Friday, December 19, 2008

Healthy Little Salad? Think Again!

When you go out to dinner and order a salad, don’t you feel just a little bit like a saint? Ordering a salad means you have successfully resisted the “naughty” foods on the menu: hamburgers, fettuccini alfredo, pad thai, a nice big steak, or whatever tempting fare your restaurant of choice is dangling in front of you. Well, I hate to burst your bubble. But I just had my bubble burst and misery loves company. That salad you’re eating could be just as bad (or worse) as the big juicy burger you so courageously passed up. Check out this list of the Worst Salads in America (thanks to Men’s Health for doing the depressing research).

1.T.G.I. Friday’s Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
1,360 calories
This little concoction isn’t the only bad guy on the salad menu at Friday’s. Six out of the seven salads analyzed contained more than 900 calories.
2. Quiznos’ Chicken with Honey Mustard Flatbread Salad
1,100 calories
Basically you could choose between this salad and five packages of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. I admit to eating one of these at the airport last month and getting extra honey mustard…never again! I’ll take the Reese’s next time I’m going to splurge, thank you very much!
3.Macaroni Grill’s Seared Sea Scallops Salad
1,320 calories
Who knew it was possible to make two of the healthiest foods, seafood and salad, and turn them into combination that is absolutely horrific for your waistline! In addition to all you’re the calories, you’re also getting an entire day’s worth of sodium, fat, and saturated fat.
4.Chili’s Caesar Salad w/ Grilled Chicken and Caesar Dressing
1,010 calories
Never trust a Caesar. Caesar salads typically bring along loads of fatty Caesar dressing, parmesan cheese, and buttery croutons. Turning your bed of lettuce into little more than a fat and calorie holder. Chili’s take on the classic Caesar is the worst though, it contains more fat than 12 Oreo ice cream sandwiches!
5.On the Border's Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef and Smoked Chipolte Vinaigrette Dressing
1,680 calories
Introducing to you, the worst salad in America! Your first sign this salad is a disaster…it’s served in a deep-fried tortilla trough. But the choice is yours, will it be 40 strips of bacon or this salad? They have the same saturated fat content. Yikes!

So next time you’re looking to make the healthy choice, make sure your salad isn’t a big load of calories and fat in disguised as a salad. Minor substitutions can help tremendously: switch out a creamy dressing for a low-fat vinaigrette, swap fried or breaded chicken for grilled, and ditch calorie-dense toppings like cheese and croutons.

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