September 17, 2021

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10 Healthiest Foods on Dairy Queen’s Menu, Per Nutritionists

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Picture this: It’s a hot summer day and you’re absolutely *craving* some good ice cream and fast food. (We’ve all been there.) You see that there’s a Dairy Queen down the block, and you decide you’re going there, ASAP, since you know you can get it on-the-go. That said, if you thought that DQ just served ice cream, you’re wrong: DQ serves up all the goods like burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and more. Wondering how Dairy Queen nutrition stacks up though? You’re not alone. Remember you can have any food in moderation, but if you’re curious, here’s what experts have to say about Dairy Queen’s menu and items to order.

First things first, there’s this: “The Dairy Queen menu is quite large and can appeal to a wide range of tastes, being sure to please almost everyone in the family,” explains Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet. “However, many of the options are very high in calories, saturated fat, sugar and sodium,” Gans adds. TL;DR, just note that while DQ can bring both deliciousness and nostalgia to your meal sitch, it’s also worth looking at the nutrition info of what you’re picking off the menu if you’re following a meal plan of sorts.

All that said, let’s get into the specifics. The following are the 10 best food items to order off the Dairy Queen menu the next time you stop for takeout. Whether you’re looking for proteins, fats, veggies, ice cream, sweets, and more, there’s definitely an order on this list that’s fit for any DQ stop. Trust!

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Basic Cheeseburger

“If someone is craving beef, I recommend ordering the basic cheeseburger,” Gans explains. It’s the best red meat option on the menu, she says, and it’s topped with yummy cheese, pickles, ketchup, and mustard, all served on a warm toasted white bread bun. Yum!

Per serving: 400 cals, 18 g fat, 36 g carbs, 22 g protein


Grilled Chicken Sandwich

“The grilled chicken sandwich is one of the lowest in saturated fats of all the sandwiches,” says Gans. (And ICYMI, saturated fats are associated with an increased risk for heart disease, Gans notes.) Add this to your order if you’re craving some white meat with a nice grilled char.

Per serving: 390 cals, 15 g fat, 34 g carbs, 29 g protein


Chicken Strips

Looking for another item that’s low-ish in saturated fat? You’ll love the three-piece chicken strips then, which Gans recommends for their low sodium and fat options. When you order, note that you want just the chicken strips, not the basket with fries and bread on the side.

Per serving: 360 cals, 18 g fat, 28 g carbs, 22 g protein


Chicken BLT Salad

“If choosing a salad, I would go with the chicken BLT salad,” Gans says. “It leaves room for salad dressing that ranges from 15 to 220 calories.” Order this at Dairy Queen and you’ll also get in about three grams of heart-healthy fiber and 32 grams of protein, Gans says, which is definitely a win.

Per serving: 260 cals, 11 g fat, 10 g carbs, 32 g protein


Rotisserie Style Chicken Bite Salad

“The rotisserie style chicken bite salad is also a better-for-you option with 320 calories, again leaving room for some dressing,” Gans says. And yep, this option obviously includes some muscle-building protein—about 37 grams to be exact, Gans says.

Per serving: 320 cals, 15 g fat, 10 g carbs, 37 g protein


Wild Alaskan Fish Sandwich

“If you’re at a location where the Wild Alaskan Fish Sandwich is available, I would definitely recommend you try it,” Gans says. “Wild Alaskan Salmon is a sustainable fish, making it a good choice for the planet. It is also under 500 calories with less than 1,000 milligrams of sodium.” Noted! Good for the world and good for your bod? Double win, folks.

Per serving: 420 cals, 16 g fat, 50 g carbs, 17 g protein


Chocolate Sundae

A word of advice? “If you really want ice cream at DQ, go for it,” Gans says. “Perhaps consider the small chocolate sundae, though, at just 270 calories.” It’s definitely a good option for when you’re not *that* hungry and just want to enjoy a sweet treat on a warm summer day, K?

Per serving: 270 cals, 7 g fat, 50 g carbs, 17 g protein


Hot Fudge Sundae

The hot fudge sundae is a great option if you want to order ice cream at Dairy Queen, Gans says. (Because, ICYMI, that’s *kind of* what they’re known for, hah.) Pro tip: Top your sundae with peanuts, other available nuts, or peanut butter for extra protein.

Per serving: 300 cals, 10 g fat, 46 g carbs, 6 g protein


Strawberry Banana Smoothie

If you’re looking for a tasty beverage to order at Dairy Queen, try opting for one of their deliciously sweet fruit smoothies. A bonus? It’s blended with low-fat yogurt for extra creaminess and protein.

Per serving: 270 cals, 0 g fat, 63 g carbs, 3 g protein


Dilly Bar

Never tried a Dilly Bar from Dairy Queen? Then you’re seriously missing out. This sweet treat is simple but truly the best: It’s vanilla ice cream on a stick, coated with a thin-dipped chocolate topping layer. Don’t like chocolate? There’s also coatings of butterscotch and cherry, so you’re covered.

Per serving: 220 cals, 12 g fat, 25 g carbs, 3 g protein

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