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:
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.
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...
You can even think ahead to your mid-afternoon munch:
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.
Wendy's Nutrition Guide Food Bombs!
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
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.
** Note: This Wendy's nutrition guide and Wendy's nutrition facts information is current as of July, 2007 **