Are Gyros healthy from Arbys?

Gyros are a popular Greek sandwich typically made with slices of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce wrapped in pita bread. Arby’s, the American fast food restaurant chain, offers its own version of gyros on its menu. But are the gyros from Arby’s actually healthy? There are a few factors to consider when evaluating the nutritional value of Arby’s gyros.

Nutritional Content

The nutritional content of Arby’s gyros can vary depending on size and ingredients, but here is an overview of the nutrition facts for a regular roasted turkey gyro with tzatziki sauce:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 670
Total Fat 23g
Saturated Fat 4.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 90mg
Sodium 1830mg
Total Carbohydrates 71g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 12g
Protein 29g

As you can see, while the gyro does contain lean protein from the turkey, it is fairly high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol for a single sandwich. The saturated fat and sodium content are higher than ideal in a meal.


Digging deeper into the ingredients list also provides some insight into the health profile:

– Pita bread – Can be high in refined carbohydrates
– Turkey – Lean source of protein
– Onions – Provides fiber, antioxidants, and flavor
– Tomatoes – Provides beneficial nutrients like lycopene and vitamin C
– Tzatziki sauce – Typically made from healthy ingredients like Greek yogurt and cucumber, but Arby’s sauce also contains canola oil and other additives
– Add-ons like cheese and fried onions can add more fat and calories

While the core ingredients like turkey, onions, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce are relatively healthy, the bread and some sauce ingredients reduce the overall nutrition. The optional add-ons like cheese and fried onions also make the gyro less healthy depending on your choices.

Portion Size

In addition to the nutrition facts, the considerable portion size also impacts the health profile. A regular Arby’s gyro weighs in at over half a pound of food. This is a large sandwich that could easily provide 2-3 servings. Consuming that much sodium, saturated fat, and other nutrients in one sitting is not ideal and can lead to excessive calorie intake. The health issues are amplified if you also include the standard fries and soft drink side dishes with a combo meal.

Preparation Methods

The way the food is prepared can also determine how healthy it is. Gyros from Arby’s are assembled in advance, packaged, refrigerated, and then reheated when ordered. The pita bread is mass-produced offsite. And the meat is sliced and roasted well in advance using industrial cooking methods before shipping to locations. The vegetables may also be pre-cut and stored until serving time. This type of food processing and long storage tends to reduce vitamin and antioxidant content compared to fresh, homemade preparations.

Comparison to Homemade

Homemade gyros with high quality ingredients tend to provide superior nutrition compared to fast food options. Choosing whole grain pita, organic produce, yogurt-based tzatziki, and responsibly raised lean meat creates a healthier end result. The portion sizes are also easier to control at home. When crafted conscientiously, homemade gyros are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, slow burning carbs, and antioxidants. But it requires more work compared to the convenience of purchasing a pre-made gyro.

Ingredients Analysis

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the key ingredients in Arby’s gyros to better understand the health impacts:

Pita Bread

– Provides carbohydrates for energy
– Can spike blood sugar since it is high in refined grains
– May lack fiber, vitamins, and minerals compared to whole grain options
– Provides few nutrients beyond calories and carbs

Turkey Meat

– Lean source of protein for muscle repair and satiety
– Has less saturated fat than beef gyro meat
– Can be high in sodium from brining and curing methods
– Prone to drying out during roasting and storage


– Low in calories and high in fiber
– Provide antioxidants to reduce inflammation
– Contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, and mineral like manganese
– Fresh raw onion optimal for nutrition, less so when cooked


– Provide hydration and important nutrients
– Excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant for heart health
– Also contain vitamins A, C, and potassium
– Like onions, best consumed fresh for maximum benefit

Tzatziki Sauce

– Greek yogurt provides protein and probiotics
– Cucumber brings hydration and nutrients
– Lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, herbs create flavor
– However, Arby’s sauce has canola oil and thickeners


– Adds calcium, protein, and flavor
– Also contributes considerable saturated fat
– Processed cheese product rather than real cheese

Fried Onions

– Onion rings add crunch and taste
– Frying adds significant calories and unhealthy fat
– Minimal nutritional value beyond fresh onion

As this ingredient analysis shows, while some components like turkey, onions, tomatoes, and yogurt sauce are healthier, others like processed bread, cheese, and fried toppings reduce the overall nutrition.

Health Impact

Now let’s explore how the Arby’s gyro may impact your health:

Weight Gain

Gyros from Arby’s are high in calories, ranging from 670 to 830 calories for a regular sized sandwich. Consuming one a few times a week can easily cause weight gain over time, especially paired with fries and a soda. The large portion provides excess calories in one sitting.

Blood Sugar Spikes

Refined grains in the pita coupled with negligible fiber can spike blood sugar levels rapidly when consuming this sandwich. The gyro may not be the best option for those with diabetes or metabolic concerns.

Increased Sodium Intake

With 1,830 milligrams of sodium, a regular gyro exceeds the recommended limit of 1,500 mg per meal. Too much sodium from fast food gyro consumption can increase long-term risks for high blood pressure.

Elevated Cholesterol

While turkey is lean, an Arby’s gyro still provides 90 mg of cholesterol, 30% of the recommended 300 mg daily limit. Combined with saturated fat, eating gyros frequently may negatively impact cholesterol levels.

Nutrient Deficiencies

With a focus on meat, bread, sauce, and minimal produce, Arby’s gyros are not an excellent source of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that our bodies require. Vitamin C and fiber content are especially low.


On the positive side, Arby’s gyros do provide lean protein for satiety and muscle repair. The onions, tomatoes, and yogurt sauce also supply some antioxidant power along with vitamins and probiotics. In moderation, they can be included as part of an overall healthy diet.

Portion Control

Moderating portion size is key to consuming any fast food, including Arby’s gyros, in a healthy way. Here are some tips:

– Order a junior or half size sandwich to reduce calories.
– Skip the combo and avoid fries and soda.
– Split a full gyro with a friend or save half for later.
– Load up on lettuce, tomatoes, onions for more volume.
– Opt for mustard instead of calorie-dense sauce.
– Share a side salad instead of processed sides.

With sensible portions, you can satisfy your gyro craving while limiting calorie intake and unhealthy ingredients. Portion control combined with other nutritious eating and exercise allows for occasional fast food treats.

Healthier Alternatives

When dining at Arby’s, there are some healthier alternatives to consider:


Opting for a Greek salad with gyro meat on top provides fiber-rich greens, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, feta cheese, and Greek dressing. The meat is more of a topping rather than the main focus.

Veggie Gyro

A veggie gyro leaves out the meat for a lower calorie, lower sodium sandwich focused on produce. Load up the veggies for satisfaction. Hummus also makes a flavorful, protein-packed spread.

Turkey Sandwiches

Lighter turkey subs and wraps like the Market Fresh sandwich keep calories reasonable. Pair them with apple slices or a salad instead of fries.

Roasted Veggie Sandwich

The ranchero wrap with roasted veggies, pepperoncini, and Greek yogurt sauce provides fewer calories than gyro options. The multi-grain wrap offers fiber.


Lighter soups like broccoli cheddar and garden vegetable make a filling, lower calorie meal alongside a small salad.

With the wide menu at Arby’s, you have many alternatives to heavy, high sodium gyros if you want a healthier choice.

Healthier Homemade Gyros

Constructing your own gyros at home using high quality whole foods is an even healthier option. Here are some tips for nutritious homemade gyros:

– Choose whole grain or sprouted grain pita for more fiber.
– Load up with sliced veggies – tomato, onion, spinach, cucumber, bell pepper.
– Grill lean organic chicken or lamb leg, slice thin.
– Make tzatziki sauce from Greek yogurt and cucumber.
– Include chickpeas, hummus, feta for plant-based protein.
– Flavor with lemon juice, garlic, oregano, parsley.
– Portion gyros into individual wraps, avoid overstuffing.
– Pair with Greek salad topped with olive oil lemon dressing.
– Swap French fries for roasted sweet potato wedges.

With control over the ingredients and portions, homemade gyros can be a nutritious and satisfying meal option.

Is Enjoying Arbys Gyros Occasionally OK?

Are Arby’s gyros healthy on a daily basis? No. The high sodium, saturated fat, refined carbs, negligible fiber, and additives make them a poor routine choice. But enjoying their convenience and taste occasionally while following an otherwise balanced diet is perfectly fine. When limiting portions and frequency, Arby’s gyros can be part of an healthy lifestyle. Just balance them out with more nutritious whole foods at other meals. Consider it a special treat to satisfy a craving, rather than an everyday food choice.


In summary, while Arby’s gyros provide some nutritional value from ingredients like turkey, onions, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce, they are high in sodium, saturated fat, and calories compared to a healthy home cooked meal. The white flour pita bread and optional additions like fried onions and creamy sauces further reduce the nutrition. Consuming them too often can lead to weight gain and negative health effects over time. But with sensible portion control and limiting frequency to occasional treats, they can be included in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet. Preparing homemade gyros with more nutritious whole food ingredients is an even healthier option for satisfying gyro cravings. While not a health food, Arby’s gyros can be an acceptable fast food choice as long as you enjoy them in moderation alongside other more nutritious foods and active lifestyle habits.

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