4 salads at popular chains that are worse for you than a Big Mac

So you’re making all the right choices when you eat out, but you still can’t shake off those extra pounds? Many well-known fast food restaurant salads actually contain more calories than a Big Mac. Knowing what’s lurking in your lettuce is the key to ordering food that really is in your best interests.

T.G.I. Friday’s Chipotle Yucatan Chicken Salad

This baby packs a flavour punch, but this Chipotle Yucatan Chicken Salad also contains a whopping 860 calories and 60 grams of fat. For roughly the same calorie intake, you can order a ½ portion of ribs (890 calories) or a California Club (870 calories). If you really want to make a good T.G.I. Friday’s selection, opt for the Petite Sirloin (370 calories), the Caesar Salad with a bread stick (270 calories) or the house salad with a bread stick (210 calories).

Applebee’s Fried Chicken Salad

This salad includes breaded chicken and cheddar cheese on salad greens with tomatoes and eggs and Dijon honey mustard dressing. Applebee’s Fried Chicken Salad weighs in at 1120 calories with 78 grams of fat. For roughly the same caloric value, you can enjoy the cheeseburger sliders (1230 calories) or the Cheese Quesadilla Grande (1230 calories). If you really want to eat well, opt for something from the WeightWatchers menu which serves meals with less than 550 calories.

Cheesecake Factory Cobb Salad

The Cobb Salad sounds delicious with chicken, blue cheese, bacon and avocado on a bed of salad greens with tomato and egg. But with a 930 calorie price tag and 22 grams of fat, it’s not the best option for diners who are watching their weight. Opt instead for the Cheesecake Factory Boston House Salad (310 calories), the Fresh Country Salad (390 calories) or the Vegetable Chopped Salad (280 calories).

Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion Salad

The Quesadilla Explosion is a cheese-covered salad stack with chicken and a side of cheese quesadilla wedges. This is Chili’s most popular salad, but weighing in at 1300 calories with 36 grams of fat, it’s not their healthiest. If you want healthier options, order something from their lighter choices menu where dishes range from 250 to 670 calories.

image via zak mc

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