choices!

  250-350 calorie option 400-500 calorie option 600-700 calorie option
Beef Jr Hamburger OR Small Chili + Side Salad + Reduced Fat Ranch Plain Baked Potato + Small Chili Plain Baked Potato + Large Chili
Chicken Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich OR Roasted Turkey Sandwich with mustard, lettuce and tomato on Artisan Bread, no cheese or mayo Mandarin Chicken Salad without crispy noodles + 1/2 packet Oriental Dressing Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich + Side Salad + Mandarin Orange Cup (add to salad) + Reduced Fat Ranch
Vegetarian Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Potato Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Potato + Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt for dessert Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Potato + Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt topped with Mandarin Orange Cup and Granola Topping

If I were stuck on a desert island with only one fast food restaurant and a desire to eat healthy, I would hope the restaurant was Wendy's.

That's because of all the fast food restaurants out there, it's actually possible to find a few important food groups at Wendy's that are usually missing from the fast food drive thru:

  • fruit (mandarin orange cups)
  • vegetables (broccoli, potatoes that aren't fried, beans in the chili)
  • healthy fat (almonds)

As a nutritionist (meet me), I'm also impressed with the detailed Wendy's nutrition facts the restaurant is willing to provide.

On their site, the Wendy's nutrition guide discloses not only the nutrition profile of all their foods, but an ingredient list for every menu item as well.

Don't want to be bothered with numbers and ingredients and "just want to know what to order"?

Use my Wendy's Nutrition Guide (blue chart at right and green chart below) to do just that! (See the criteria I used.)

Q: Which calorie level is most appropriate for me? (Have you established your personal calorie count?)

A: Use the following rough guidelines:

250-350 calorie menu suggestions could be considered a "mini meal" for a larger or more active person, or a full meal for a smaller person or someone in need of a lower calorie intake.

Good fiber Lower Carb Kids Menu
Plain Baked Potato and/or Small Chili Mandarin Chicken Salad without the cripsy noodles Turkey or Ham and Cheese Sandwich + Mandarin Orange Cup

400-500 calorie menu suggestions would be appropriate for an average size person or an active smaller person.

600-700 calorie menu suggestions would be appropriate for a very active or larger person.

Wendy's Nutrition Guide: Make Your Own "Funky" Combinations

There are actually enough healthy(ish) a la carte items on the Wendy's menu that you can play chef! "Cook up" a decent meal for yourself...

  • Make your own "taco salad:" Order a side salad and pour small chili over top. Add a dab of Reduced Fat Ranch if desired.
  • Concoct a chili potato: Order a plain baked potato. Slice it open and pour a small chili down the center. Add a side (or 1/2 side) portion of shredded cheese sprinkled on top.
  • For an easy serving of fruit, order the Mandarin Orange Cup and add those orange slices to the salad or lowfat yogurt.
  • Ask for your Chicken Grill Sandwich or Jr. Hamburger on Artisan Bread.

You can even think ahead to your mid-afternoon munch:

  • Order a packet of the roasted almonds (they normally go with the Mandarin Chicken Salad) and have them for a workday snack.
  • Order the Lowfat Yogurt and the Mandarin Orange Cup and keep refrigerated until it's time for a quick nibble.

Wendy's Nutrition Guide: Salad Dressings

If you read the list of ingredients in Wendy's salad dressings, you would see that the reduced fat dressings contain high fructose corn syrup (highly processed sugar) and even food dyes. If instead...

...you were to use 1/2 packet of regular dressing, you'd often be eating less calories, fat, sodium, and unhealthy ingredients than if you used the entire packet of the reduced fat and lowfat dressings.

Of the regular dressings, the Ancho Chipotle Ranch dressing is the lowest in calories (90 calories, 8 grams fat) and the Honey Mustard is the highest (250 calories, 23 grams fat.

Big difference!

Wendy's Nutrition Guide Food Bombs!

Less healthy than you'd think Sodium nightmare Avoid like the plague
Southwest Taco Salad and Chunky Chicken Salad Frescata Triple Burger with Everything and Cheese Triple Burger with Everything and Cheese

Southwest Taco Salad: At 680 calories, 39 grams fat (52% fat), 17 grams saturated fat, and 1550 mg sodium, it's comparable to the Double Burger with Everything and Cheese.

Chunky Chicken Salad Frescata: 920 calories, 33 grams fat, 2640 mg sodium. Not exactly what you'd expect for eating "chicken."

Triple Burger with Everything and Cheese: Shame on Wendy's for even offering something with 980 calories, 59 grams of fat (25 grams saturated fat and 3.5 grams trans fat) and 2090 mg sodium.

That's as much fat as 3 orders of medium fries, as much saturated fat as 7 pats of butter and almost as much sodium as a full teaspoon of table salt. I don't care WHO you are...

...nobody needs to eat a meal like that!

What I'd choose:

If I were acting as my own Wendy's nutrition guide, it'd be...

...the Roasted Turkey Sandwich with mustard, lettuce and tomato on Artisan Bread, no cheese or mayo...

...and a Frosty...if it was my birthday. :-)

Wendy's Nutrition Guide: Hidden No-Nos

cartoon cherries

  • The sandwich buns contain high fructose corn syrup. (On the other hand, the Artisan Bread is made with extra virgin olive oil and no high fructose corn syrup.)
  • The Saltine crackers contain partially hydrogenated oil.
  • The Lowfat Yogurt contains high fructose corn syrup and food dyes.
  • The Honey Mustard Dressing contains high fructose corn syrup but the Honey Mustard Nugget Sauce does not. Both contain yellow food dye however.

Not exactly health food, I know! As I've said before and I'll say again...

...if fast food is a must...

...then picking "the best of the worst" is also a must.

Back to Survive the Drive Thru: Your Fast Food Nutrition Guide.

Your Personal Nutrition Guide Home.

** Note: This Wendy's nutrition guide and Wendy's nutrition facts information is current as of July, 2007 **

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