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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are Fast Food Salads Healthy?

Many of us stop at Fast Food restaurants for a quick bite to eat. Are there healthier options like salads that would be a good choice to eat? What can you do to make your salad choice a healthier choice?

WebMD recently ran an article written by a Registered Dietitian, Elaine Magee, about the Best and Worst Fast-Food Salads So which salads should you avoid and which are better choices? Surprisingly, she noted that some Fast-Food salads have as many calories and fat as a double Quarter Pounder with cheese which provides 740 calories and 42 grams of fat. Not really a low cal option.

Some suggestions for healthier choices:
  •  Choose grilled chicken on your salad and not “crispy” chicken 
  • Choose your salad dressing wisely and limit the amount of salad dressing you use. 
  What makes a salad a good choice? Less calories, more fiber, less saturated fat

 What makes a salad a “worst” choice? High saturated fat, high fat, high calories

 Ms. Magee’s Best and Worst Fast Food Salads:


Best Salads
Calories
Total Fat (grams)
Fiber (grams)
Taco Bell Chicken Fiesta Taco Salad
240
6
5
Taco Bell Steak Fiesta Salad
220
6
5
McDonald’s Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken –(½ pack Southwest dressing)
370
12
6
Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad (Fat-Free Honey Mustard dressing)
240
6
5
Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad (Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing)
510
24
4

 
Worst Salads
Calories
Total Fat (grams)
Fiber (grams)
Arby’s Chopped Farmhouse Chicken Salad Crispy (Buttermilk Ranch Dressing)
650
46
4
Taco Bell Chipotle Steak Taco Salad
900
57
8
KFC Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad (Creamy Parmesan Caesar dressing + croutons)
640
39
5
Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips Salad (with Buttermilk Ranch dressing) 
620
39
5
Burger King TenderGrill BLT Salad (Creamy Caesar dressing). 
510
39
2


 Fast food restaurants all have websites and provide nutrition information about their menu items. Take the time to review this information and make wiser and healthier choices the next time you visit a fast food restaurant. Many people say, “I just had a salad for lunch.” Well that salad may have added 900 calories to your daily intake.

Which Fast Food Salads are your favorite?  Is your salad in the "best" list?

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