Order This, Not That: Wendy's

Are all fast food burger joints created equal or does Wendy’s live up to their claim to be “waaayy better than fast food”?

Are all fast-food burger joints created equal, or does Wendy’s live up to its claim to be "waaayy better than fast food"? (Sorry, but a bacon cheeseburger still isn't a good choice.)

ORDER: Simple and Fresh

Basic salads, such as the Mandarin Chicken or Chicken Caesar, have between 200 to 300 calories even with their special dressings. Opt out of extra toppings like crispy noodles and garlic croutons to save 70 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. Even better, pass on regular dressings, and go for the light or fat-free options instead.

You don’t see a lot of baked potatoes on fast food menus, but they've been a staple at Wendy's for years. With 270 calories (without toppings), a potato and a side salad make for a well-rounded meal. Chili is also a unique offering but stick to the small size. The large cup of chili has only 280 calories but 1240 milligrams of sodium –- that’s more than half of the daily recommendation of salt.

If you’re in the mood for a sandwich or burger, the Jr. Hamburger is the best option with 230 calories, 8 grams of fat and just under 500 milligrams of sodium. Or make a meal out of the Grilled Chicken Go Wrap, which has 250 calories, 10 grams of fat and 730 milligrams of sodium.

NOT: Everything Burgers, Boneless Wings and Frozen Treats

The Triple Burger with Everything and Cheese tips the scale at 970 calories, 60 grams of fat (including 27 grams of saturated and 3.5 grams of trans fat) and 2,010 milligrams of sodium. The Baconator burger (that name just bothers me) isn’t much better with 870 calories and 51 grams of fat. Of course, it's easy to figure out that you shouldn't order a triple cheeseburger. The Chicken Club Sandwich might seem like a light choice, but stay away -- it still packs 550 calories and 26 grams of fat.

I’ve seen a lot of commercials lately for their new boneless wings. Whether you're eying the Bold Buffalo (520 calories), Honey BBQ (580 calories) or Sweet & Spicy Asian (550 calories), none of them are a healthy choice. Each serving has 18 grams of fat and somewhere between 1990 and 2630 milligrams of sodium –- not to mention a laundry list of preservatives, according to the ingredient info.

And what about Wendy’s signature Frosty dessert? A small Chocolate Frosty has 320 calories and 8 grams of fat, which is enough for a meal. I remember when there was just one kind of Frosty -– now there are all kinds of choices, many with added cookies and candy that only jack up the calorie and fat totals. You're better off enjoying a small serving of chocolate ice cream from your home freezer.

We have some kudos for Wendy's: They're conscientious about noting potential food allergens and providing a list of ingredients for all their menu items. You can look all that up at their site.

Next Up

Order This, Not That: McDonald’s

McDonald's has been talking up their healthier menu items, but what do the nutrition facts have to say? Here’s what to order -- and what to stay away from -- next time you stop at the “golden arches.”

Order This, Not That: Applebee's

Take a look at the best and worst dishes to order at Applebee's.

Order This, Not That: Pizza

Make better choices at your favorite pizza chains.

Order This, Not That: Subway

When it comes to fast food, sandwiches seem like a smart choice, and in many cases, they are. There are still some menu items that might surprise you. So when dining at Subway, the king of fast sandwiches, we suggest...

Order This, Not That: Starbucks

'Tis the season for fancy coffee drinks filled with hidden fat, sugar and calories. Learn what to order from the barista so you don't pack on extra holiday pounds.

Order This, Not That: Chipotle

This quick-service joint has been around for years, but Dana and I only recently tested it out. We'd heard they use free-range animal meat and fresher ingredients. We didn't realize those would come in gigantic portions! That said, here are our tips for eating healthier (and greener) at Chipotle.

Order This, Not That: Smashburger

Find out what to order and what to skip the next time you visit Smashburger.

Order This, Not That: Burgers

Find out which burger you should be ordering and which to skip on your next visit to these popular burger joints.

Order This, Not That: IHOP

There's been a surge in the popularity of this pancake hotspot, but is there anything on the menu that won't wreck your diet?

Order This, Not That: Red Robin

Here's what to order — and what to avoid — when visiting Red Robin.

Related Pages