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

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Proof That Fast Food Salads Are Anything But Healthy

Posted by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:49 PM
  • 45 Replies

Unreal Eats is Healthy Living's original video series, where we go behind calorie counts and health claims to examine what's really in the processed foods that scream loudest in our food environment.

You wouldn't be amiss in thinking that a restaurant's salad is a more nutritious and healthful option than their cheeseburger. But, in the case of fast food menus, that calculation doesn't always pan out.

In our latest Unreal Eats, we explored the calorie and nutrition profiles of fast food salads to see if it really is possible to eat healthfully at some of our country's most notoriously caloric restaurant chains.

We found that although fast food chains have put a big emphasis on developing "healthier" menus (see: McDonald's "Favorites Under 400 Calories"), the nutrition content of salads turn out to be approximately the same as their counterparts without the health halo. In fact, in terms of calories and fat content, salads rarely fare much better than the unhealthy sandwiches and burgers we associate with fast food restaurants.

And that mirrors a 2012 study, which found that although fast food menus grew between 1996 and 2010 to include 53 percent more dishes and snacks, the average number of calories in each item hadn't changed.

"Entree salads, which are increasing in number, can be bad, too. With fried chicken on top and regular dressing, they can have more calories than a burger," lead researcher Katherine Bauer, an assistant professor in the department of public health at Temple University, told HealthDay at the time of the study's release.

Which goes to show that adding lettuce won't make your meal healthier.

Video & Editing by Amber Genuske
Reporting by Meredith Melnick
Producers: Laura Schocker, Meredith Melnick and Amber Genuske
Assistant: Rachael Grannell

by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:49 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:51 PM
Which Fast Food Option Is Healthier?
Chicken Caesar or ... Triple Stacker?
What a difference a grill makes. If the Garden Fresh Salad Chicken Caesar is prepared with crispy chicken instead of grilled (and dressing), it shoots up to 670 calories and 43 grams of fat -- about the same as a BK Triple Stacker, which contains three beef patties, three slices of bacon and American cheese. The sandwich has a near-identical 670 calories and 44 grams of fat
annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:52 PM
Chicken BLT Salad or ... Double Bacon Cheeseburger
Garden Fresh Salad Chicken BLT with grilled chicken and dressing has 510 calories and 33 grams of fat -- about the same as a Double Bacon Cheeseburger, which clocks in at 520 and 31 grams of fat.
annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:52 PM
Chicken BLT Salad or ... Double Croissan'wich
Garden Fresh Salad Chicken BLT with fried chicken and dressing has 690 calories, 48 grams of fat. Similarly, the Double Croissan'wich, made up of sausage, egg and cheese, has 660 calories and 48 grams of fat
annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:52 PM
Chicken Apple & Cranberry Salad or ... Italian Chicken Sandwich
The Chicken Apple & Cranberry Garden Fresh Salad with grilled chicken and dressing has 520 calories and 26 grams of fat. But those in the market for an over-500 calorie lunch could just as easily indulge in the Italian Original Chicken Sandwich, which also has 520 calories and 22 grams of fat.
annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:53 PM
Chicken Apple & Cranberry Salad or ... Club Original Chicken Sandwich
The Garden Fresh Salad Chicken Apple & Cranberry, when with crispy chicken and dressing shoots up to 700 calories and 41 grams of fat. That's nearly identical to the Club Original Chicken Sandwich at 700 calories and 44 grams of fat
annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:53 PM
Strawberry Banana Smoothie or ... OREO Sundae
A 16 ounce Strawberry Banana Smoothie will set you back 310 calories and 60 grams of sugar. That's a bit better than the OREO Sundae (440, 57 grams), but not much.
yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:53 PM
1 mom liked this

 When we eat at McDonald's, which isn't often, I usually get the Southwest Salad w/grilled chicken.  I don't add dressing.  I rarely add dressing to salad unless it is something I made myself.

But, yes...add fried chicken and a whole package of dressing and you might as well have eaten the cheeseburger and fries.

 

IandLoveandYou
by Bronze Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:54 PM
1 mom liked this

I safely assume that nothing that comes from a fast food restaurant is healthy.

Nothing..at all.

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 8:54 PM

 

!!!!

Quoting annabl1970:

Chicken BLT Salad or ... Double Bacon Cheeseburger
Garden Fresh Salad Chicken BLT with grilled chicken and dressing has 510 calories and 33 grams of fat -- about the same as a Double Bacon Cheeseburger, which clocks in at 520 and 31 grams of fat.


 

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)