What To Order At Nando’s, According To A Nutritionist

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When it comes to chain restaurants that satisfy your hunger, nothing beats Nando’s. But not all of its quick fixes are as healthy as each other. We went to two nutritionists for their expert analysis of the menu…
Photography SHUTTERSTOCK/EASYKNOTCOCCO

Start With The Olives

“The spicy mixed olives are the perfect starter to take the edge off before a big meal. Olives are rich in vitamin E and healthy fats, and are a great appetiser to get your tastebuds going. With only 138 calories per serving, they’re a light option. In fact, if you’re having a big meal, a starter isn’t always necessary, especially at somewhere like Nando’s where the main event is the chicken. If you don’t like olives, the hummus is a solid choice. Although higher in fat, it is rich in plant-based protein and fibre. Just be sure to share, as the hummus and pitta plate contains 815 calories.” – Rebecca Myers, PT & nutrition coach.

Navigate The Chicken Options

“From a pure calorie perspective, the chicken butterfly is an excellent choice. Two chicken breasts, flame-grilled with crispy skin, it contains just 332 calories and an impressive 59g of protein. With just under 300 calories, the quarter chicken is also a good choice. However, chicken breast meat is leaner than other parts of the chicken, so if you’re concerned about fat content, order the chicken butterfly. Just steer clear of the ten-wing roulette – it’s a creative invention from the Nando’s chefs, but contains nearly 850 calories.” – Rebecca

Choose A Wrap Over A Burger

“The simple grilled chicken burger is the least calorific choice, but consider ordering a wrap instead, which is much easier to digest. If you ask for your wrap (or burger) without cheese and choose healthier side dishes, you’ll significantly reduce the carb and fat content.” – Rebecca

Avoid Spicy Sauces

“Of all the spice levels available, Plain… (ish), Lemon & Herb or Medium contain fewer calories, and less salt and sugar, so are the best choices for your next peri-peri chicken fix. There isn’t a huge difference between the three: Plain… (ish) tops the list, providing just 3.4g of salt and 0.6g of sugar for a whole chicken. Hot, Extra Hot and Coconut & Lemon are the worst offenders – in fact the Extra Hot baste contains nearly double the amount of salt of the Plain… (ish) baste. The Coconut & Lemon sauce contains around 2g more sugar and saturated fat than every other option, so steer clear of that one.” – Shelley Harvey, nutritionist

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Stick To Two Sides

“For a balanced meal, choose two sides with your chicken – one vegetable and one carbohydrate based. From the carbohydrate options, the regular spicy rice is my pick – it’s low in sugar and saturated fat, and provides a moderate amount of both fibre (3.9g) and protein (3.8g). Almost all of the vegetable sides are good options – the macho peas in particular are high in protein (7.7g).” – Shelley

Go Green

“The majority of the chicken main courses are fine from a nutritional perspective – it’s everything added to it that bumps the fat and calories up. Try to avoid adding too much bread, cheese and potato to your chicken, and ideally order something green. The long-stem broccoli is the perfect choice. At only 32 calories per serving, you can afford to have as much of this as you like. The mixed leaf salad is also a very low-calorie choice, but be mindful of how much dressing you’re adding.” – Rebecca

Steer Clear Of Creamy Sides

“Both the creamy mash and garlic bread are high in calories (around 340 cals each), and provide minimal fibre. Choosing two of these sides to go with your chicken could easily see your meal passing way over 1,000 calories. Among the vegetable sides, coleslaw is the one to avoid – a large portion contains nearly 550 calories and almost 50g of fat.” – Shelley

Try Something Veggie

“If you don’t eat meat, the spiced chickpea burger is a nutritionally sound option. Chickpeas are very high in protein and an excellent meat alternative. However, this dish is high in carbs, so ditch the side of rice and have a salad instead, and perhaps swap the bun for a wrap.” – Rebecca 

@NANDOSUK

What A Nutritionist Would Order

Shelley

“A healthy, balanced and delicious meal option at Nando’s would be a ¼ Lemon & Herb chicken breast, served with macho peas and spicy rice. Go easy on extra sauces or dips as these are often laden in calories, saturated fat and salt. Finally, be careful when ordering drinks – choose water or sugar-free soft drinks (such as Diet Coke) to avoid drinking a lot of empty calories.”

Rebecca

“Four boneless thighs with a lemon and herb sauce would be my protein of choice, accompanied with a side of long-stem broccoli and a mixed leaf salad. If I was feeling particularly hungry, I’d order a side of sweet potato wedges, too. A balanced plate of protein and carbs, you can’t go wrong with this order.”

 

For more, head to Nandos.co.uk, Live-Happy.app and YouTrition.co.uk

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