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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Kaina... Kainalu55


Kaina... Kainalu55

i get salads when i'm trying to eat "healthy", i guess that's not always the healthiest choice...

coppe... copperswifey

Usually I don't eat salads when I go out unless it's a side salad. I always figure that is something I can make easy at home. When I go out and eat I want something I can't make. :)

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

I think a lot of salads are more fattening when you add dressing, I tend to get light or fat free dressings when possible.

Jeric... Jerichos_Mommy

I eat what I feel like when I eat out. 

Leele... Leelee1008

NO I dont order fast food salads.

Saman... Samanthamommy

Sometimes, but some places the salads are that healthy either so it just comes down to what I feel like eating.  I eat (always try to eat) heathly at home.

Wish2Be Wish2Be

I am appauled by these findings....People eat these salads thinking that they are doing good. How could some company put soo much unhealthiness into a freaking salad?

jessi... jessicasmom1

I eat healthy at home , if I go out .. it is ok for as often as we go

Krist... KristinRox

I usually get a grilled chicken burger and a side salad. Good to know that mcdonalds salads have the least amount of calories.

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