Fast Food Salads High in Fat (cont.)

*The data for these values were either incorrect on the restaurant's Web site, or were not available. Therefore we calculated the values by using the nutrient analysis program Nutritionist V.

The Ratings

Ratings include salads plus two ounces of the dressing served with it (or the lowest fat dressing offered). Salads averaged around 400 calories with condiments.

Five Stars = Outstanding

Au Bon Pain Garden Salad: Au Bon Pain offers a variety of salads, but the Garden Salad is head and shoulders above the rest with no cholesterol and just one gram of saturated fat. Top it with the fat-free raspberry vinaigrette for a sweet, tangy twist.

Subway Veggie Delite with Fat-Free Italian Dressing: The Subway salad receives top honors with zero cholesterol and no saturated fat. It has been on Subway's menu longer than most other salads rated, which signifies staying power. Just remember to order it without the cheese, pile it high with plenty of veggies, and use balsamic vinegar or fat-free Italian dressing.

Four Stars = Good

Au Bon Pain Caesar Salad: Asiago cheese, which boosted saturated fat levels, dropped this salad to a four-star rating, but that wasn't' its only pitfall. Few people order a Caesar salad without Caesar dressing, which would add 16 more grams of fat than the low-fat dressing we included in our chart. We recommend Au Bon Pain's Garden Salad instead.

Au Bon Pain Charbroiled Salmon Filet and Yellow Peppers Salad: A salad without much fiber isn't really a salad at all. The Charbroiled Salmon Filet and Yellow Peppers Salad was one of the two salads rated that had less than three grams of fiber; the other was Au Bon Pain's Mozzarella & Red Pepper Salad. Blame it on the chain's reliance on salmon, which has no fiber at all.

Au Bon Pain Mediterranean Chicken Salad: Between the feta cheese and the olives, this salad contained far too much sodium to receive five stars.

Au Bon Pain Thai Chicken Salad: Peanut sauce spiked in sodium on this salad, dropping it out of five-star reach. The best bet is to stick with Au Bon Pain's shining star, the classic Garden Salad.

Au Bon Pain Tuna Salad: Tuna salad's biggest downfall is the high-fat combination o fish and mayonnaise -- and a mighty downfall it caused. Containing 25 Grams of fat, this dish ties with the Tomato and Mozzarella Salad as having more fat than any other Au Bon Pain salad.

Panera Classic Cafe Salad: This salad came close to receiving five stars, but heavy dressing weighed it down. Making it a five-star salad is as simple as requesting fat-free raspberry vinaigrette instead of the balsamic vinaigrette.

Subway Club Salad with Fat-Free Italian Dressing: While the Subway Club is low in fat and saturated fat, it's too high in sodium to receive five stars. Salty, processed meat is to blame. Skipping the meat can make it a top-rated salad.

Three Stars = Marginal

Panera Fandango Salad: Where this salad goes right is the use of lettuce, oranges, and fat-free dressing. Where it goes wrong is adding cheese and nuts, but this is easily remedied. Simply ask for fewer nuts and leave off the cheese.

Two Stars = Poor

Au Bon Pain Chicken Caesar Salad: This salad scored marginally well on fiber and sodium, but is too high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Blame the combination of chicken and cheese, which brings too much fat and cholesterol to the table.

Au Bon Pain Nicoise Salad: Much like the Au Bon Pain's Tuna Salad, the Nicoise Salad's undoing was the tuna, which greatly increases fat and cholesterol levels. In fact, at 245 mg., there was more cholesterol in this salad than any other rated, a dangerous prospect in light of current heart disease rates.

Au Bon Pain Tomato, Mozzarella Salad with Basil Pesto: This salad is light on the vegetables and heavy on the cheese. The result is a dish with too little fiber and 19 grams of fat (11 of them saturated fat), even with fat-free dressing. Add a fatty dressing and the numbers go through the roof.

Panera Asian Sesame Chicken Salad: Chicken, nuts, fried wonton strips, and dressing mean you'll get a bowl full of fat, cholesterol, and sodium when good nutrition is your goal. If your heart is set on an Asian-style salad, simply hold the chicken and fried wonton strips, and order dressing on the side.

Wendy's Mandarin Chicken Salad with Roasted Almonds, Crispy Rice Noodles, and Oriental Sesame Dressing: Too much fat, too much cholesterol, and too much sodium -- that's what you get when you add chicken, nuts, fried noodles, and fatty dressing to a salad. Wendy's major mistake was eliminating its salad bar, where patrons could make a healthy, low-fat salad with lots of fruits, vegetables, and beans. Pre-made definitely doesn't mean preferred.

Wendy's Spring Mix Salad with Honey Roasted Pecans and House Vinaigrette Dressing: This salad is almost salvageable, but it'll take a little work. Take off the cheese, add half the pecans, and skip the standard dressing. Instead, use a fat-free dressing or ask for a few lemon wedges to squeeze on top of the salad.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors