(Photo via Dallas Observer)
Don't be intimidated by the Triple Baconator, or his child, Son of Baconator. The massive amount of calories and fat in those sandwiches is not indicative of the entire Wendy's menu. Don't believe me? Follow along as we tour through the menu to highlight the healthiest options we can find at Wendy's.
160 calories, 4 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 780 mg of sodium, 19 grams of carbs, 14 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber
Wendy's Small Chili gets more enticing during the colder months. The sodium count is a little higher than we would like, but the Small Chili keeps its calories and fat low. The high dose of protein will come in handy for any athlete looking to add lean muscle without excess fat, and the high amount of fiber will help squash your appetite and remain full for hours after your meal. Compared to an option like French fries, Wendy's Chili is a clear winner.
35 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 0 mg of sodium, 8 grams of carbs, 0 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber
You can never go wrong with apples. Order Wendy's Apple Bites for a healthy side to go with any of the larger items listed below.
270 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 25 mg of sodium, 61 grams of carbs, 7 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber
This is a classic Wendy's menu item you likely won't find at other fast food joints. A Baked Potato is packed with protein and fiber, making it a great choice to fill you up. A little bit of butter or sour cream won't bankrupt a Baked Potato's good nutrition, but chili, cheese and bacon (all of which you can add to your potato at Wendy's) just might. Don't forget to eat the skin!
240 calories, 10 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 470mg of sodium, 25 grams of carbs, 14 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber
If you've got a burger craving, this is Wendy's lowest-calorie option. This one is filling, relatively easy on the fat, and provides a solid balance of carbs and protein. The Jr. Cheeseburger only contains 40 more calories, making it a solid choice if you need your cheese fix. For comparison, Wendy's Peppercorn Mushroom Melt Triple, their highest-calorie burger, contains as many calories as four-and-a-half Jr. Cheeseburgers.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
380 calories, 10 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 840 mg of sodium, 38 grams of carbs, 35 grams of protein, 3 grams fiber
Lots of protein and minimal calories make the Grilled Chicken Sandwich your best bet for a healthy chicken sandwich. Another relatively solid Wendy's chicken sandwich is the Crispy Chicken Sandwich.
Grilled Chicken Wrap
300 calories, 13 grams of total fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 720mg of sodium, 26 grams of carbs, 20 grams of protein, 2 grams fiber
Another great chicken option for a balance of protein and carbs, the Grilled Chicken Wrap keeps calories and sodium much lower than any other "wrap" option at Wendy's. If you got a hankering for some spice, the Spicy Chicken Wrap is a pretty solid choice, as well. The Crispy Chicken Nuggets aren't a bad choice, either, as a 4-piece comes in at just 170 calories. The key is limiting your sauce intake, as a single serving of Wendy's Barbecue Dipping Sauce contains nine grams of sugar.
Parmesan Caesar Chicken Salad (Full Size)
560 calories, 34 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 1330mg of sodium, 14 grams of carbs, 51 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber
Boasting the fewest calories of any "full" size salad on Wendy's menu, the Parmesan Caesar Chicken Salad packs a lot of protein and valuable nutrients into its package. But the nutritional value of the Harvest Chicken, Southwest Avocado Chicken and Apple Pecan Chicken salads aren't far behind. At 260 calories, the Garden Side Salad also offers a nice complementary option.
Worst Foods at Wendy's
Peppercorn Triple Mushroom Melt
1,290 calories, 86 grams of total fat, 33 grams of saturated fat, 1,820 mg of sodium, 50 grams of carbs, 78 grams of protein
We know. It looks delicious. But just take a quick glance at the nutritional value. There really isn't any. And those sodium and saturated fat counts? Terrifying. A good rule of thumb is the more hamburger patties, cheese, bacon, sauce, fried onions, etc. on a burger, the worse its nutrition will be. Other members of Wendy's 1,000+ calorie burger club include the Barbecue Cheeseburger Triple, S'Awesome Bacon Cheeseburger Triple, and Dave's Triple.
Taco Salad (Full Size)
620 calories, 28 grams of total fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 1,760 mg of sodium, 66 grams of carbs, 28 grams of protein, 18 grams of sugar, 12 grams of fiber
Wendy's Taco Salad isn't as bad as the chain's most junky burgers, but it's still probably the least nutritious salad option thanks to massive amount of sodium and a significant dose of sugar.
Homestyle S'Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich
670 calories, 34 grams of total fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 1,530 mg of sodium, 54 grams of carbs, 38 grams of protein
You might think picking a chicken sandwich over a burger would be a healthy choice. Unfortunately, in the case of the Wendy's S'Awesome Bacon Chicken Sandwich, you'd be wrong. Again, look for grilled options without an abundance of bacon, cheese or sauce if you really want a healthier chicken sandwich.
Classic Chocolate Frosty (Large)
590 calories, 15 grams of total fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 99 grams of carbs, 17 grams of protein, 81 grams of sugar
Just glance at the sugar total, and slowly walk away. Maybe you can justify it once in a blue moon, but you should not be regularly consuming that much added sugar. If you've gotta have your Wendy's Frosty Fix, the Junior size is much more manageable. It'll save you 390 calories and 54 grams of sugar compared to the Large.
Chili Cheese Fries
510 calories, 25 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 1,100 mg of sodium, 55 grams of carbs, 16 grams of protein
Wendy's chili may be pretty healthy, but mix it up with cheese and fries, and the fat and sodium count skyrocket.
Want more fast food options? Check out The Healthiest Food to Eat at Burger King.
Photo Credit: Lya_Cattel/iStock