Just because there seems to be what looks like some leafy greens doesn’t mean it’s an all good-for-you salad. Beware: Some of these salads can do you more harm than a 550 calorie, 10 grams of saturated fat-filled McDonald’s Big Mac.
Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad
Where: Au Bon Pain, Ruby Tuesdays, McDonalds, KFC, Chick-fil-A
Why: Even before adding the delicious dressing, this salad rings up between 900-1000 calories a pop, primarily due to the crispy fried chicken pieces. Add the creamy, cheesy dressing and you’re at 200 more calories, plus at least 12 grams of saturated fat.
Southwest “Fiesta” Salad
Where: Applebee’s, Au Bon Pain, Chili’s
Why: Think of this winner as a loaded burrito or taco in disguise; filled to the plate’s brim with cheese, rice, tortilla strips, guac and sour cream, it can run anywhere from 800 to 1200 calories, with 14g of saturated fat and more than 1400mg of sodium.
Where: Cosi, diners
Why: Don’t get me wrong, your typical traditional Greek salad contains lots of healthy ingredients like romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions; however, the additions that put this on the list include feta, lives and stuffed grape leaves that can add hundreds of extra calories. For instance, just two ounces of feta adds on 150 calories, while olives add 200-400mg of sodium.
Where: Au Bon Pain, most diners
Why: A favorite of low-carb dieters, all the deli meats and cheeses can push the calorie count to more than 900. Add in a creamy vinaigrette style dressing and it’s even higher in saturated fat and calories
Where: Au Bon Pain, Chick-fil-A
Why: Most renditions of this classic include blue cheese, avocado, bacon, chicken, or turkey, lending an upwards of 1300 calories and 10-12g saturated fat per salad!
The DIY Salad Bar
Sure, you can make healthy choices on your own, but sometimes too much variety can lead to an overwhelming amount of unnecessary add-ins of fat, sodium and a higher calorie count. Next time, keep the focus on raw vegetables, grilled chicken and balsamic vinaigrette and ignore the likes of crispy chicken and blue cheese dressing.
Source: Shape Magazine