Watching your blood sugar doesn’t mean you have to skip eating at your favorite restaurants. In fact, with a little know-how, you can make healthy choices at most places without feeling like you’re on a restrictive diet.

And that includes going to Buffalo Wild Wings. Yep, the sports bar famous for its saucy wings and numerous beers on tap is still an option. You may be adjusting your order if you are one of the 1 in 10 Americans who have diabetes, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there are still some pretty good choices for you.  

With that said, we’ve scouted out the best Buffalo Wild Wings menu items to choose if you’re managing your blood sugar. Our focus was on orders that were balanced in total carbohydrate and modest in added sugar and lower in sodium and total fat when compared to other menu items. It’s important to note that restaurant meals, including these options at Buffalo Wild Wings, tend to be high in sodium compared to home-cooked dishes. That said, the occasional restaurant meal can fit into most peoples’ routine from time to time, though it may be helpful to watch your sodium intake in your other meals on days you plan to eat a meal away from home. Read on for four options to consider if you have diabetes.

Traditional Bone-In, Lemon Pepper Dry-Rubbed Wings

At BWW you can get bone-in wings dry-rubbed instead of tossed in a sauce. Traditional bone-in wings contain fewer carbohydrates compared to boneless wings, which are lightly breaded in flour and fried, says Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, owner of One Pot Wellness in Indianapolis. “Choosing the dry-rub wing options without the sauce is an effective method for managing carbohydrate intake since it eliminates the added sugars and salt in wing sauces. Dry-rub flavors like chipotle BBQ, lemon pepper or salt and vinegar are all flavorful and diabetes-friendly options,” she adds. 

According to the Buffalo Wild Wings nutrition guide, the following is the nutrition info for six wings plus dry rub:

  • Calories: 365
  • Total Fat: 19g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Protein: 29g 
  • Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sodium: 1,550 mg

Chicken Caesar Salad

Order this salad with dressing on the side so that you can portion out the dressing, says Bess Berger, RDN, a dietitian in Teaneck, New Jersey. Many restaurant salads can rack up significant calories, fat and sodium, and ordering dressing on the side allows you to use a smaller amount and save on all three of these variables. Note that this item is still high in sodium, so make sure you balance this choice with the rest of your day.

Nutrition info is for the salad with Caesar dressing, according to Buffalo Wild Wings:

  • Calories: 780 
  • Total Fat: 59g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Protein: 33g 
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sodium: 2,700mg

Side Order of Carrots and Celery

Pair your wings order with some extra veggies for a nutritious, high-fiber boost. For a diabetes-friendly side dish or appetizer at BWW, order the carrots and celery with ranch, says Sarah Garone, NDTR, a nutrition and dietetics technician, registered in Mesa, Arizona. “Since they come with a side of dippable dressing, you can control the amount you get on each veggie stick,” she says. 

Nutrition info for an order of plain carrots and celery sticks, no dressing, according to Buffalo Wild Wings:.

  • Calories: 35 
  • Total Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Protein: 1g 
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sodium: 90mg

Naked Chicken Tenders

The Naked Tenders are a great choice for those wanting to manage their blood sugars while eating at Buffalo Wild Wings, says Amy Beney, M.S., RD, CDCES, owner of Nutrition Insights in Lockport, New York. In a serving of five grilled chicken tenders seasoned with a dry rub, there is more than 60 grams of protein, and this order is also low in total carbs and saturated fat. Beney suggests considering swapping out french fries for a side salad or sliced carrots and celery to create a meal that is more blood-sugar friendly. If you’re taking diabetes medication or insulin, remember that you’ll likely need a source of carbohydrate at this meal. 

Nutrition info for five chicken tenders, according to Buffalo Wild Wings:.

  • Calories: 260
  • Total Fat: 2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 61g 
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sodium: 1,910mg

Choosing a Healthy Meal at Buffalo Wild Wings

What to Look For 

Protein and fiber are your friends when eating out at restaurants. These macronutrients help keep you full and satisfied longer after a meal, and they slow down carbohydrate digestion and help avoid blood sugar spikes. 

What to Include

If you decide to go for traditional wings, make the effort to add a side salad, keep the wing sauce on the side and stick to low-sugar beverages. “If your goal is to decrease your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages but [you] don’t want water, BWW offers unsweetened ice tea and Bubly sparkling water. Both drinks have a great taste and have no added sugars,” says Patricia Kolesa, M.S., RDN, owner of Dietitian Dish, a New Jersey-based virtual practice.

What to Limit

Salt, sugar and fats are inevitable when eating at most restaurants, but you can do your best to choose menu items that are lower in these nutrients. One way to cut down on total fat and sodium is to ask for dressings and sauces on the side.

The Bottom Line 

Eating at Buffalo Wild Wings for healthy blood sugar is possible, but it takes some planning to make healthy choices that are more balanced. Remember, emphasizing protein and fiber while being mindful of total fat, added sugars and sodium can help keep your blood sugar more stable after dining. Because these menu items are fairly high in sodium, opt for lower-sodium meals throughout the rest of the day if you’re planning a trip to Buffalo Wild Wings. Enjoy unsweetened tea, water or sparkling water on the side. If you don’t know your personal nutrition goals for your blood sugar, speak with a registered dietitian or diabetes educator to get personalized recommendations.

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