Five examples of crazy unhealthy salads from casual chains wasn’t enough. We complied a total of 15 menu items that give salads a BAD name. Nutrition, clean eating and being healthy should be confusing. Let’s help you!
A good salad starts with great green (mix your favorite soft, leafy lettuce with mache, baby spinach Swiss chard or kale or sweet pea shots). Then comes 1-2 cups of nutrient-rich vegetables like cauliflower, tomatoes, sweet peppers, red cabbage, carrots, sweet, snow or sugar snap peas, broccoli and celery. Finally ADD a little protein (like HB egg, black beans, steak) and seasonings like salt, pepper, fresh herbs (thyme, basil, mint) or something sweet like fruit or honey. Finally a little fat for taste, texture and yumminess in the form of avocado, oil-based dressings, and nuts.
Don’t order these salads if you’re trying to be healthy.
Reprinted from Prevention.com and Spoon University
Each year, millions of people struggle to stick to a healthy diet or lose weight. At home, many people find it easy to keep calories, sodium, and portions in check. However, when eating out, it’s hard to find things that are as healthy as a home cooked meal. Most would think that a salad would always be the best option when eating out, but that’s not always the case. Listed below are five meals that explain how “healthy” salads are ruining your diet.
1. Sheila’s Chicken Avocado Salad from Cheesecake Factory
At first glance, this seems like a healthy choice for dinner. It’s a salad, how could it be unhealthy? Well, here you go:
Calories: 1,870 Sodium: 2,905 Milligrams
This salad racks up almost 100% of your recommended daily calorie intake, and almost double the recommended sodium intake. People might order this salad thinking they are making a good choice, but in reality, this salad has more calories than Cheesecake Factory’s Bacon Bacon Burger.
2. Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad from Applebee’s
Again, it’s just a salad. Couldn’t be that bad, right? Wrong.
Calories: 1,290 Sodium: 2,300 Milligrams
Applebee’s attempts to lighten up the fried chicken version of this salad by making it with grilled chicken, but it only saves around 150 calories. Seems suspicious. Clocking in at almost 1,300 calories and loaded with sodium, this salad is not a nutritious option. If you must dine at this chain, go for the Pepper-Crusted Sirloin and Grains, which will give you lots of protein for only 380 calories.
3. BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad from California Pizza Kitchen
BBQ chicken saladYelp/ Nalani C.
Chicken is an excellent protein source, full of minerals and nutrients. However, the same can’t be said about this salad.
Calories: 1,133. Sodium: 1,460 Milligrams
While this meal seems tasty, you might as well eat a few slices of pizza from this chain. The ranch dressing and crispy tortilla strips add on the calories big time. Instead, go for the Cedar Plank Salmon, which lands at a respectable 650 calories.
4. Florida Cobb Salad from Bonefish Grill
Grilled chicken, avocado, tomatoes… it seems so innocent. That is, until you add in the blue cheese and citrus dressing.
Calories: 897 Sodium: 879 Milligrams
This salad, like most, seems like it would be a wholesome choice. However, after piling on the cheese and dressing, the calories skyrocket. Instead, go for a small grilled salmon for only 370 calories.
5. Margherita Chicken Flatbread Salad from Chili’s
This seems like a good choice, loaded with grilled chicken and plenty of healthy fats to keep you full. But that comes with a price.
Calories: 1,090. Sodium: 2,200 Milligrams
The avocado, cheese, and honey-lime dressing all add up to create one calorie-dense salad with enough sodium to last you two days. Go with the Mango-Chile Chicken for a lower calorie option, at just 520 calories and tons of flavor.
While it is okay to splurge on a meal once in a while, but be aware of what you’re eating. Restaurants use tons of oil and sugar in unexpected ways that only pile on calories. So, eat more meals at home; they usually taste better anyway.
10 MORE Unhealthiest Salads You Can Order!!!!
Salads are good for you, right? Sure, if you make them at home. Head to these fine establishments, and it’s a whole ‘nother story. These ridiculous excuses for salads are loaded with fried chicken, refined carbs and sugar, tons of cheese and nuts—and they’ve got the fat and calorie counts to prove it. If you’re trying to eat clean, avoid them at all costs.
1. Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad
Caesar salad is known for being bad for you. And when Wendy’s says that its Spicy Chicken version is the way Caesar salad is supposed to be, you can totally take the chain’s word for it: This behemoth rolls in at 780 calories, 51 g fat, and almost a day’s worth of sodium.
2. Cheesecake Factory Grilled Chicken Tostada Salad
How do you pack a grilled chicken salad with almost 1,200 calories, 15 g saturated fat, and more than a day’s worth of sodium? Load it up with strips of deep-fried corn, avocado cream, and sour cream.
3. Taco Bell Fiesta Taco Salad with Beef
Seasoned beef, white rice, cheese, beans, and a smattering of lettuce and tomato—this is Taco Bell’s definition of a salad. But at 770 calories and 41 g fat, it’s actually almost five tacos’ worth of fatty filling piled in a giant crispy shell.
MORE: Easy Arugula Salad with Roasted Fennel
4. Burger King Chicken Apple & Cranberry Garden Fresh Salad with TENDERCRISP
TENDERCRISP is Burger King-speak for the kind of fat-laden, breaded chicken fingers that you haven’t eaten since you were 12. Throw ’em in a salad, and you’ve got yourself a 680-calorie meal with 42 g fat and 7 teaspoons of sugar.
5. TGI Friday’s Strawberry Fields Salad with Chicken
You might think fruit, chicken, goat cheese, pecans, and greens can’t be that bad for you. But this diet derailer boasts 860 calories and 58 g fat—nearly as much as half a rack of baby back ribs. Strawberry fields forever? Hopefully not.
6. Subway Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt Salad
You might be surprised to learn that a salad containing the words “bacon ranch melt” is actually only 510 calories. But it’s still got 38 g fat, half a day’s worth of sodium, and 1 g trans fat—so don’t eat it.
7. California Pizza Kitchen Thai Crunch
CPK – California Pizza Kitchen
This salad is more fried noodle sticks than it is vegetables (plus an insane amount of avocado), so you know it’s gonna be bad. But 1,460 calories and 97 g fat? That’s just beyond. Seriously, you could eat an entire pizza instead.
8. Applebee’s Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad
You definitely won’t be eatin’ good in the neighborhood if you order this monstrosity of pecan-crusted chicken, mandarin oranges, honey-glazed pecans, dried cranberries, blue cheese, and honey balsamic dressing. (Oh, and some lettuce.) It’s got 1,340 calories, 80 g fat, more than a day’s worth of sodium, and 16 teaspoons of sugar. In other words, an appetizer, dinner, and dessert all rolled into one.
9. Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion Salad
The name “salad” is a little deceptive, since the greens/chicken/creamy dressing combo is actually served on a bed of cheese- and starch-laden quesadillas. (Points for creativity, though!) The total damage? 1,430 calories, 96 g fat, more than a day’s worth of sodium, and 4 teaspoons of sugar. Explosion indeed.
MORE: Salad for Breakfast? Heck Yeah.
10. Hardee’s Chicken Taco Salad
A crispy tortilla shell, cheese, chicken, sour cream, and a few veggies thrown in for good measure. At 900 calories and 48 g fat, you might as well have just splurged on a cheeseburger and fries instead.