Many of us choose salads when eating out as a healthy choice. But is having a salad always a good choice, say, compared to a Big Mac?
Restaurants do a number of things that increase calorie count, but it is especially frustrating when someone orders a meal that is supposed to be “healthy”, such as a salad, and finds out they have had as many calories or fat that they need in an entire day. Bigger portion sizes, toppings and meats cooked in oils, and very high calorie salad dressing add to the problem. For example, the Quesadilla Explosion salad at Chili’s has 1400 calories! This is largely due to the dressing on this salad.
Let’s compare. Here are some restaurant salads that have more calories than a Big Mac. A Big Mac is 540 calories, and 28 grams of fat. While salads may contain more vitamins and nutrients, some of these calorie counts are pretty astounding:
McDonald’s Sante Fe Grilled Chicken Salad: 600 calories, 11 grams fat
Applebee’s Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken: 800 calories, 57 grams fat
Applebee’s Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad: 1290 calories, 21 grams fat
TGIF On the Go Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad: 1030 calories, 66 grams fat
TGIF Caribbean Passion salad with Ahi Tuna: 1130 calories, 66 grams fat
Ruby Tuesday Chicken Chopped Salad: 806 calories, 31 grams fat
Ruby Tuesday Carolina Chicken Salad: 1102 calories, 83 grams fat
Romano’s Macaroni Grill Steak and Greens Salad 950 calories, 71 grams fat
Romano’s Macaroni Grill Parmesan Chicken Salad: 1080 calories, 48 grams fat
Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion Salad: 1400 calories