Fast Food Salad Shocker Could Make You Rethink Your Order

OMG 45

 chicken ceasar salad

Who makes the healthiest salads? You do, at home, of course. But when you eat out -- ever wonder what the best choice would be?

I was perusing a handly little infographic on eating at the wrong place and time when I came across some surprising information about the Chicken Caesar Salads we get when we eat out. If you had to guess, which salads do you think would be highest in calories -- the salad at a fast food restaurant or the salad at a casual dining restaurant?

If you're comparing the Chicken Caesar Salads at McDonald's, Wendy's, Panera Bread, Chili's, and Cheesecake Factory, the fast food salads come out the lowest in calories! Depending on your definition of healthy, it kind of looks like the fast food salads are healthier.

  • McDonald's: 330 calories
  • Wendy's: 440 calories
  • Panera Bread: 510 calories
  • Chili's: 630 calories
  • Cheesecake Factory: 976 calories

I guess the Cheesecake Factory calorie count shouldn't come as a surprise. Everything there is high calorie! I don't even know how they cram so many calories into one dish. But it still kind of defeats the purpose of eating a salad, don't you think?

But what if this is just a fluke?

I decided to take a look at the average calorie counts for salads at a few of these restaurants just to compare. I looked at McDonald's salads, Panera Bread salads, and Chili's salads:

  • Average salad at McDonald's: 227 calories
  • Average salad at Panera Bread: 486 calories
  • Average salad at Chili's: 718 (Quesadilla Explosion Salad clocks in at 1,300 -- yikes!)

Of course, the portion size at McDonald's is much smaller than the portions at Chili's. And Panera serves half-salads, which are probably closer to McDonald's size -- and which put them at the same level, calorie-wise. There's a whole lot more to nutrition than calories. Personally I'm a lot more worried about sugar and artificial ingredients. But there you go. Fast food lower in calories -- who knew?

Do you ever get a salad when you eat out?


Image via Alexandra Campo/Flickr

restaurants, eating out, healthy choices


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godde... goddess99

No I never Just get a salad.

Bmat Bmat

Yes I do get salads when I eat out. I like panera salads.

amy7243 amy7243

Sometimes I do.

dusky... dusky_rose

I usually get a garden side salad at McDonalds instead of fries now.

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

Wow 900+ calories in one salad? I wonder how that is possible?

ceciliam ceciliam

I order salads sometimes. My favorite is the crab cake chop salad at Witherspoon Grill in Princeton, NJ.

aneela aneela

i only get one when it comes with a meal...but i dont order a salad as an entree

slw123 slw123

Sometimes I get a salad when we are out, but I usually ask for the dressing on the side.

Kayla... KaylaMillar

Sometimes. If I'm hungry for one

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