Food Showdown: Pick the Healthier Hearty Side Dish

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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

PROVERBS31JULIA 4/25/2018
Ha! Great minds think alike - I also frequently put the wendy's small chili over the plain baked potato, @ARCHIMEDESII @BUSYEMM @HAPPIMOMMIE @WALKN4WARD etc

I already knew the chili was lower in calories. They will give you extra hot sauce if you want it (for the chili or even for the potato.). Report
OSONIYE 2/18/2018
Sorry. I used to work for one. I will never eat their chili. Report
LOVELY*LADY 1/17/2018
mmmm Report
AJB121299 12/16/2017
nice Report
JIBBIE49 11/26/2017
Great Report
7STIGGYMT 10/19/2017
Of the fast foods, I like Wendy's the best because they have the healthiest and tastiest healthy food choices. (I like the grilled chicken apple pecan salad with no blu cheese, which I don't like) Report
JULIENSMITH 9/8/2017
I do like Wendy's healthier options. Often eat there while traveling. Report
BABY_GIRL69 7/30/2017
I do enjoy their chili I need to get baked potato more often..... Not crazy about their salads tho. Report
My absolute go-to meal if I'm on the road is Wendy's chili and sour cream & chives baked potato. I dump the sour cream in the chili and mash up the inside of the potato before dumping the chili mixture on top of it. I usually only eat half of each and save the remainder for supper or lunch the next day. They also happen to be two of the cheapest menu items! Report
I ate there today for lunch, hand a junior hamburger with the deluxe veggies added, a side salad and a junior frosty for 425 calories. If you are expecting the traditional chili, you may not like Wendy's Chili, but they have a chili sauce you can add to it to get closer to the traditional taste.I like the chili. It's hamburger, diced tomatoes, red kidney beans, and not a lot of spices (They are in the package of sauce) They will add onions and shredded cheese as a garnish if you ask. I love this stuff. Didn't have any today because it's 90 degrees in the shade here. On cold winter days, our Wendy's has been known to run out of spoons because they served so much chili! Report
Potatoes get a bad rap. Can't get any more natural than a potato. I could never embrace a diet that vilified root vegetables. The key is preparation & moderation. Report
AUDREYLKEY
If I get the baked potato, I get it without sour cream and just butter on the side. Usually I order a side salad and a side grilled chicken breast. Healthy & inexpensive. I also ask for almonds instead of croutons. Report
MISSTREESAN4D
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
URBU2IFUL
I tried Wendy's chili here recently and it was disgusting! They changed the recipe somewhere in the last few years. Report
@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. Report
REDCAT2012
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. Report
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. Report
Too bad its full of meat. Vegetarians lose again. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
I like their new berry almond chicken salad half size. When it cools down, I'll go back to enjoying their chilli again. Report
NAOLEE
I can't eat those kind of food. Report
Very interesting. I didn't know that about the chili. Report
VBRANNAN
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. Report
THEESLADY
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. Report
HAPPIMOMMIE
I love putting my Wendy's chili on the potatoes. It's so yummy!! It keeps my full until my next meal. Report
For a full meal I combine them. Report
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. Report
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.
Report
I don't eat fast "food". Report
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 Report
Love Wendy's chilli. Report
CHICA_BORICUA
negative, I can do better than that and with a whole LOT less SODIUM. Report
ND774748
Wendy's chili is great, but I wish they had a vegetarian version. Report
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. Report
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. Report
who knew! Report
I'll be away from home for a time coming up...it's good to know the chili is a better deal nutritionally! Report
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. Report
SILLYSUZY1948
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 Report
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. Report
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! Report
KROPTE
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. Report
I love Wendy's chili. The sodium is outragious so be careful!!!!!!!!!!! Report
Good to know Report
SHAREDJOURNEY1
I love the small chili on the plain baked potato with a side salad. It is a filling nutritious meal with staying power. Report
 
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