Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Adoptive Moms Adoptive Moms

Fast Food Salad Shocker Could Make You Rethink Your Order! Do you ever get a salad when you eat out?

Posted by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 7:01 AM
  • 11 Replies

Fast Food Salad Shocker Could Make You Rethink Your Order

Posted by Adriana Velez

 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?

by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 7:01 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
mcginnisc
by Claire on Apr. 26, 2012 at 8:21 AM

On occasion...for instance, when I go to Wendy's, I might get a Caesar or side salad with a baked potato or chili. I only use 1/2 a serving of dressing so my calorie and fat content are much lower. 

If I go to Panera, I sometimes get a 1/2 sandwich and 1/2 salad combo or just a 1/2 salad or 1/2 sandwich...it depends on my mood. I also only go there on occasion as we don't have them here where I live and I only go when at my mom's in FL. 

I check nutritonal facts when we go out so that I can make healthy choices.

Claire

Moderator: Healthy Weight Loss & Adoptive Moms

" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

Join theAdoptive Moms group

SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Apr. 26, 2012 at 8:44 AM
Oh I never get a salad when I eat out... Eating out is a treat, and for me, a salad is NOT a treat. :-) I'm not surprised about calorie counts, though... Places like Chilis definitely pile on the dressing and cheese.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Isaacsmom913
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Not at fastfood places, but there is one family restaraunt where I semi-religiously get the grilled chicken salad-now I know it's not low cal for the following:

Lettuce, chicken, egg, french fries, cheese and french dressing but darn is it good!  In fact I may go get one for lunch because I'm already STARVING for the day!

raleyfamily
by Carla on Apr. 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM

There's a book I like called the Raw Food Detox Diet.  She says when you make a salad, then throw on meat and croutons and cheese and eggs and avacados....that all you are doing is eating a tossed meal!!  That's not a salad!

meam4444
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Eh I am not one for salads and restaurants...I prefer to make my own with just lettuce and a little bit of cheese.

meam4444
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Good point!  How did you like that book? 

Quoting raleyfamily:

There's a book I like called the Raw Food Detox Diet.  She says when you make a salad, then throw on meat and croutons and cheese and eggs and avacados....that all you are doing is eating a tossed meal!!  That's not a salad!


meam4444
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 7:47 PM

French fries in a salad??  mmmm that does sound good!  Did you end up feasting on one for lunch?

Quoting Isaacsmom913:

Not at fastfood places, but there is one family restaraunt where I semi-religiously get the grilled chicken salad-now I know it's not low cal for the following:

Lettuce, chicken, egg, french fries, cheese and french dressing but darn is it good!  In fact I may go get one for lunch because I'm already STARVING for the day!


raleyfamily
by Carla on Apr. 26, 2012 at 8:02 PM


Quoting meam4444:

Good point!  How did you like that book? 

Quoting raleyfamily:

There's a book I like called the Raw Food Detox Diet.  She says when you make a salad, then throw on meat and croutons and cheese and eggs and avacados....that all you are doing is eating a tossed meal!!  That's not a salad!


I LOVE it.  I get it out often and do it for a while!  I reviewed it on my book review blog~!

Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 10, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Apr. 26, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I agree - I could definitely get behind the idea of salad if french fries were an option!

Quoting meam4444:

French fries in a salad??  mmmm that does sound good!  Did you end up feasting on one for lunch?

Quoting Isaacsmom913:

Not at fastfood places, but there is one family restaraunt where I semi-religiously get the grilled chicken salad-now I know it's not low cal for the following:


Lettuce, chicken, egg, french fries, cheese and french dressing but darn is it good!  In fact I may go get one for lunch because I'm already STARVING for the day!




Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Shug55
by on Apr. 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM
There are many great choices for health at McDonald's. Like the Salads, Fruit, fruit Parfits or egg mcmuffin just to name a few. I been with them for over 30 yrs. and they genuinely love the kids.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)