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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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
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
I love the small chili on the plain baked potato with a side salad. It is a filling nutritious meal with staying power. Report
Woo I was right! Report
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. Report
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. Report
Be careful of salads other than the side sald the chili beats for being lower Report
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. Report
The Wendy's small chili has always been my go-to fast food choice. Reasonably healthy, and quite filling. Report
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. Report
Be sure to leave off the high calorie toppings. Cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips can make it as bad as the baked potato. Report