Fast Food Salads High in Fat (cont.)

One Star = Unacceptable

Au Bon Pain Chef's Salad: You have to work hard to make a salad this high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, but Au Bon Pain has done it. Its fiber content saved it from a zero rating, but its bacon, turkey, ham, and cheese make this a nutritional nightmare.

Au Bon Pain Cobb Salad: Chicken, bacon, and cheese doomed the Cobb Salad. While healthy vegetables, such as red peppers and cucumbers, boosted its fiber score, it wasn't quite enough to make up for the 22 grams of fat and 460 calories that weigh it down.

Au Bon Pain Mozzarella & Red Pepper Salad: Why did Au Bon Pain create two salads based on mozzarella cheese? With 16 grams of saturated fat, the Mozzarella & Red Pepper Salad tied with Panera's Greek Salad for having the most saturated fat of any salad rated in this report.

Burger King's Chicken Caesar Salad with Creamy Caesar Dressing, Croutons, and Parmesan Cheese: Burger King would have barely earned one star, save for the three grams of fiber found in this salad. But, with 495 calories and 27 grams of fat (seven grams of saturated fat), the Chicken Caesar has more fat and calories than a BK Double Hamburger. But, there's no need to skip BK altogether. Order the BK veggie, with only seven grams of fat plus a healthy dose of fiber -- something chicken or beef can never boast.

McDonald's Salads: When McDonald's introduced a line of salad entrees, many of us wondered. Could customers finally eat well at this fast food chain? Not quite. PCRM's investigation unearthed some startling findings.

All of McDonald's salads received one star for containing a bare minimum of three grams of fiber, however, all contained chicken, which has virtually as much cholesterol as beef. These "salads" may very well clog up your arteries.

  • McDonald's Crispy Bacon Ranch with Newman's Own Ranch Dressing: Receives the dubious distinction of having the most fat of any other salad rated. At 51 grams of fat and 661 calories, this salad is a diet disaster.

  • McDonald's Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad with Newman's Own Ranch Dressing: Even if you opt for grilled over crispy chicken, your still contending with 43 grams of fat.

  • McDonald's Grilled Chicken California Cobb Salad with Newman's Own Cobb Dressing: This was the lowest in fat, but it still contains 400 calories, this one has too much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

  • McDonald's Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad with Newman's Own Creamy Caesar Dressing: Like all McDonald's chicken salads, this one has too much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

  • McDonald's Crispy Chicken California Cobb Salad with Newman's Own Cobb Dressing: Similar to the Crispy Caesar Salad, but almost twice as much cholesterol!

  • McDonald's Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with Newman's Own Creamy Caesar Dressing: Despite its healthy-sounding name, this salad is still too high in four of our five criteria.

Wendy's Chicken BLT Salad with Homestyle Garlic Croutons and Honey Mustard Dressing: Whenever you see a "BLT salad" think "Better Leave This salad." Chicken, bacon, croutons, and a heavy dressing over this salad with too much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

Wendy's Taco Supreme Salad with Taco Chips, Sour Cream, and Salsa: Does Supremo mean supreme amounts of fat and cholesterol? It does at Wendy's. This salad's only saving grace are the beans in the chili that smothers it. Regrettably, the chili also contains meat, which, along with the chips and sour cream, means that this salad is too high in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium to get more than one measly star.

Panera Caesar Salad: This salad contains cheese, cheese-coated croutons, and a high-fat dressing. How else could one explain a one-star rating?

Panera Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad: What do you get when you add chicken to an already fatty one-star Caesar salad? More fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Steer clear if you care about your waistline and heart.

Subway's Meatball Salad with Fat-Free Italian Dressing: With made-for-you salads available at Subway, why ruin a good thing by dropping fatty meatballs on top of them? It adds way too much of what you don't want. Stick with fresh vegetables, the rare gems of the fast-food game.

Taco Bell Taco Salad with Salsa: Whether you order it with or without the high-fat taco shell, you've still got a one-star salad. With the shell, be prepared to consume 830 calories -- the highest for any salad surveyed. To save calories, fat and cholesterol, skip the shell, substitute refried beans for the beef, and leave off fatty toppings such as cheese and sour cream.

This information has been provided with the kind permission of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) (

Last Editorial Review: 5/19/2003

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