The chili at Wendy’s is a popular offering, but is it really healthy? Find out the nutritional facts about Wendy’s chili.
Fast food isn’t always the healthiest choice when it comes to feeding your family, but sometimes convenience and lack of time leads you to the fast food window. One popular quick food hot spot is Wendy’s where you can choose from an array of hamburgers, hot fries, and even piping hot Wendy’s chili – an offering for which they’re well known. When you don’t have time to cook and you take home Wendy’s chili for dinner, are you committing a nutritional sin? Is Wendy’s chili healthy?
Is Wendy’s Chili Healthy?: What’s in It?
Wendy’s chili has many of the ingredients you’d expect to find in a meat based chili. It has ground beef, chili beans, and chili seasoning all mixed into a proprietary chili base. Unfortunately, it also has quite a few additives such as artificial colorings, preservatives, and food dyes along with an unhealthy dose of high fructose corn syrup. If you choose to add the shredded cheddar cheese on top you’ll get extra fat along with more artificial colorings.
Is Wendy’s Chili Healthy?: Nutritional Content
A small bowl of Wendy’s chili has a rather modest 200 calories – not bad. It also has a fairly reasonable fat content of six grams – two of which are saturated. The real problem is the sodium. A single, small serving of Wendy’s chili has an eye-popping 875 milligrams of sodium. Eat three bowls of it and you’ve already gone over the amount that’s recommended for the entire day. It is an excellent source of protein with seventeen grams in a single serving and, because of the beans, it’s a good source of soluble fiber. Other than being a source of vitamin A and iron, it’s rather weak in the nutritional department.
Is Wendy’s Chili Healthy?: The Good and the Bad
To its credit, Wendy’s chili is a good source of protein and fiber and is reasonably low in fat and calories. What’s problematic is its high sodium content and the artificial preservatives and food coloring it contains. It’s also made with high fructose corn syrup – a sweetener that’s been associated with an increased incidence of heart disease and obesity.
Is Wendy’s Chili Healthy?: The Bottom Line?
In a pinch a small bowl of Wendy’s chili isn’t a horrible choice, but it’s somewhat limited in nutritional value and is too high in sodium and artificial additives. A better option? Make it yourself by adding grass raised organic beef and chili beans to a slow cooker along with the other ingredients and allow it to cook all day. When you come home from work, it’s ready to serve – without all of the salt and additives. If you do get a bowl of Wendy’s chili, stay away from the crackers they give offer on the side. They’re mostly empty calories and, they too, contain high fructose corn syrup.