Wing it wisely at Buffalo Wild Wings

How many wings can you eat at Buffalo Wild Wings? Do you like them bone in or bone out? The boneless(19%) crowd is closing in on the traditional(20%) with wing requests making up nearly 40% of total customer orders.

Buffalo Wild Wings(BWW) beats out other casual dining restaurant chains among millenials according to Morgan Stanley research.

And their customers tend to eat either 10 traditional wings or 12 of the boneless at a sitting. (What happens to all those leftover drumsticks?)

People go to BWW for wings, beer and sports. I’m thinking they’re leaving with heartburn, thirst and a hangover. The boneless wing is made with breast meat while the traditional is a section of wing that is may be seasoned, but not battered. Depending on the seasoning and sauce, calories, sodium and carbs can soar faster than a chicken can fly.

Nutritional information on wings at Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings Nutrition on wings

Information from

That means 10 traditional plain wings (without the sauce) delivers 700 calories, 15 gms of saturated fat, 350 gms of sodium and 0 carbs. That’s really not too bad.

However, change that order to traditional hot wings and the sodium jumps to a squawking 2200 mg! That’s enough to make your ticker flicker.

Make that order plain, boneless wings (a small order contains 12 wings) and the carbs and sodium jump to 72 gms and 2040 mg, respectively. You would think eating just breast meat would be much healthier, but the damage is in the extra batter that they hold. The crispiness comes at a cost.

The most popular wings- honey BBQ- if they are boneless, have a whooping 960 calories, 2900 mg of sodium and 108 gms of carbs.

They may be finger-lickin good, but eat like that regularly and you’ll become a plump, juicy roaster instead of a delicate fryer pretty quickly. And we haven’t even talked about the sauce which could add 25% more sodium, and up to 17 more grams of carbs.

Here’s the low down on the sauces. Of course it really depends on whether you’re a light dipper or a dunker.

Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce nutrition

Apparently, the more heat in the sauce, the greater the amount of sodium. You would think that just boosting the heat would be enough – guess all that sodium on top of the heat is going to increase the bar tab. Even 1 shake of seasoning will add between 25-60 gms of sodium.

The full scoop on the coop

Most people include a side order of fries which adds another 330 calories, 7 gms of saturated fat, 940 mg of sodium and 44 gms of carbs.

That means a small order of wings and fries contains nearly 1400 calories, 25 gms of saturated fat, 4300 mg of sodium and 170 gms of carbs.

And that doesn’t include a drop of beer or other drink. Are you clucking your tongue or licking your lips?

Why you should be cackling at these numbers

A typical sedentary 30-year-old man should have a daily calorie intake of around 2400 calories, a 30-year-old woman around 2000 calories. Depending on the type of wing and sauce, every two wings consumed contributes to 10% of the total daily calories.

The 2015-2020 nutrition guidelines for a 2000 calorie diet limit daily total grams of carbohydrates to 284 gms a day. (if you look at the Total Gms of carbs on the food label below, and take the 37 gms and multiply it by .13 – the 13% to the right of it – you get 284 total gms)

2018 fool label

The new food label is coming out next year

So a small order of honey BBQ boneless wings and fries delivers 170 gms of carbs or nearly 2/3 of your allotment for the day. Anybody eating those had better flap more than their wings for a good hour  to come off that blood sugar high.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2300 mg of sodium daily . That order above is nearly double the recommendation for the day. Too much dietary sodium raises blood pressure and contributes to heart disease.

The American Heart Association also recommends that no more than 5-6% of dietary calories come from saturated fat. For a 2000 calorie diet, that means about 100 calories. If you divide 100 by 9 (there are 9 calories in a gram of fat), that means a daily limit of 11 gms. Eating too much saturated fat raises LDL which causes heart disease.

That small order of honey BBQ boneless ribs and fries delivers more than twice the daily recommendation of saturated fat.

Is your heart thumping?

I’m not flipping the bird at Buffalo Wild Wings, I’m just ruffling a few feathers so wing lovers can choose wisely, not whimsically.

You can still wing it

Go back to the first chart. Notice that the plain traditional wings are much fewer calories, carbs and even sodium than the boneless wings. They still have 15 gms of saturated fat but even if you dip them in the honey BBQ sauce your ticker won’t make a peep.

Just skip the fries. And definitely skip the chile con queso dip or cheese curds, ok? The last two have at least 27 gms of heart-stopping saturated fat.

Better yet, get a bunch of those neglected drumsticks; season them with this recipe Cajun spice recipe that you can make ahead of time and keep in a container:

  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

And using’s baking suggestions, bake them at 375 for half an hour, then turn and bake them at 160 for an additional half hour.

Now you have some finger lickin’, heart lovin’ chicken that will have people roosting over at your home for the evening while you watch them enjoy them without a peep! That’s something to crow about!

If you have questions you can email me at can find other healthy recipes on my website, A Healthy Weigh Today. To receive other health tips “like me” on my facebook page.


Barbara Groth

About Barbara Groth

I’m Barbara. I have always had a passion for helping people to feel good. As a nurse my early years were focused on getting sick people back to baseline. After becoming a diabetes educator and health coach my passion became raising that bar on the baseline – helping my clients to not only feel better but to look better and have a whole new outlook on life.