Food Showdown: Pick the Healthier Hearty Side Dish

11SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/11/2012 10:00 AM   :  46 comments   :  39,684 Views

Fast food chains are working hard on their images. No longer wanting to be known for high-fat fare, stores across the globe are offering more options for the health-conscious consumer. Wendy's Super Value Menu has a few, including their famous Chili, and a longtime menu item, the Sour Cream and Chives Baked Potato. These would both make a healthy side to your meal, or even a great snack. Although both are low-calorie items, one is not only lighter, but also full of nutrients that will help you stay fuller, longer. Between Wendy's Small Chili and Sour Cream and Chives Baked Potato, can you pick the low-cal item that will stick with you longer?

The Winner: Wendy's Small Chili!
Wendy's Small Chili wins! This 8-ounce portion is not only low in calories (210) and fat (6 grams), but it's also packed with nutrients that help you stay full. This cup of goodness boasts 17 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, thanks to the beans, meaning that this low-cal side will actually help fill you up. Can't beat that! The potato is still a healthy option at 320 calories and just 3.5 grams of fat. The potato also packs 7 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. Choose the potato instead of a medium fries to save 100 calories and nearly 18 grams of fat!


What side items do you usually order when you go out to eat?




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Comments

  • MISSTREESAN4D
    46
    I think a lot of us worked for Wendy's at some point in our lives :) But anyway, I choose neither.....first of all I don't eat beef, I love potatoes, but try not to eat too many white potatoes. If I have to go to Wendy's, I choose to get the Grilled Chicken, No bun, with Lots of Lettuce, Tomato, Pickles, Onions and Yellow Mustard on the side. Umm Umm Umm......only about 140 calories and it's filling. Or if not filling for you, you can eat 2 of them for only 280 calories. - 8/20/2012   4:31:57 PM
  • 45
    I don't understand how you can compare chili with a potato. The chili is hardly a side dish - it has way more nutrients (and fat) than a potato. A potato IS a side dish, unless you add to it with vegetables, or maybe even some chili or some kind of protein.

    Also, this is full of meat. I would like to see more challenges that I can actually take part in as a vegetarian. - 8/19/2012   6:33:54 PM
  • 44
    I don't understand how you can compare chili with a potato. The chili is hardly a side dish - it has way more nutrients (and fat) than a potato. A potato IS a side dish, unless you add to it with vegetables, or maybe even some chili or some kind of protein.

    Also, this is full of meat. I would like to see more challenges that I can actually take part in as a vegetarian. - 8/19/2012   6:33:51 PM
  • 43
    I tried Wendy's chili here recently and it was disgusting! They changed the recipe somewhere in the last few years. - 8/15/2012   7:26:26 PM
  • 42
    @tediebear1-Lol. I used to work at Wendy's. It took many years before I was able to eat the chili but now I love it. I like it with a baked potato. - 8/14/2012   5:03:48 AM
  • REDCAT2012
    41
    But remember that potato only has all that fiber if you eat the entire skin too, and it would not be a good choice for a diabetic. - 8/13/2012   6:56:40 PM
  • 40
    I used to work at Wendy's. I saw how the chili was made, I never touch the stuff now. Baked potato for me all the way. - 8/13/2012   3:39:54 PM
  • 39
    Too bad its full of meat. Vegetarians lose again. - 8/13/2012   1:21:21 PM
  • 38
    Not a fan of Chili but good to know. The Baja salad is 540 calories. Yikes. I would go for the Jr burger that is 140 calories. At McDonalds you can get just the hamburger at 80 calories and apple slices which are only 15 calories and that fills me up. . I been getting apple slices instead of fries at McDonalds. Wendy's I do not think have fruit as a side. - 8/13/2012   1:18:33 PM
  • 37
    I can't eat the chili at Wendys and rarely have eaten their baked potato since they had their salad bars years ago, but I really like their berry almond chicken salad and their apple pecan chicken salad. I will either get the half size or take half home for another meal. - 8/13/2012   12:50:11 AM
  • 36
    The main foods have so many calories that if I do eat at Wendy's I ONLY get sides. But I worked there for a few years after high school. So, I rarely ever want Wendy's - especially not the chili. It's made with all the meat that dried out before it could be sold. The meat is kept in a drawer over the stove all day at room temperature & made into chili the next day. Gross. - 8/13/2012   12:25:14 AM
  • 35
    I like their new berry almond chicken salad half size. When it cools down, I'll go back to enjoying their chilli again. - 8/13/2012   12:18:45 AM
  • 34
    I can't eat those kind of food. - 8/12/2012   11:09:21 PM
  • 33
    Very interesting. I didn't know that about the chili. - 8/12/2012   10:54:11 PM
  • VBRANNAN
    32
    Up until about 6 years ago, Wendy's Taco salad (without cheese) was a favourite (I have a dairy allergy). When they changed it to the Baja salad, the new tortilla strips have dairy in them, so it wasn't a good option. Instead, we grab 2 chilis for the whole family and pour them over salads made from spinach, tomato, and bell peppers, then top them with broken tortilla chips. It's a great meal when we're on the way home from somewhere and are too tired or hungry to cook. I'm one of those rare people who actually needs a lot of sodium though, so it works for me. - 8/12/2012   9:09:04 PM
  • THEESLADY
    31
    I can not believe that anything from Wendy's would be healthy, outside of the salads. But this is interesting info to know...just incase. - 8/12/2012   9:05:24 PM
  • HAPPIMOMMIE
    30
    I love putting my Wendy's chili on the potatoes. It's so yummy!! It keeps my full until my next meal. - 8/12/2012   8:59:29 PM
  • 29
    For a full meal I combine them. - 8/12/2012   2:37:00 PM
  • 28
    This is a favorite of mine when I am traveling. Small chili is a good choice to help me stay within my calorie range. Funny, Wendy's is a travel stop, never a restaurant to visit at home. I realize that there may be better, non-chain options, but I know what the good options are within a chain's offerings. - 8/12/2012   1:35:04 PM
  • 27
    I get the 1/2 Baja Salad - no dressing - no chips. In Canada it's 280 calories and the benefits of a half portion of chili to make a "dressing". I agree that the sodium is high at 820 but it's not something I would have often and I would watch my sodium for the rest of the day. I also make my own vegetarian chili with 9 bean mix and I serve it over lettuce with home made guacamole. Far less sodium, calories and higher fiber.
    - 8/12/2012   12:55:24 PM
  • 26
    I don't eat fast "food". - 8/12/2012   11:57:25 AM
  • 25
    I'm not as fond of their chili as I used to be so I just don't get it. Also, because it is a side, it wouldn't fill me up, so I would have to eat something else with it, like a side caesar salad. Small, but the two may not fill up the average person. One potato with sr. crm and chives and maybe some bcn bits and regular chs not the sauce garbage would be a great meal for me.

    I like to get their Jr. deluxe hold the chs, mayo and ketchup add mustard. It then is a burger with lettuce, tom., onions and pickles, I believe and is quite tasty.


    rumbamel - 8/12/2012   11:05:12 AM
  • 24
    Love Wendy's chilli. - 8/12/2012   10:36:29 AM
  • CHICA_BORICUA
    23
    negative, I can do better than that and with a whole LOT less SODIUM. - 8/12/2012   10:05:06 AM
  • ND774748
    22
    Wendy's chili is great, but I wish they had a vegetarian version. - 8/12/2012   10:02:01 AM
  • 21
    If you bring a friend, try getting 1 plain baked potato (no sour cream no margarine) and one small chili and sharethe potato and chili to get a half size chili potato. No Cheese. Also skip the cheese and bacon on the cobb salad and have the light ranch dressing. - 8/12/2012   8:34:44 AM
  • 20
    Sodium isn't really a concern for me. I love Wendy's chili and their salads. The Berry Almond Chicken Salad is my fave with their low calorie berry dressing. I think it makes a great meal on the go. - 8/12/2012   7:59:29 AM
  • 19
    who knew! - 8/12/2012   7:39:00 AM
  • 18
    I'll be away from home for a time coming up...it's good to know the chili is a better deal nutritionally! - 8/12/2012   7:01:00 AM
  • 17
    I don't really eat at fast food chains anymore. but, I've had the Wendy's small chili on the baked potato before. it's not bad. One thing I've noticed is that most chains are trying to add some "healthier" options to their menus. I suspect the super sizing backlash has made them reconsider. - 8/12/2012   6:31:23 AM
  • SILLYSUZY1948
    16
    just last we I went to wendys' got a side salad a grilled chicken without the bread. and a baked potato. 500 cal 79 carb 9 fats 27 pro after look at the figure my result would have been better if I had saved the potato for another day. I had just put my body though 40 minutes of swimming and that day I ended up under in calories, carb were ok,fat was 2 grams over and my protien low but learn that what its all about - 8/12/2012   5:58:05 AM
  • 15
    Interesting information. I make it a habit not to go to fast food places, but when I have to, I notice that the "healthier" choices are usually some of the most expensive items on the menu. This does not seem fair, especially when a lot of families (with young children) seem to rely on the restaurants for meals several times a week and they cannot really afford the "good" stuff on the menu. - 8/12/2012   2:23:07 AM
  • 14
    I do eat at Wendy's occasionally and find that the BAJA salad is great (the full size is a little high in calories but if you omit the tortilla chips and the dressing that comes with it you can save almost 200 calories! The 1/2 size is substantial and you get your chili too! - 8/11/2012   8:10:02 PM
  • KROPTE
    13
    Thanks for the great info on Wendy's, I'm a heart patient but if I had the chili for one meal I would just be very careful of my sodium choices for the rest of the day. The more normal I can be makes it easier to be successful. I like being with friends and having a great eating experience with them, without all the drama of being on a low calorie, low fat, low sugar, watch the sodium, watch the cholestrol. The choices I make when out for dinner are done discreetly and happily, no one has to be envolved and when the good, healthy food comes to the table I celebrate it. Celebrate! Being with people I love is the deal not the food. - 8/11/2012   6:19:56 PM
  • 12
    I love Wendy's chili. The sodium is outragious so be careful!!!!!!!!!!! - 8/11/2012   5:50:43 PM
  • 11
    Good to know - 8/11/2012   5:43:32 PM
  • 10
    I love the small chili on the plain baked potato with a side salad. It is a filling nutritious meal with staying power. - 8/11/2012   3:50:18 PM
  • 9
    Woo I was right! - 8/11/2012   3:17:23 PM
  • 8
    Love Wendy's chili. I know others are concerned about sodium as one should be. But being one who basically doesn't add salt to my food, I think having the chili is a great option when I just have to get a bite to eat. - 8/11/2012   1:03:01 PM
  • 7
    Personally, I would probably pick the potato over the chili. The sodium content isn't mentioned here, but the potato weighs in at 50mg compared to 880mg in the chili. That's a BIG difference! Considering this is a side and not a meal, that 880mg is probably going to push most people over their daily sodium intake. 880mg of sodium is a lot for a meal, let alone a side dish. For someone that is very sensitive to sodium (like myself), that could lead to water retention, bloating and temporary weight gain. The potato is also 35% more food by weight, so you are actually eating significantly more which makes the additional calories make sense. - 8/11/2012   12:11:24 PM
  • 6
    Be careful of salads other than the side sald the chili beats for being lower - 8/11/2012   12:07:33 PM
  • 5
    I don't go to Wendy's. Ever. I'm not a big fast food fan, but on those rare occasions I go? It will never be Wendy's. If I'm there against my will, I opt for their salads. THey have decent salads. - 8/11/2012   12:02:50 PM
  • 4
    The Wendy's small chili has always been my go-to fast food choice. Reasonably healthy, and quite filling. - 8/11/2012   12:00:05 PM
  • 3
    gOOD TO KNOW IN CASE i HAVE TO MAKE A FAST FOOD DECISION:-) - 8/11/2012   11:38:21 AM
  • GRANNYQUINN
    2
    I do not eat any of these foods. If I am on the road I pack a cooler, I cook on the weekend and freeze good food not food high in sodium. - 8/11/2012   11:01:19 AM
  • 1
    Be sure to leave off the high calorie toppings. Cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips can make it as bad as the baked potato. - 8/11/2012   10:07:52 AM

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