Wendy’s best menu picks, by a nutritionist

(CNN)If you’re the type of person who likes to customize meals in order to achieve your health goals, Wendy’s is worth the trip. Like many others, the chain allows you to modify a meal any way you wish.

You can order a sandwich in a lettuce leaf instead of a bun if you’re cutting carbs, forgoing gluten or simply cutting calories. Additionally, you can leave mayonnaise off sandwiches, omit chicken from any of the salads and even order your fries unsalted for a significant sodium savings. (Then again, we try to steer clear of fries in general.)
Wendy’s offers a variety of salads, in both full- and half-size portions. You can also order burgers in junior sizes, which cuts calories, sodium and saturated fat. And we like the fact that you can get a healthier baked potato as part of your meal, a protein-rich option for vegetarians.

Panera

However, Wendy’s offers a list of items for those who are simply looking to avoid gluten-containing ingredients. We like the apple pecan chicken salad with apples, cranberries, pecans and crumbled blue cheese. A half-size will satisfy, with 340 calories and 20 grams of protein. You can also order the grilled chicken sandwich as a lettuce wrap; you’ll slash more than 300 milligrams of sodium by doing so. Pair it with the garden side salad with light balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Just remember to omit the croutons.
Also, sandwiches can be requested without a bun or as a lettuce wrap, and the potatoes are gluten-free.

For the athlete

Our picks: Grilled chicken sandwich; or small Rich and Meaty Chili and sour cream and chive baked potato; and 1% chocolate milk
The grilled chicken sandwich is a satisfying option for athletes. It offers 38 grams of carbs to fuel muscles and 35 grams of protein to build and repair muscles, and it is relatively low in fat. It also delivers a healthy dose of iron, an important mineral that helps carry oxygen to muscles. It’s slightly higher in sodium than some of our other picks, but athletes who lose sodium in sweat can afford the extra milligrams.
If you’re carbo-loading, you can’t top the sour cream and chive baked potato, with 63 grams of carbs and fewer than 3 grams of fat. For an extra protein boost (and even more carbs), enjoy it with a small chili.
Grab a kids’ chocolate milk as a post-workout beverage. It offers a beneficial amount of carbs and protein for muscle recovery.

For the road warrior

Our picks: Grilled chicken wrap; or power Mediterranean chicken salad without cheese (full-size); and apple slices
The grilled chicken wrap with cheddar and honey mustard is one of our favorite items on Wendy’s menu, and it makes for a quick grab-and-go meal when you’re on the road.
If you have more time for a travel break, choose the power Mediterranean chicken salad, another one of our top choices. It’s particularly helpful if your travel day falls short on vegetables, as it contains a mix of spring, Romaine and iceberg lettuces along with red onion, cherry tomatoes and hummus. If you skip the cheese, you won’t miss out on flavor, but you will save close to 300 milligrams of sodium. The final count has 35 grams of protein and 8 grams of filling fiber, enough to tide you over until you reach your destination.
If you still think hunger pangs will distract you while driving, grab some apple slices, too.

For the carb-conscious

Our picks: Grilled chicken sandwich as a lettuce wrap (without bun); or junior cheeseburger deluxe as a lettuce wrap (without bun and mayo); garden side salad without croutons and with ranch dressing

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Those cutting carbs will feel welcome at Wendy’s. The chain will prepare a sandwich without a bun and serve it as a lettuce wrap instead. Our top choice is the grilled chicken sandwich wrapped in lettuce with honey mustard and tomato. It has 28 grams of protein and only 6 grams of carbs.
If you’re craving a burger, order the junior cheeseburger deluxe as a lettuce wrap and without mayo for only 5 grams of carbs.
For more greens and fiber, add a garden side salad with ranch dressing to either option for an additional 6 grams of carbs.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/10/health/wendys-menu-nutritionist-food-drayer/index.html

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