How Many Calories in a Baked Potato?

When you're grabbing a meal on the run, most of us know better than to order our meal with fries. Why? They're loaded with fat and sodium, and will make a big caloric dent in our daily intake.

But when a sandwich isn't enough, what can we get to go with our fast food entree? Most places now offer sides of stuff like salad, fruit or other healthy fare. And at Wendy's, you can even enjoy potatoes without having to order them deep-fried and covered in salt -- you can order a baked potato on the side.

But are baked potatoes a healthier option than fries? One would think so, based on the fact that they're cooked in the oven instead of the deep fryer. But what baked potatoes lack in deep-fried goodness, they make up for with add-ons like sour cream, bacon bits, butter and cheese. Still, how bad can it be? You tell me.

How Many Calories in a Wendy's Baked Potato with all the fixings?

1. 120 cal
2. 386 cal
3. 550 cal
4. 746 cal

The correct answer is 550 calories, 22 g of fat, 1080 g of sodium and 72 g of carbs, according to Wendy's official website. Ouch! That's more than a junior bacon cheeseburger! In a side dish. If you're watching calories and planning to have this on the side, your entree better be a small salad, with no dressing.

Keep in mind that this calorie count includes all the add-ons -- cheese, bacon, broccoli, chives, low fat sour cream and 'buttery spread.' The potato on its own is 270 calories, and with just low-fat sour cream and chives, it's going to cost you 320 calories. That's not bad, but it's not great either. A small order of fried is 340 calories.

In general, baked potatoes are pretty healthy. They're low in fat and high in fiber, potassium and vitamins B6 and C. But skip the Wendy's version. Your best bet is to make yourself a baked potato at home. That way, you can limit the amount of sodium and fat you use.

The best part? They're super easy to cook -- just follow these instructions for cooking your own baked potato.

Twice Baked Potatoes

This recipe serves: 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • 6 small baking potatoes (white or red rose)
  • ¼ cup light sour cream
  • ¼ cup silken soft tofu
  • 16-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ cup minced green onion
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup grated low-fat cheddar or part-skim Mozzarella cheese
Preparation Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Thoroughly wash potatoes and bake in the microwave until they are tender or easily pierced with a fork.
3. Cut a lengthwise slit across top of potatoes; then carefully scoop pulp into a bowl, leaving shells intact.
4. Cool potato skins while you mix sour cream, tofu, drained spinach, onion, pepper, garlic and cheese.
5. Add potato flesh to the mixture and blend well.
6. Stuff potatoes and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until browned.

Nutrition Facts
  • Serving Size: 1 potato
  • Calories 200
  • Protein 8 g
  • Total Carbohydrate 40 g
  • Dietary Fiber 5 g
  • Sodium 109 mg
  • Total Fat 2 g
  • Saturated Fat 1 g
  • Cholesterol 3 mg
  • Percent Calories from Fat 8%
  • Percent Calories from Protein 16%
  • Percent Calories from Carbohydrate 77%

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