If you are trying to balance your blood sugar or follow a low-carb diet, eating out at fast food restaurants can be a challenge. However, Wendy’s has several low-carb options on their menu that you can enjoy without derailing your meal plan.
If you want to hit the drive-thru without spiking your blood sugar, read on to discover the best low-carb menu items and how to order them.
The Best Low-Carb Wendy’s Menu Items
Some menu items at Wendy’s are already low-carb, however with a few adjustments and customizations, you can enjoy a wide variety of options off the menu while keeping your intake of carbs to a minimum.
1. Avocado Chicken Salad
This delicious salad offers a variety of customizations that can allow you to reduce the carb content significantly. It features a bed of lettuce, grilled chicken, avocado, pico de gallo, and a creamy dressing.
To make this salad more low-carb-friendly, ask for the tortilla strips to be removed. The Avocado Chicken Salad contains 485 calories, 36g of fat, 7.5g of carbs, and 32g of protein, making it a high-fat and high-protein option that’s perfect for those on a low-carb or keto diet.
And the majority of the fat comes from the good fat found in avocado, which can benefit both blood sugar and heart health. But, I want to note that this salad has unfortunately been discontinued in some locations, so it may not always be available.
2. Cobb Salad
This hearty salad is made with Wendy’s signature lettuce blend, grilled chicken, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped eggs, applewood smoked bacon, crispy fried onions, along with ranch dressing.
Without the dressing, the salad contains 430 calories, 24g of fat, 17g of carbs, and 36g of protein, while the dressing adds 250 additional calories and 2gm of carbs.
3. Parmesan Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken
Not surprisingly, the salad options on the Wendy’s menu are some of the best choices when looking for low-carb options. The Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken features romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, croutons, and grilled chicken (all low or no-carb ingredients) tossed in a Caesar dressing.
To make this salad even more low-carb-friendly, ask for the croutons to be removed or substituted with bacon bits.
This salad contains 290 calories, 13g of fat, 13g of carbs, and 32g of protein before adding the dressing. The dressing will add an additional 240 calories, 25gm of fat, and 2 grams of carbohydrates.
If you want to scale back on the calories and fat, you can ask for the dressing on the side or swap it out for a vinaigrette-based dressing.
If you’re in the mood for something warm and hearty, the chili at Wendy’s is a delicious, high-fiber option that won’t spike blood sugar levels. Wendy’s chili is made with beef, beans, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and a blend of spices. Although the beans do contain some carbohydrates, the high content of fiber and resistant starch means this meal will have little impact on blood sugar.
A small chili contains 240 calories,11g of fat, 22g of carbs, 6gm fiber, and 15g of protein, making it a low-calorie and low-carb option that’s perfect for those who want a warm and filling meal while managing blood sugar levels.
5. Baconator without the Bun
The Baconator is a popular menu item at Wendy’s, featuring two quarter-pound beef patties, American cheese, six strips of bacon, ketchup, and mayo, all sandwiched between two buns. To make this meal low-carb-friendly, simply ask for the Baconator without the bun.
Although removing the bun will cut the carbs, the combination of bacon, cheese, and mayo makes this a meal significantly high in saturated fat. In fact, the Baconator without the bun contains a whopping 66g of fat (27gm saturated fat), and just 2g of carbs.
Since diets high in saturated fat may increase insulin resistance, you would be better off opting for a standard hamburger without the bun like the Daves Single or one of the options mentioned above.
Note: It is important to note that the nutritional information for these menu items may vary depending on the specific ingredients that are used. For example, the nutritional information for the Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken will vary depending on the type of dressing that is used. It is always best to check the nutrition information for each item before you order.
Tips for Customizing Your Low-Carb Menu at Wendy’s
When ordering at Wendy’s, there are several ways to customize your order to make it more low-carb-friendly. Here are some tips:
1. Skip the bun: Many menu items at Wendy’s come with a bun or bread, such as burgers and sandwiches. By skipping the bun, you’ll significantly reduce the carb count of your meal and make it more low-carb-friendly.
2. Remove high-carb ingredients: Many menu items at Wendy’s come with high-carb ingredients, such as croutons and tortilla strips. By asking for these ingredients to be removed, you’ll further reduce the carb count of your meal.
3. Substitute with low-carb ingredients: Some menu items at Wendy’s can be customized with low-carb substitutes, such as bacon bits instead of croutons or a lettuce wrap instead of a bun.
4. Add extra protein: Adding extra protein to your meal, such as grilled chicken, can help you feel fuller for longer and keep you satisfied.
5. Add more veggies: If you cut out the bun, you may not feel as satisfied with your meal thanks to the shrinking portion size. However, adding more veggies back to your meal can boost the fiber content while adding little to no additional carbohydrates or calories. Try ordering a side salad, asking for extra lettuce and tomato, or take your order to go and add additional veggies at home!
The bottom line on low-carb Wendy’s menu items
Eating out at fast food restaurants can feel overwhelming when trying to balance blood sugar levels, but there’s no need to avoid it. With a little planning and some customizations, you can find many low-carb options that you can enjoy.
When it comes to ordering low-carb on the Wendy’s menu, there are a variety of options that are both delicious and low-carb-friendly. From burgers without buns to salads with grilled chicken, there are plenty of options to choose from. By customizing your order and making small adjustments, you can enjoy a tasty meal while still staying on track with your meal plan and blood sugar goals.
But do keep in mind that it is important to always check the nutrition information of the items you order and to be mindful of portion sizes, especially if you will be customizing a menu option.
By making smart choices and being mindful of your carb intake, you can still enjoy eating out at fast food restaurants while working to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.