It is no secret that fast food meals are from healthy but what happens when you are standing in line and your conscience tells you to eat better and healthier? The knee jerk reaction would be to order a salad because aren’t salads universally acceptable diet food? Who can go wrong with some greens, chopped veggies, meat and dressing, right? Certainly it’s a better option than a burger or a burger and fries but that is only if you choose the right salads. Believe it or not, there are actually best and worst fast food salads on the market and if you want to make sure you make the healthy salad choice, you should bone up on the best and worst fast food salads.
A salad is a salad, yes, but if you choose one that is loaded with fatty toppings and dressings, you really should just go for some other option like a regular burger and small fries. They will add up to roughly the same fat, cholesterol, and calorie content. Below are some of the best and worst fast food salads from different fast food chains so you can order the healthier salad all the time.
McDonald’s Best and Worst Salads
Best: Bacon Ranch Salad w/ Grilled Chicken
McDonald’s isn’t a bastion of healthy eating but this salad is actually quite healthy as compared to others in the menu. It comes with 3 cups of mixed greens, Newman’s Own Salad dressing, and lots of chopped fresh veggies and clocks in at cal:260 carb: 12 fat: 9
Worst: Southwest Chicken Salad w/ Crispy Chicken
Look at delicious-looking salad and would you believe it comes from McDonald’s? McDonald’s has really amped up its healthy food choices but some salads are still to be avoided especially if you are looking for a healthy low cal, low carb, and low fat meals. This salad has 16 kinds of greens, some savory black beans, poblano peppers, fire roasted corn and topped with cheddar and jack cheeses. It is also served with chili-lime tortilla chips and some Newman’s Own Southwest Dressing. It looks good and you can bet it tastes even better but it also clocks in at cal: 430 carb: 30 fats: 20.
Jack in the Box
Best: Grilled Chicken Salad
You do not need to worry about your calorie consumption when you opt for this salad. It’s a delicious blend of iceberg, romaine, and spring greens tossed with cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, red onions cucumbers etc. and served with low fat dressing. This filling salad is filling but it is only cal:240 carb: 30 and fat 8 so it really is one of the best fast food salads out there though it isn’t the fanciest one you will see in the menu.
Worst: Chicken Club Salad w/ Crispy Chicken
This is another salad from Jack in the Box and boy does is it awesome. It is made with spring, romaine, and iceberg lettuce leaves with cucumber slices, cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, crispy chicken tenders and bits of bacon with some seasoned croutons drizzled with Bacon Ranch dressing. This savory treat from Jack in the Box is chock-full of flavor but it is also chock-full of things that are bad for you. Check this cal: 510 carb: 37 fats: 27. If you want a nice little burger and small fries or perhaps a wrap but are getting this to eat healthier, do yourself a favor and go for the burger and fries or wrap.
Best: Grilled Chicken Salad
This yummy salad has grilled chicken bits, cucumber slices, tomato slices, cheddar cheese, and red onions resting on a bed of fresh greens. It also comes with croutons and low-fat balsamic dressing. This is a salad that will fill you up and tickle your taste buds but is not necessarily unhealthy though it does come from a fast food chain. This is quite healthy and has just cal: 200 carb: 13 fats: 6. Try this delicious salad next time you are craving a quick and easy meal from Carl’s Jr.
Worst: Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
This is a massive salad from Carl’s Jr. and it makes the list of the best and worst fast food salads not because it tastes awful but because of its nutritional qualities. This salad has black beans, shredded cheese, chicken, bacon buts, and red onions all on a bed of fresh greens. The package also comes with a packet of croutons and blue cheese dressing. If you are on a diet and you feel like munching on a salad will help you lose fat, do not choose this salad. The numbers do not lie so check them out cal: 440 carb: 24 fats: 23. Choose the chipotle dressing and you could be adding close to 200 more calories for the whole thing.
Best: Chicken BLT Cobb Salad
Oh Wendy’s and your delicious salads! Just look at that heaping serving of fresh and delicious ingredients. This salad from Wendy’s is made with Apple wood smoked bacon bits, tomatoes, chicken, blue cheese crumbles, and hard boiled eggs. It is a scrumptious salad and is one the healthier ones you can find at Wendy’s though the numbers it comes with are still somewhat shocking cal: 430 carb: 10 fats: 12.
Worst: Baja Salad
Admit it, one look at this salad and you know you want one. It is a delicious blend of Pico de Gallo, guacamole, slow simmered chili, and crispy tortilla bits topped with red jalapeno dressing. Why, even the descriptions sounds decadent so you know this isn’t the best salad for you. A full sized serving of the Baja salad clocks in at cal: 550 carb: 24 fats: 14
Have Your Salad and Eat It!
Salads are healthy since you have a mix of healthy fresh greens and fresh veggies but once you start piling in the add-ons, it is only normal for the calorie- fat- and carb-count to shoot up as well. Not all fast food salads are bad but you can definitely make better choices when standing in line.