Want to know a secret? Even though you think you may be eating healthy by ordering a salad, odds are you aren’t, especially if that salad comes from a fast-food restaurant. Here are the 10 unhealthiest fast food salads in America.
Because salads look healthy, with their overflowing bounty of lettuce and julienned carrots, we tend to believe that they are healthy. Unfortunately, just because it doesn’t look like chicken-fried steak, that doesn’t mean it doesn't have nearly as many calories as one. Sure, if you chop up a bunch of fresh vegetables and toss them with some balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil, you’ll end up with one of the healthiest meals on earth, but unfortunately that’s not the state of the modern fast-food salad.
If you’re looking to eat a healthy salad (anywhere, but especially at fast-food restaurants), there are a couple things you should avoid. Cheese, for one, is a quick and easy way to boost the fat and calorie count of anything it’s added to, as are things like fried chicken and bacon. Also, pay special attention to salad dressings. Obviously, a big glug of ranch dressing is one of the world’s worst diet-killers, but even fat-free dressing is loaded with chemicals and sugar. If oil and vinegar is an option, always go for that; it might seem a little odd to bring your own homemade dressing to Burger King, but it’s better than what they’re offering.
In order to round up the unhealthiest fast food salads, we looked at the nutritional information websites of leading fast food chains and did the math. And math definitely needed to be done, because most of them list salads and dressings separately. In these cases, we went with the unhealthiest dressing they offered, which was usually ranch (If given the option, don’t go with ranch!). So read on to learn which fast food salads are the unhealthiest by fat and calories — but do remember: even though their calorie counts may be high, they’re still better for you than cheeseburgers. Our list runs from "best" to worst.
#10 McDonald’s: Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken
Fat: 22 grams
Sodium: 850 milligrams
Cholesterol: 70 milligrams
#9 Taco Bell: Fiesta Taco Salad — Beef
Fat: 42 grams
Sodium: 850 milligrams
Cholesterol: 55 milligrams