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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MUSICNUT 10/20/2020
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
CECELW 8/13/2020
I love Wendy's chili. I think it's actually better than mine Report
7STIGGYMT 6/26/2020
This makes a good meal. I also like Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad with grilled chicken and no blue cheese. Report
1CRAZYDOG 6/1/2020
Love the small chili (and usually have left-over). Report
the Wendy's small chili and a side salad is a whole meal for me. I love it. If I don't get that I get one of their half salads and use a vinaigrette. Report
I love Wendy's chili! Report
too salty Report
That's awesome❤ Is there any suggestions for other fast food places? Report
good to know. thanks. Report
thanks Report
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
Sorry. I used to work for one. I will never eat their chili. Report
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
I do like Wendy's healthier options. Often eat there while traveling. Report
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
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
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
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
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
I can't eat those kind of food. Report
Very interesting. I didn't know that about the chili. Report
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
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
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.
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
negative, I can do better than that and with a whole LOT less SODIUM. Report
Wendy's chili is great, but I wish they had a vegetarian version. Report