Collage of different salads

We all try to make good choices when it comes to food. But sometimes LIFE gets in the way…

Whether it’s a road trip… a late night at the office… or driving home with a couple of cranky kids in the backseat of the car…

… when hunger strikes sometimes the healthy snacks you packed “just in case” – don’t seem to cut it. And next thing you know, you’re walking into the nearest fast food joint (or casual dining restaurant)… hungry and ready to eat!

So, the next time you can’t avoid eating at a fast food restaurant… what should you order?

If you’re like most health-conscious folks, you’d probably say, “A salad!” thinking it’s the healthiest choice on the menu.

But the truth is, most salads on fast food and casual dining menus are just the opposite – they’re the WORST foods on the menu to eat.  That’s because they are LOADED with fat – and chock-full of empty calories.

And so, in many cases you’re better off ordering a BIG MAC from the Golden Arches!

It’s absolutely true! You see, a Big Mac from McDonalds contains 550 calories and 29 grams of fat. But guess what? Some of these so-called “healthy” salads contain THREE TIMES that amount of fat and calories!

You won’t hear about this shocking truth from restaurant chains across the country…

That’s because restaurants realize that healthy eating sells. So they create a “light choice” section and list several different types of salad. They put a heart icon next to the ones that are supposedly the healthiest and most nutritious. But in reality, the opposite is true.

Which salads are the worst health offenders? (By the way, there’s one that contains a whopping 99 grams of fat)! And which are the healthiest options?

From Wendy’s to Applebee’s – here’s a handy guide to use the next time you can’t avoid eating at a fast food restaurant. Check out the 12 unhealthiest fast-food salads – and their tasty, healthy replacements below…

10. Taco Bell’s Fiesta Taco Salad (Beef)

Taco Bell’s Fiesta Taco Salad (Beef) contains 780 calories and 42 grams total fat (10 grams saturated).

Try this instead: Express Taco Salad with Chips

You won’t cut the calories (580 calories) – but you’ll cut the fat! This salad contains 29 grams of total fat and 10 grams saturated fat.

9. Wendy’s Baja Salad

Wendy’s Baja Salad  sure tastes good. But you might want to consider another option since it contains 690 calories and 45 grams of fat (16 grams saturated)!

Try this instead: Apple Pecan Salad

It’s a tastier, healthier option at 570 calories and nearly half the fat (27grams; 8 grams saturated).

8. Ruby Tuesday’s Carolina Chicken Salad

Talk about unhealthy! Ruby Tuesday’s Carolina Chicken Salad has 1091 calories with 47 grams of fat!

Try this instead: Shellfish Trio with freshly grilled zucchini

Skip the salad and try this seafood delight!  At 380 calories and 19 grams of total fat – it’s a tasty, undeniably healthier option you’re sure to love!

7. Outback Steakhouse Aussie Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad

Eat this and you get: 50 grams of total fat crammed into 790 calories. The Outback Steakhouse Aussie Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad is nowhere near healthy.

Try this instead: Sesame Salad with Ahi Tuna

Sounds tasty doesn’t it? This salad contains 456 calories and 25 grams of total fat (3 grams saturated fat).

6. T.G.I. Friday’s Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

I’m not sure what’s healthy about this salad at all! T.G.I. Friday’s Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad contains 1080 calories and 71 grams of fat (16 grams saturated).

Try this instead: Balsamic Glazed Chicken Cesar Salad

You’ll cut calories for sure – without sacrificing taste! This salad contains 490 calories and 26 grams of total fat and 6 grams saturated fat.

5. Red Robin Crispy Chicken Tender Salad

Red Robin’s Crispy Chicken Tender Salad contains a shocking 1297 calories and 86 grams of total fat!

Try this instead: Simply Grilled Chicken Salad

Forget the fried and go with the grilled! This delicious salad contains less than half the calories of its deep fried counterpart – 539 calories and 17 grams of total fat!

4. California Pizza Kitchen Waldorf Chicken Salad

It looks healthy – but boy can looks be deceiving!  California Pizza Kitchen’s Waldorf Chicken Salad contains 1230 calories and is loaded with 87 grams of fat (18 grams saturated fat).

Try this instead: Grilled Chicken Chimichurri

This dish contains 460 calories and 27 grams of total fat (4 grams saturated fat).

3. Applebee’s Santa Fe Chicken Salad

Applebee’s Santa Fe Chicken Salad is a fat trap! It contains a whopping 1280 calories, plus 92 grams of fat (24 grams saturated fat).

Try this instead: Zesty Roma Chicken and Shrimp

Skip the salad and try this delicious entrée!  It contains 410 calories and 13 grams of total fat and 6 grams saturated fat.

2. Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion Salad

Yikes! Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion Salad has 1440 calories and 96 grams of total fat (29 grams of saturated fat).

Try this instead: Salmon with Garlic and Herbs

Yum! This tasty meal is loaded with Omega 3’s – and will help slim your waistline with nearly 75% less calories than the salad! This dish contains 400 calories… 26 grams of total fat… and just 6 grams saturated fat.

And the #1 unhealthiest fast-food salad is…

(drum roll please)

1. Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

The incredibly unhealthy Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad is bursting with fat and calories! It contains 1380 calories and 99 grams of fat (15 grams of that is saturated)!

Try this instead: Lemon Parmesan Shrimp

Here’s a smarter choice: It’s just 410 calories and 14 grams of total fat (7 grams saturated fat).

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