8 salads with more fat than a Big Mac

Big Mac
CC BY 2.0 Evan-Amos/Wikimedia Commons

Recently I wrote about ridiculously ridiculous restaurant meals that basically look like coronary disease on a plate. Like the Whole Hog Burger that serves up 2,850 calories in one meal. Is it any wonder the United States is bursting at the seams and that the estimated annual medical cost of obesity is $147 billion?

But as Lloyd pointed out when we were talking about the aforementioned who’s who of nutritional trainwrecks, the catastrophes are obviously atrocious – to which I agree. These are there for the sake of sport, really – no one is going into a burger with sausage, bacon, prosciutto, pepperoni, four types of cheese and garlic mayo with dietary discretion in mind. What’s more egregious, in reality, are the meals that suggest healthiness while harboring a stash of nutritional crimes.

And so with that in mind, I’ve turned the spotlight on salads now, which many of us expect to be the healthy choice. For those really looking at nutrition this may be a naïve supposition, but for many people, “salad” is code for healthy. However, restaurants want people to covet and crave their food, and so many pack salads with crazy amounts of fat and sodium, often times making them a worse choice than a giant messy burger. To prove the point, the following have more fat than a Big Mac; most of them have more calories and sodium as well.

For comparison's sake, the McDonald’s Big Mac
Calories: 540
Total fat: 28 g
Saturated fat: 10 g
Sodium: 960 mg

1. Chick-Fil-A: Cobb Salad
Calories: 810
Total fat: 59 g
Saturated fat: 12 g
Sodium: 1,880 mg

2. El Pollo Loco: Chicken Tostada Salad With Light Creamy Cilantro Dressing
Calories: 932
Total fat: 48 g
Saturated fat: 14 g
Sodium: 1,829 mg

3. Applebee's: Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad
Calories: 1000
Total fat: 66 g
Saturated fat: 10 g
Sodium: 3080 mg

4. Romano's Macaroni Grill: Parmesan Crusted Chicken Salad
Calories: 1080
Total fat: 48 g
Saturated fat: 9 g
Sodium: 910 mg

5. Panera Bread: Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa
Calories: 510
Total fat: 40 g
Saturated fat: 7 g
Sodium: 870 mg

6. Wendy’s: Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad
Calories: 720
Total fat: 43 g
Saturated fat: 13 g
Sodium: 1760 mg

7. Burger King: Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad
Calories: 720
Total fat: 50 g
Saturated fat: 13 g
Sodium: 1960 mg

8. Applebee's: Oriental Chicken Salad
Calories: 1340
Total fat: 98 g
Saturated fat: 15 g
Sodium: 1200 mg

So does all of this make a Big Mac the better choice? It's not that black and white; red meat has its own complications and a salad, regardless of its shocking nutritional profile, will still likely offer a wider assortment of vegetables and nutrients. But the point is this, don't assume you're eating something low in fat (and calories and sodium) just because you're eating a salad.

8 salads with more fat than a Big Mac
Beware the naughty salads.

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