Just for a little fun and to make a point about the nutritional value of preparing your own food, I wanted to compare one of Wendy’s’ healthiest fast food sandwiches, Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich to a homemade Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger (no meat). For those of you that prefer meat, don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe, it is very filling and has great flavor.
Both competitors have a single slice of cheese, mayo is on the Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Smart Balance Lite Butter spread on the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger. I used spinach on the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger while the Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich uses lettuce. Their menu doesn’t specify the type, so I used iceberg and romaine in my calculations for Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich.
As far as fast food goes, Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich is a good choice if you order it with just the bun, grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard and a slice of cheese. I wish they offered it with a whole grain bun. I hope the President of Wendy’s reads this suggestion. You can shave extra calories and fat off of both sandwiches if you leave off the cheese. As with any fast food choice, avoid the sauces and dressings, they add extra calories, sugar, cholesterol, sodium, saturated fat and in some cases trans fat to your meal. They also contain preservatives that can damage your health if over consumed. I have a few clients that eat fast food two and three times per day. I would not recommend eating at any fast food establishment that often, if at all. You can access all of Wendy’s nutritional data and food ingredients at this website.
At the weigh in, the homemade Portobello mushroom cheeseburger weighs in at 352 grams and 365 calories while the Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich weighs in at 260 grams and 440 calories. It looks like the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger is a little heavy, yet has fewer calories, less fat, less cholesterol, taste great and gives you more nutrition per calorie! When you prepare foods at home you can use more nutritious ingredients, avoid health damaging preservatives and cooking at home is less expensive.
In this comparison, I used Wendy’s published nutritional data in every nutritional category they provided. I compiled the additional nutritional data for both foods using ESHA Nutritional Data Software, a leader in nutrition data collection.
In the graph below the RED is the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger, and the Blue is Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich. For the complete nutritional data for each food, click here. If there are other comparisons you would like to see, just let me know. My next blog is on fast food salads, you are going to be shocked!!