This Is Wendy's Most Underrated Menu Item

Healthy and fast food aren't often used in the same sentence. Even fast food salads get a bad reputation, thanks to the addition of high-fat, salty ingredients like bacon, fried chicken, cheese, cheese, and more cheese. If you're searching for an alternative, look no further: Wendy's has your back.

If you can muster the strength to skip those golden fries, try Wendy's baked potato instead. "Originally, we launched the baked potato in 1983 along with our salad bar, to provide a healthy option alongside our hamburgers," Wendy's VP of culinary innovation Lori Estrada told Thrillist.

Fast forward three decades and health-conscious diners can still order their spuds baked instead of fried. While they are oh-so-tempting, steer clear of the tater toppings, including sour cream and chive, bacon and cheese, or chili and cheese. Yes, they're delicious but they too are pitfalls for extra calories. Wendy's plain baked potato is the way to go.

Why you should order Wendy's plain baked potato

If you're counting calories, take note: A plain baked potato from Wendy's tallies at 270 calories, while a medium order of fries totals 420. If you end up caving and order your baked potato with melty cheese and crispy bacon bits, you're up to 480. On the plus side, that baked potato is bound to be more filling than fries.

In the interview with Thrillist, Estrada said, "The potato has always been more of a self-contained meal...They are usually about 11-and-a-half ounces, so there's a lot there. It can be your dinner."

If you stick to the plain potato, your dinner will contain 0 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 25 milligrams of sodium, and 61 grams of carbs. Nutrition Consultant Kathy Siegel, MS, RDN, CDN, praises this option onĀ Eat This, Not That. The basic baked potato is high in fiber (double the amount offered by a junior-sized fries), with ten times less fat and salt.