How to eat low carb at Wendy’s

Finding tasty low carb options at Wendy's isn't as hard as you think. Here are a few great options and swaps for your next visit.
Finding tasty low carb options at Wendy's isn't as hard as you think. Here are a few great options and swaps for your next visit.
Finding tasty low carb options at Wendy's isn't as hard as you think. Here are a few great options and swaps for your next visit.
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How to eat low carb at Wendy’s

Finding tasty low carb options at Wendy's isn't as hard as you think. Here are a few great options and swaps for your next visit.

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I’m always looking for the best on-the-road options for myself in case I need to dine out, or I’m on the road, and I don’t have the opportunity to cook.

Sometimes fast food is the only option, but if you look deeply enough, you can certainly find options at Wendy’s that can help you stay within your goals.

A note on saturated fat

It’s always important for people with diabetes to aim for foods lower in saturated fat to keep our risk for heart disease lower, but these options can help you get along in a pinch.

Keep in mind that cooking at home is still probably going to be your best bet. But these are great options from Wendy’s if you’re on the road, or you need a quick stop.

Defining low carb


I’m defining low carb here as under 30 grams of carbs for the individual item. This is my definition, so don’t come for my head about this.

Anything under 150g of carbs per day is generally considered low carb. I usually take that to mean 30g of carbs per meal, and 15g per snack.

Diabetes-friendly and low carb options at Wendy’s

Burger, chicken sandwich salad, chili and fries as options at Wendy's.
Photo via Wendy’s.com

Salads

Parmesan Caesar Salad

Parmesan Caesar salad is one of the best you can get. It’s only 7g of carbs with the salad + the dressing and 3 grams of dietary fiber.

It has parmesan crisps instead of croutons which is a nice swap with great crunch, and the lowest fat of the salad options at Wendy’s.

Jalapeno Popper Salad

Jalapeño Popper salad is 34g of carbs with breaded chicken. Swap out the breaded chicken for grilled chicken to lower the carbohydrate content by 17g.

The Jalapeño ranch dressing is only 5g of carbs per packet, so you’re safe there.

The Southwest Avocado Salad

The Southwest Avocado salad is one of the best salads as is.

With dressing and the entire salad, you’re looking at 16g of carbs, with 6g of fiber, and mostly healthy fats from avocado.

To lower the fat content, you could remove the pepper jack cheese.

Low carb burger and sandwich options at Wendy’s


If you want to indulge in a burger, you can get any burger bunless, or as a lettuce wrap to lower your carb count. Stick to a single patty to lower the amount of fat, and get your condiments on the side.

Same thing applies with chicken sandwiches as far as the bunless options. With chicken, be sure to go for grilled options rather than breaded for a much lower carb count.

Sides

I personally think a small fry every once in a while is fine. It does spike my blood sugars, but fries are a rare treat for me. You may not feel the same, and there are other helpful options.

Apple bites are a great sub, and have 8g of total carbs

A small chili is also only 22g of carbs with 6g of fiber vs a small fry that adds 36g of carbs to your meal. The chili may also keep you fuller longer because of the added fiber.

Some more tips for eating lower carb at Wendy’s

  • Order any item bunless, or as a lettuce wrap. It’ll come in a salad container with all of the sandwich elements and a knife and fork.
  • Make sure to ask for any condiments you want on the side (including ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc).
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for swaps, they’ll make it just how you’d like it!
  • Frostys are generally going to be 30g of carbs and higher (even for the junior sizes). That’s not to say you should avoid dessert, but it will be on the higher end carb and sugar wise.
  • Wendy’s uses the Coca-Cola Freestyle system, so you can get almost any drink you like in a sugar-free form.
  • Low carb breakfasts at Wendy’s are tough. You can get them without the bun, biscuit or croissant. Potatoes are the typical side for breakfast items, swap it out for fruit. if you want to lower the carbs.

4 Responses

  1. Mila, I love Wendy’s jalapeño popper salad! This is the only salad that I order the chicken breaded for (because it’s got a lot of flavor), but it’s big so I typically only eat half. Typically but not always. 😁 Thanks for the Wendy’s list!! Did you post a list for Starbucks too? There are only 3 drinks that I order from there now.

  2. Thanks for this. Sometimes we run down the street to Wendy’s for our lunch at work and I never go because I don’t know what to get. Saved it in my notes.

    1. Really glad to hear it was helpful! I’m working on a whole series of these for different restaurants!

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Mila Clarke Buckley

Hi! I'm Mila.

I’m a millennial living with LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, a slow-progressing form of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes) I love food, travel, and my kitchen!

Hangry Woman is for anyone with diabetes – regardless of type.

I’m here to help you live your best life possible diabetes by showing you how to create simple, blood-sugar friendly and delicious meals. Plus, you get video cooking demos, essays on life with diabetes, and lots of weekly joy.

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