It’s best to avoid most fast-food restaurants if you’re trying to eat healthy. But sometimes hunger strikes. You see the Wendy’s Restaurant sign looming in the distance and pull in for a quick lunch. You amble up to the counter and order the Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad. After all, how bad can a salad be, especially one made with apples and pecans? You may be surprised.
Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad: What’s In It?
Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad is a blend of processed, breaded chicken, roasted pecans, dried cranberries, blue cheese crumbles, apple chunks and croutons on a bed of lettuce that’s served with a pomegranate vinaigrette dressing. Doesn’t sound so bad, now does it?
The Nutritional Low-Down: What’s Good about It?
The cranberries in Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken salad are loaded with antioxidant flavonoids that help to protect against cell damage and may reduce the risk of tooth, kidney stones and urinary tract infections. In fact, cranberries rank near the top of the antioxidant scale. They’re also rich in fiber and vitamin C.
Pecans are more antioxidant-rich than any other nut. They’re also a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber. Eating nuts regularly reduces the risk of heart disease.
Apples are not only rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, they contain pectin, which helps to lower cholesterol levels and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes while keeping you slim and trim.
What’s Bad about Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad?
On to the bad. Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad is disturbingly high in sugar. Eat this salad, and you’ll get 39 grams of sugar and 50 total grams of carbohydrates. The sugar content is equal to that of a Snicker’s bar.
A full-size portion of this salad also has a whopping 27 grams of fat and 580 calories. Some of the fat comes from the chicken, which is processed, breaded and cooked in oil. Obviously, this salad is not a good choice if you have cholesterol issues or you’re a diabetic.
Can You Make It Healthier?
You can cut the sugar in half by not using the pomegranate vinaigrette dressing. If you hold the croutons too, you’ll reduce the calories by a total of 200, but you’re still stuck with the high-fat breaded chicken.
Unfortunately, Wendy’s doesn’t offer a truly healthy entrée salad. You’re best off skipping the entrée salad and going for a side-salad and a small bowl of chili instead. At Wendy’s, the word “salad” isn’t always synonymous with healthy.
Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad: The Bottom Line?
Skip the Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad. It sounds like a healthy choice with its antioxidant-rich fruit and nuts, but it’s loaded with sugar and fat. You’ll do less damage eating the chili.
World’s Healthiest Foods website.