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Most people on weight-reduction diets believe that having a salad for meal is a low calorie option that’s preferable to eating a Whopper or a Big Mac. Not always the case. Many salads come loaded with dried fruits, nuts, avocado, corn, and beans. Nutritious ingredients, yes, but caloric—especially if lots of cheese is sprinkled on top.

Salad dressing can be a real calorie-killer. Even a little bit of dressing on a big salad can become a LOT of dressing! Perhaps that’s why I’ve observed that people who eat salads for meals tend to be heavier than people who eat sandwiches. As for myself, I’ll take my sandwich with a small (but colorful) side salad.

Let’s see how some salads compare:

 

Entree

 

Calories

 

Fat:

Total

 

Fat: % of calories

 

Sodium

 

Whopper

 

670

 

39 g

 

52%

 

  970 mg

 

Big Mac

 

550

 

29

 

48%

 

1,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burger King

Caesar Salad with Tendercrisp chicken

 

670

 

43

 

58%

 

1,760

 

Cheesecake Factory  Grilled Chicken Tostada Salad

 

1,130

 

39

 

31%

 

2,150

 

Panera Fuji Apple  Chicken Salad

 

 

710

 

 

34

 

 

43%

 

 

1,380

 

Olive Garden  Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

 

 

610

 

 

40

 

 

59%

 

 

1.230

 

Applebee’s Grilled  Shrimp ‘N Spinach Salad

 

 

960

 

 

65

 

 

61%

 

 

2,500

 

          Without  dressing

 

630

 

46

 

66%

 

1,660

 

 

 

For more information on how to create a super sports salad, check out my Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

Nancy Clark's Recipes for Athletes are also available as an app.

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Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

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