Are fast food salads actually healthy?

Fresh, green, and healthy are just some of the words that come to mind when you start thinking of salads, and they are true for the most part. The concept of salad by itself is the epitome of healthy food; a bowl full of just vegetables. And if you are trying to lose some of that extra fat that you have accumulated, having a salad that is low in calories has been proven to increase the feeling of being full, leading you to eat fewer calories over the course of your meal.

Salads always did seem to be the smarter choice – until the fast food chains started serving them. Practically all of the fast food chains today have put salads on their menus. Right next to their juicy burgers and crispy fries, you will find the green option.

Everything done in marketing these salads makes you believe that it is a very healthy option. Advertisements and commercials do their best to convince you that buying a salad at a fast food restaurant will help you lose weight and feel great. However, this is often far from the truth. Most salads served at fast food restaurants are pretty comparable to burgers when it comes to the calories and fat content.

Now, we understand that it sounds like a bit of a crazy idea. How in the world can a salad ever not be healthy? Well, let us break it down for you and you’ll see what you are actually eating when you order a fast food salad.

The bowl that you have been served may be full of lettuce and an assortment of vegetables, but it’s usually full of dressing, too. The dressing you get on your salad is likely packed with a lot of fat and calories. Dressings that are creamy, like caesar and the ranch, may be some of the biggest culprits.

Caesar dressing contains about eighty calories per tablespoon, and ranch does just a tiny bit better at seventy-five calories per tablespoon. The Caesar salad from the McDonald’s, even after you have substituted the crispy chicken for the grilled chicken, still contains three hundred and sixty calories. That is almost the same as the bacon ranch junior chicken sandwich that they serve.

Cheese is another often overlooked way of adding calories to just about any meal. Burger King’s garden grilled chicken salad comes with grilled chicken, iceberg lettuce, and lite balsamic vinegar. It’s great that they have replaced the calorie filled dressing, but cheese takes its place, so this salad still rakes up three hundred and twenty calories.

Fast food restaurants not only add loads of fatty dressings and mountains made of cheese, they also like adding more than sufficient amounts of bacon or fried chicken. And yes, this may sound like an ingredient that is complementary to all meals, but it is not healthy at all.

Very often, such advertised salads are just meals that are laid out for your guilty pleasures. They are basically the “saladized” versions of the restaurant’s regular meals. The menus at fast food restaurants tend to put out salads that put the normal, high in calories items on a bed of greens. For example, Wendy’s has a salad on the menu that consists of lettuce topped with their sliced up breaded chicken filet.

Maybe it is high time to rethink your choices of indulgence.