Think picking the salad on the menu is a good way to cut back on fat and calories? Not always. Many of the most popular chain restaurants offer some of the worst salads you can imagine. Loaded with fat, calories, and sodium, these salads are true gut busters.
You’d be better off ordering the cheeseburger than any of these salads:
5. PF Changâ€™s Chicken Chopped Salad with Ginger Dressing
68 g fat
10 g saturated fat
2225 mg sodium
Want to consume nearly all your calories in one sitting? Then dig into this salad from PF Chang’s. While the basic ingredients on this salad are not so bad, the ginger dressing packs on the fat and sodium.
4. Quiznoâ€™s Chicken with Honey Mustard Flatbread Chopped Salad
13.5g saturated fat
Chicken salad with flatbread – sounds healthy, doesn’t it? But slap on that honey mustard dressing and you’re staring at over 1000 calories. It will take awhile on the elliptical to burn this one off.
3. TGI Fridayâ€™s Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
Another chicken salad that sounds like it ought to be healthy, but most definitely is not. Pecans? Not bad. Chicken? Not bad. Dried canberries? Not bad.
Sugar covered nuts and blue cheese? Very, very bad. Add to that a big portion size and you are packing on the calories with this one.
2. On the Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef and Smoked Chipotle Vinaigrette Dressing
121 g fat
40 g saturated fat
2,660 mg sodium
This salad is anything but light. Last year Men’s Health magazine called this the Worst Salad in America, and it’s easy to see why. This salad is equivalent to eating 11 – yes, 11 – Fresco Tacos from Taco Bell.
1. California Pizza Kitchen Thai Crunch Salad
Shredded Napa cabbage, chilled-grilled chicken breast, julienne cucumbers – doesn’t sound bad, does it? But once you throw in the peanuts, crispy wontons, crispy rice sticks and peanut dressing you’re going to be consuming a whopping 2,115 calories – nearly double what a woman should be eating in an entire day. The moral? If it says “crispy” keep it off your salad.
So if you’re trying to eat healthfully how do you navigate the salad minefield?
- Order your dressing on the side and use it sparingly. In many of the salads listed above, the dressing is the main culprit in the nutritional disaster.
- Don’t order any salad that comes with a fried topping. While chicken might sound like a healthy option, it’s going to be loaded with fat and calories if it’s been fried before landing on your lettuce.
- Avoid anything that comes in an edible bowl. Just remember: edible bowl = fat and lots of it.
- Watch your portions. Part of what makes some of these salads so bad for you is the sheer volume of the food. Don’t feel like you have to finish your plate, even it it has salad on it.
Note: all nutritional information was taken directly from the restaurants online menus or from Fitness Magazine.