Salads are healthy, or at least that's what you'd like to think. But did you know that not all salads are healthy? Visit the most popular food joints in the country and you'll find that some of the salads in their menu can actually harm your health in more ways than one. Below, you'll find some of the best and worst salad offerings from the top restaurants in the United States.
• The Good Choice: Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad
At Panera Bread, the good salad choice would be the bright and colorful Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad.
This salad is packed with phytochemicals since its main ingredients include strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple and blueberries.
One bowl of this salad provides you with antioxidants that can help keep your heart healthy.
The chicken in there meanwhile provides protein without wreaking havoc to your weight as it only has 280 calories and 8 grams of fat.
- Reduced-Fat Dressing
It would be a good idea to ask for reduced-fat vinaigrette or request the dressing to be put on the side.
• The Bad Choice: Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad
Stay away from the Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad, which is ridden with 770 calories, 47 grams of fat, and 1200 milligrams of sodium. The good news is if you skip the croutons, you can trim down to 340 calories, 14 grams fat, and 650 milligrams of sodium.
• The Good Choice: Charbroiled Chicken Baja Ensalada with Fat Free Salsa Verde
Go for the Baja Fresh Charbroiled Chicken Baja Ensalada with Fat Free Salsa Verde. While other Mexican salads are notorious for being fatty with their overload of ground meat and cheese, this one is different.
- Green and Lean
It focuses more on the leafy greens, tomatoes, and charbroiled chicken.
Sprinkles of Cotija cheese and some tortilla strips add tantalizing flavors.
Make it healthier by going for the fat-free salsa verde dressing so you can tone down the salad to 325 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat.
• The Bad Choice: Tostada Salad with Charbroiled Steak
The Tostada Salad with Charbroiled Steak screams unhealthy. This one is a tortilla shell filled with steak, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. If you're a fan of this salad, the best thing you can do is to remove the shell and meat to reduce the 1230 calories, 63 grams of fat, and 2300 milligrams of sodium to something more reasonable.
• The Good Choice: Paradise Chicken Salad
Applebee's Paradise Chicken Salad earns the nutritionist's thumbs up.
- Low Calories, High and Lean Nutrition
This salad packs only 340 calories, 6 grams of fiber, and 45 grams of lean protein. Pineapple, apple, and mandarin oranges add to the nutritional value while the blackened grilled chicken breast is a good source of protein.
• The Bad Choice: Oriental Chicken Salad
Avoid ordering the Oriental Chicken Salad, which is topped with fried chicken tenders and crispy noodles. The numbers are shocking: 93 grams of fat and 1310 calories. The Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad isn't any better. It gives you 1240 calories and just as much fat.
California Pizza Kitchen
• The Good Choice: Half Moroccan Chicken Salad
- Extra Healthy, but go for the Half-Size
Health buffs love the California Pizza Kitchen Half Moroccan Chicken Salad. Spiced chicken breast and loads of fruits and veggies (beets, dates, avocado, and butternut squash) comprise this ultra-healthy salad. It would be a good idea to order the half size so you can take in only 412 calories and 309 milligrams of sodium.
• The Bad Choice: Full Waldorf Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
It may be mouth-watering but the Full Waldorf Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing is an unhealthy salad in disguise. Sure, it looks good with its leafy greens, grapes and apples, but its size makes it one of the most fattening salads ever. Not to mention, it has candied walnuts, blue cheese dressing, and Gorgonzola cheese. This means you'll be taking home 1570 calories, 25 grams of saturated fat, and 2082 milligrams of sodium.